Faster Horses denies festival references to MLive . for the first time

Country music festival Faster Horses has denied media credentials to MLive for the July 22-24 event, which follows MLive’s investigation into the festival’s history of sexual assault and other incidents.

MLive reviewed thousands of pages of police reports and spoke to more than 50 sources, including festival sexual assault victims, officials, attendees, experts, doctors, suspects, security and others.

During the eight Faster Horses events, police were called to 91 attacks, 30 reports of criminal sexual behavior and six deaths. Of the 30 reported sex offenses, only two led to charges or prosecution.

Faster Horses officials have consistently declined to comment on safety measures during the event.

“I am disappointed, but not surprised, that Faster Horses declined our request for a media reference,” said John Hiner, vice president of content for MLive Media Group. “The organizers, venue owners and performers have refused to speak to us since our investigative reporters showed the darker, more dangerous side of the event.”

LAKE: “A paradise for sexual predators.” Faster Horses Music Festival Investigation Reveals 30 Reported Sexual Assaults

Faster Horses is run by Live Nation, which hosts events across North America.

“We review each point of sale’s credentials every year on a case-by-case basis,” said Courtney Johansen, a spokesperson for Faster Horses. “We have a limited number of login details and this year we are unable to grant access to a number of outlets. Thank you for your understanding.”

MLive had obtained references for all previous Faster Horses festivals and sent photographers and reporters every year to cover the event.

The journalists wrote more than two dozen stories about last year’s festival ahead of MLive’s fall 2021 investigation into the event — which was picked up by Rolling Stone, among other news outlets.

MLive has eight newspapers in Michigan and is consistently the most widely read news site in Michigan. The company’s Jackson hub is 27 miles from Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, where the event has been hosted every year since 2013 — except in 2020, when it was canceled due to COVID-19.

Past festivals have had 40,000 visitors, according to the organizers. Festival passes are sold out for 2022.

“This will not affect our plans to continue to cover public safety and the festival’s community impact,” Hiner said. “Our readers want to know, and deserve to know, what happens at an event of this magnitude.”

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For more stories from the Faster Horses music festival, click here.

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