Faster Horses country music festival is offering a handful of new resources in 2022 to help attendees who are feeling unsafe, need help, or are in an emergency.
Faster Horses is a three-day music festival at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, July 22-24. This year’s headliners include Morgen Wallen, Eric Church and Tim McGraw.
The festival was pressured to prioritize safety after an MLive investigation found there had been 91 reports of assault, 30 reports of criminal sexual behavior and six deaths since the festival began in 2013.
TIED TOGETHER: ‘A sexual predator’s paradise.’ Faster Horses music festival investigation uncovers 30 reported sexual assaults
Faster Horses officials declined to comment on safety improvements but recently updated their website with a host of new resources for 2022.
Here’s a summary of the resources and policies put in place this year to keep people safe.
Text HORSES to 69050
Faster Horses announced a new line of lyrics for this year’s festival on July 13. Participants can text HORSES to 69050 if they see anything suspicious or if anyone needs emergency assistance to alert the security team.
The line can be used to report suspicious, dangerous, or inappropriate behavior. It can also be used when someone is sick and needs medical attention.
“Faster Horses Festival believes that everyone should feel safe during the festival,” reads the event’s website. “People from all over the world come to our festival every year, but when we’re here, it’s us Neighbors. We all have to do our part to be mindful and look out for each other at Faster Horses.”
AWARE CARE, the purple people looking for help
Another new program at Faster Horses in 2022 is AWARE CARE, a “fan safety and wellbeing initiative,” according to the website.
AWARE CARE team members are equipped with general information about the festival and trained in harm reduction procedures. They can provide basic needs like earplugs, give directions, give people a place to cool off, and provide peer support to anyone having a difficult experience.
“If a guest is feeling overwhelmed, has had a negative experience, needs help finding their campsite or friends, or has been discharged from medical treatment but isn’t ready to return to the festival, AWARE CARE is a great place to go,” he said the website says.
Participants may stop at the AWARE CARE tent near the pit stop just outside the north entrance of the Infield Campground. There are signs for the tent and a white spotlight to help people find their way.
There are also members of the AWARE CARE team walking around the campsites wearing purple shirts that say ‘Here to help’. They can be approached to help with problems and are trained to help those in need.
TIED TOGETHER: Faster Horses denies MLive festival admission for the first time
For people who want to help the AWARE CARE team, the event recruits people for shifts (which are paid). Email AwareCare@FasterHorsesFestival.com for more information.
Other helping hands at Faster Horses are the security team, the two first aid posts (look for a red cross), and guest services representatives.
Safety tips for generators
Three young men died at Faster Horses in 2021 when exposed to carbon monoxide fumes from a portable generator next to their RV.
Some of the campsites in 2022 are larger to provide more space. Officials declined to say whether the change was due to last year’s tragedy.
Faster Horses increased campgrounds at Junction—southwest of the route and across the Brooklyn Highway near US 12—and at Northwoods and Northfield, north of Junction.
In 2021, they were 20ft by 40ft in Junction and 20ft by 30ft in Northfield and Northwoods, according to information released to the Faster Horses website in March 2021. This year they are 20ft by 60ft or 24ft by 50ft at Junction and 20ft by 60ft at Northfield and Northwoods.
There are approximately 17 other campsites in the infield and around the circuit. Based on a comparison of camping information published in 2021 and now, the campsites remain the same size across the other campsites.
Faster Horses also has generator safety tips on its website this year.
The event’s website reminds visitors to bring a working carbon monoxide and fire alarm. Generators should be outdoors, away from any structure. People should duct internal generators to reduce noise and redirect exhaust fumes over the RV and away from neighbors. Free-standing generators can use a muffler to reduce noise and direct exhaust gases away.
For the full list of tips click here.
Zero Tolerance Policy
Faster Horses has a “zero tolerance policy” for harassment of any kind, according to its website.
“Harassment includes, but is not limited to, stalking, verbal or physical intimidation, offensive verbal comments, physical assault and/or physical harm, harassing or non-consensual photographing or recording, restroom surveillance, inappropriate physical contact, and unwanted attention,” the website says.
Anyone violating this can be removed from the festival and banned from future festivals.
No matter how minor the issue, Faster Horses encourages participants to report anything that makes them feel unsafe or uncomfortable – either to the text line, to the AWARE CARE team, to a member of staff, or at security checkpoints.
“We will follow your example, work with you and do our best to prevent it from happening again so you can continue to feel safe at our festival,” the website reads.
The site also has a code of conduct that advises participants to stay hydrated, never consume anything from strangers, not mix alcohol with other substances, and take care of each other.
Alcohol, profits and unsolved cases: 16 takeaways from the Faster Horses investigation
A tale of two festivals: Faster Horses versus Electric Forest
See all 127 violent crimes and deaths reported during eight Faster Horses festivals
Vigil brings hundreds to Michigan Center after Faster Horses tragedy: ‘A reflection of their legacy’
Melissa Havens went to Faster Horses to have a good time. She ended up dead outside a tent in a crowded campsite.
“This damn thing has to be fucking shut down:” Woman whose daughter was killed at Faster Horses three years ago
For more Faster Horses coverage, click here