Festivals are all about good vibes, acceptance, and pure bliss. It’s a shame that people have began to prey on us, utilizing us while we are vulnerable, it’s disgusting.
— Ricky, 29 – EDCLV 2021
Ricky has been going to festivals for years. Unfortunately for him, he was pickpocketed in 2015 and has had his guard up ever since.
Ricky opinion is not unpopular. If you take a quick look at Reddit threads for popular music festivals. The proceeding week after a festival is held, you can find the subreddit filled with stories of people experiencing theft.
With many stories like Ricardo’s, the common human would question how we can put an end to this massive theft problem? Fortunately, there are safeguards to prevent this. Like apps that go on your phone, anti-theft hydration packs, and a group leader willing to stay sober and watch over their crew. Unfortunately, these preventive measures may not divert the skilled pickpocket.
At GenZ Outdoor, we wanted to combat the festival theft problem by creating the first anti-theft hydration pack. While we are doing our best to convert festival goers over to our solution, we are still a growing company that is yet to hit the maturity of many other brands.
To provide deeper insight into the state of the festival theft issue, we surveyed over 450 festival goers between the ages of 18 and 55 in the US who attended at least one festival in 2021. In addition, we compiled data from police reports, local news broadcasts, and research from Eventbrite to find out the magnitude of this issue.
What we uncovered was a range of insights behind the number of thieves who are lurking at your average festival and how much they are stealing. We also learned that despite the belief that these are other festival lovers committing the acts of crime, these thieves are not interested in the music and will travel from all over the nation to slyly snag tens of thousands of dollars worth of product a night.
1 out of every 32.71 people experienced phone left or lost a phone in 2021.
Finding out how bad pickpockets are at festivals.
It is easily assumed that anyone reading this has had a friend, or group of friends, who have experienced getting a phone swiped at a festival. We wanted to understand the level at which pickpockets were successful across the globe. With no real research found anywhere, we decided to conduct our own surveys and compile all information available to us on the web to figure out the significance of festival theft.
We spoke with wide range of festival goers and asked them questions regarding their experience with pickpockets. In preparation for this investigation, we were cognizant that some festivals attracted a certain demographic. We didn’t want to skew the study by asking the same personality and population. So, in order to diversify our sample size of 458 festival goers, we conducted interviews at 4 different festivals.
We used all available data to us in the forms of police reports, prior festival research, and some simple math to lead us to our findings. From experience and time in the industry, we had a general understanding of what to expect, but we didn’t think the census would be this bad.
Our findings: The Magnitude of Theft Happening at festivals
1 in 32 people doesn’t sound that bad. In all honesty, we expected it to be worse. After multiplying this average by 32 million attendees, and multiplying again the price of an iPhone the true value of theft is astonishing. Nearly $800 million in phones and other valuables stolen in one year is despicable.
Profiling a Pickpocket
Now that we have gotten your attention with the raw value that thieves are going home with each year, we wanted to give you a better understanding of who these people are and how they succeed.
Our surveys, in conjunction with police reports, enabled us find common patterns that festival thieves seem to follow. While our data is a rather small sample size of festivals, it gives us a great reference.
Keep in mind these arrests only represent a small fraction of the amount of thieves at festivals. Most pickpockets do not ever end up getting found, let alone arrested.
What do thieves do with the phones they steal?
In the midst of our research we began to question a pickpockets motives. If people can’t get into our phones, what was the point of stealing them? How did they turn our personal property into cash? While our phone manufacturers like to make us believe our devices are deemed useless without the owner, this is not the case.
After diving deeper into news reports of massive theft and reading a few tech-nerd’s blog posts, we found some common methods on how to steal an iPhone that isn’t yours.
Now we are not going into detail on these methods because we don’t want to cause more theft, but it is important to understand what these thieves are capable of after they nab your phone.
How to stop a festival Pickpocket
Now that it is understood the level of thievery that is occurring and who exact is doing it, we have many recommendations on how to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
Note that we can give you any preventable measure, but it will ultimately be up to you to stay out of ideal pickpocket scenarios. and be cognizant of your surroundings.
We urge you to checkout our anti-theft hydration packs. While we cannot stop pickpockets from existing, we certainly can prevent them from being successful. Additionally, utilize Liff Happens. They have a fantastic software that will prevent you from totally losing your phone if it is misplaced or dropped on the ground.
We hope our survey serves as a reminder to watch out for yourself. Unfortunately, we are not able to rid pickpockets from entering festival gates.
Simply being aware of the vastness of theft that occurs every year at festivals is the first step in protecting yourself from having a phone swiped. Our intentions are not to cause anymore angst than there already is when entering a festival, but to help assist you in becoming cognizant of your surroundings when in a crowd. We want you to maximize your excitement at these events. By coming home with your phone, the chances of walking away happy and fulfilled are much higher. We hope that being the voice of the issue at hand will amplify this gratitude we all desire walking away from a festival.
Sources / Citations
One in four West Midlands folk are victims of festival theft
Protect Your Gadgets: Latest Theft Data From The UK’s Top Festivals
Police Hope You Recognize Recovered Stolen Goods Taken During Ultra Music Festival
68 pickpockets nabbed at electronic music festival in capital
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