L’Boulevard music festival returned this year with heavy security presence as organizers sought to recover from last year’s edition where allegations of sexual assault , theft, and violence brought on heavy criticism on the festival.
Several police and private security squads dispersed Thursday night around the Casablanca RUC stadium where about 5,000 people came to watch famed French Algerian rapper Tif, among others .
The turnout was almost half of what the festival received last year, where the 10,000 attendees found themselves in the middle of the chaos that erupted at the stadium as crowds overwhelmed the venue, leading to violence and a rush for entry.
A decision to close all exits further intensified disorder, leaving attendees trapped alongside assailants. Shocking accounts surfaced of thefts, violent altercations, and alarming allegations of sexual assault, urging swift action from authorities to identify the culprits amidst the festival’s chaos
This year, security personnel made thorough security check at entry points, forced out disruptive individuals while MoroccoLatestNews journalists saw police break off minor altercations.
Sok Rask, an initiative that aims to fight gender-based violence and raise awareness in Morocco’s festival and concert scenes were monitoring the crowd throughout the night.
“Following the violence that occured last year, we decided to establish a stand here to discuss gender based violence with concert goers, in addition to send out our agents around the festival to de-escalate situations that could lead to violence,” said one of volunteers.