Evenko investigates after Montrealer claims she was drugged at Osheaga

Melanie Maxine Doucet said security didn't do much after she experienced date rape drug symptoms at Osheaga on Friday, July 29, 2016. Melanie Maxine Doucet/Facebook

Rape culture is alive and well, according to Melanie Maxine Doucet, who took to Facebook to say she was slipped a date rape drug during the Red Hot Chili Peppers show at Osheaga on Friday.

“This was my fifth Osheaga and most likely my last,” she wrote, before continuing to explain what happened.

“I lost my friends in the crowd, while I was holding my drink (which I bought on site) in my hand and talking to someone.”

“I was unable to find my friends as I could barely talk or walk but I managed to almost immediately recognize that someone had drugged me as soon as I felt the effects.”

The 36-year-old said she managed to take the metro from Parc Jean-Drapeau to her boyfriend’s house near the Berri-UQAM metro station, but said she had to clutch onto other passengers because she had trouble standing.

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“I blacked out a few times between the [metro] gate and getting to my boyfriend’s house,” she said.

“It’s nothing short of a miracle that I made it home safe and my boyfriend was able to take care of me.”

The crowd at Osheaga, Friday, July 29, 2016. Gloria Henriquez / Global News

Doucet, who is currently completing a PhD in Social Work at McGill University, said she spent the night recovering and returned to the festival site the next day to speak with a representative from the event’s security detail.

“[I] asked if she [the security manager] could notify the security people around the site to be on the lookout since I was fearful I would not be the only girl this would happen to,” she said.
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“I got completely brushed off, was told they were very busy and were trying their best but could not catch everything coming through the gates and that maybe I should have paid more attention to my drink.”

“I was completely appalled by the lack of concern and lack of empathy coming from another woman in a power position.”

She said the onus should not be on girls to watch their drinks, but on festivals to make sure proper measures are in place to keep everyone safe.

“This happens everywhere all the time. This is the second time it happened to me,” Doucet told Global News.

“You always get told that ‘oh, you should have watched your drink’ and actually, it was in my hand. What was I supposed to do? Stare at it constantly instead of watching the band?”

Doucet said she was upset that security did not take her seriously enough and questioned what would have happened if she had been raped.

“I am completely disappointed with the lack of professionalism of security this year in response to this matter,” she said.

“There were clearly way too many people going through the gates and not enough security and medical staff to support the numbers.”

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“Osheaga I am extremely disappointed and disheartened by your lack of proper response to this situation and I can only hope that no one else was drugged, as I was, and taken advantage of.”

In an e-mail response to Global News, Evenko, the organizer of Osheaga wrote: “Evenko takes all necessary measures to ensure the safety of its festival-goers. We are sorry to hear what happened to this lady. We will proceed with an investigation in order to find out what transpired.”

Doucet said she has yet to hear from the organization, but welcomes them to contact her.

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