On Wednesday, Spin published four accounts from women who have accused music festival founder Sean Carlson of sexual misconduct or assault. Carlson—who founded the L.A.-based music festival Fuck Yeah Festival, or FYF, in 2004—made headlines earlier this week when Goldenvoice, the founder of Coachella, cut ties with Carlson without explanation, as reported by Variety.
Spin spoke to four women—three of whom asked to be anonymous—about their encounters with Carlson and spoke to friends, colleagues, and family members who confirmed the each woman’s story. One woman, “Beth,” describes meeting Carlson at a barbecue in L.A. in 2013 and thinking he seemed “really dorky.” He asked for her number and she gave it to him. Later, Carlson asked Beth if she wanted to make out in the bathroom of the house and she said yes: “He just seemed so not-good with women that I was like, ‘Aw, that’s kinda sweet, he’s trying,’” she told the publication.
Beth then describes going to another bathroom in the house to pee, planning to meet Carlson afterwards. Carlson entered that bathroom while she was peeing, blocked the door and asked her to kiss his penis:
“I think that’s when I realized, oh my God, this is not okay, this is really a problem and I’m scared. I felt trapped—I mean, I was trapped. So he just kept demanding that I kiss his penis, and I did. In my mind, I was like, ‘Maybe I’ll just do this and he’ll let me go,’ which in retrospect does not make sense. But at that time I was super panicked and I just couldn’t believe what was happening.”
A publicist who Spin refers to as “Jane” describes Carlson kissing her without her consent at a concert in L.A. in 2015. Another woman, an artist manager who was friendly with Carlson, “Sarah,” told Spin that Carlson “forcibly made out” with her multiple times at a party in 2015 and texted her an apology the next day, which she accepted. At a party five months later, Carlson tried to make out with her after following her to the bathroom and again in the back of an Uber home with Sarah’s friend in the front seat:
As the car started moving, Sarah says, Carlson “distracted my friend into picking some music and turning the volume up while he proceeded to put his hands all over me and again try to make out with me.” Carlson repeatedly slid into the middle of the back seat, she says, groping her breasts and thighs as she tried to block with her shoulder and lift his hands off. Stuck in a moving vehicle and in front of a friend, she didn’t want to make a scene.
Carlson reviewed the accounts of the four women at the request of Spin and told the magazine that Sarah and Jane’s stories were true and that the other two “both contain serious misstatements and omissions.” However, Carlson says, “on both occasions I acted inappropriately and shamefully, and deeply regret my actions.”
Read the full Spin story and Carlson’s full statement here.