FYF Fest founder Sean Carlson has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by multiple women. The incidents, which are alleged to have occurred between 2010 and 2015, were published in a Spin investigative report two days after Los Angeles-based promoter Goldenvoice announced its decision to cut ties with Carlson. At the time, Goldenvoice did not offer an explanation for their decision.
Former freelance music photographer Natasha Ryan said Carlson kept approaching her and trying to remove her bra while she was in a hot tub during a Matador Records after-party in 2010. An hour after these repeated attempts, Ryan alleged, Carlson approached her and started grabbing and "trying to kiss" her. Carlson "was trying to pull me into the bathroom to make out with," she said.
Another woman, who requested to be quoted anonymously, first met Carlson in Los Angeles in 2013. After chatting, "Beth" said, Carlson asked for her number and she gave it to him. Later, Carlson asked to make out in a bathroom. Beth agreed, but needed to urinate first and found a separate bathroom in the back of the house for privacy. "I'm sitting there urinating and then the door just barges open, and it's Sean," Beth said. According to Beth, Carlson "shut the door and he must have locked it," at which point she tried to open it.
"I turn around, and his erect penis is just out of his pants," Beth said. Carlson then allegedly started demanding Beth to "kiss his penis," which she eventually did because she was "super panicked" and wanted to be let go. Carlson, shortly before Beth was able to open the door and leave, also allegedly lifted up her dress "and his erect penis was touching my butt."
Carlson is also alleged to have harassed and forcefully kissed and touched "Sarah," an artist manager, and "Jane," a former publicist.
Carlson’s alleged conduct, according to a man who worked with him from 2006 to 2010 and spoke anonymously, was an “open secret” in the Los Angeles music community. Carlson has since said two of the accounts in Spin's report are either true or "generally true," while disputing the facts of two others. "Incident 4 is true," he said in a statement to Spin. "Incident 3 is generally true, but I did not follow the individual into a bathroom. My conduct in both of these incidents was inexcusable. The descriptions in Incidents 1 and 2 both contain serious misstatements and omissions. However, on both occasions I acted inappropriately and shamefully, and deeply regret my actions."
Carlson added that he's "genuinely, unequivocally sorry." Read his full statement here.