Why can’t public spaces be safer for people, especially women, to participate in? This was the topic Twitter addressed last night regarding the Taste Plus music festival, which several people called a horrible experience because of the poor management of the organizers because of which fights were breaking out and the musical guest of the night Atif Aslam had left early because of the misbehavior of the crowd.
This twitter user Fawad Ali shared his experience by re-calling how due to the poor management of the organizers, men were making it difficult for women and other families to enjoy the concert by causing fights and were also pushing back against the security installed to control the crowd. He shared that Atif Aslam was well prepared to perform and was doing sound checks with his band to give the crowd a good show, but the audience didn’t stop misbehaving and kept harassing the singer to the point where he walked out of the show because the hosts refused to take steps to tone down the violence.
Just attended what was supposed to be a concert of @itsaadee at TastePlus in Islamabad.
I’m disgusted by the kind of vile behaviour the crowd had.
Such a disappointment that a person with a global fan following had to leave before concluding.#Islamabad #tasteplus #AtifAslam pic.twitter.com/CJLIsX93Ga
— Fawad Ali (@fawadalijourno) December 10, 2021
Other users also joined in by sharing clips of the concert which showed men throwing bottles on stage and harassing women in the audience, proving that public spaces have consistently isolated families because we as nation have never taken an opportunity to talk about toxic masculinity in men
” Literally our community is no more than utter disgrace with zero ethics, harassment on it’s peak, please avoid going to such public events with families, because these men will never stop, a long awaited concert turned into RIOT. #AtifAslam #TastePlus #islamabd pic.twitter.com/oHpgkzTKOw
— 🅿🅰🆁🅸🆉🅰🅰🅳 (@saadeekhan_) December 11, 2021
Taste plus was the worst managed event in Islamabad. People entered without passes and kept pushing throughout. There were like 4 washrooms for thousands of people. Some asshole pushed me and spilled tea on my hand and my friend’s shoulder. The hosts were still the worst part.
— BenDover (@Musanna_Ahmed) December 11, 2021
Literally our community is no more than utter disgrace with zero ethics, harassment on it’s peak, please avoid going to such public events with families, because these men will never stop, a long awaited concert turned into RIOT. #AtifAslam #TastePlus #islamabd #AtifAslam
— 𝒉𝒂𝒇𝒔𝒂 || 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒏 Ot7💜 (@yarr_hafsa_nakr) December 11, 2021
Fans also expressed sympathy for singer Atif Aslam who has previously stopped received praises from users when he stopped a concert at LUMS to ask security to remove the men who were harassing girls in the crowd, but at the Taste Plus festival he was seen continuously trying to perform but the rowdy audience kept making it difficult. A fan shared a screenshot on Twitter where he apologized to the singer for the mismanagement and harassment he faced at the event, but Atif had responded by saying that he was glad the event had stopped to save the families from the aggressive behavior of men
— Jamal Ansari (@RealJamalAnsari) December 10, 2021
It’s incredibly necessary for our society to use this incident as a reason to reflect on how toxic masculinity has become acceptable, especially the way entitlement is instilled in men that makes them openly claim public spaces by harassing and intimidating women who also deserve as much right to enjoy their lives outside homes. Whether its a concert, or parks or restaurants, women have as much rights to reclaim theses spaces as men do without having to fear harassment or abuse and its disappointing that this is still something we are grappling with.