Recent media reporting has highlighted that incidents of sexual violence frequently occur at live music events. Sexual violence has significant impacts on the health of those who experience it, yet little is known of how it impacts on everyday engagements with music, nor what measures venues and promoters might take to prevent and respond to incidents. Through interviews with concert goers, venue managers, promoters and campaigning groups, we investigated experiences of sexual violence at indie, rock, punk and funk gigs in small venues in one English city. We show that sexual violence at live music events significantly impacts on (predominantly) women’s musical participation. We argue that venues and promoters must work proactively to create musical communities that act as a defence against the normalisation of sexual violence, taking inspiration from safer space policies.