To Top

Sweden Pushes Back Against Festival Rape Culture

There were four reports of rape and 23 of sexual assault, read police reports at the Swedish music festival Bravalla, which ran Wednesday, June 28 to Saturday, July 1.

Sexual assaults have become a sort of epidemic for Sweden – and its music festivals.

A New Year’s Eve music festival, Malmö, held in Stockholm, had a record of large counts of previously unreported sexual harassment and assault cases, in addition to several arrests of young men for sexual molestation. A unique modus operandi was identified by festival officials.

Head of Events at the Stockholm City Administration, Roger Ticoalu, said, “it was a modus operandi we had never seen before: large groups of young men who surround girls and molest them.”

Now, concert goers, musicians and officials are tired of the harassment and ready to take a stand. It is time for this organized harassment, molestation, and assault to stop. And stop they shall.

In response to the aggressive culture of sexual assault at these festivals, Bravalla, run by German company FKP Scorpio, was cancelled. FKP Scorpio has now officially and publically canceled next year’s event.

The final decision had been made after a woman concert goer reported being raped Friday of the festival.  A press release on the festival’s official website commented on the incident directly, “This is not OK. We do not accept this at our festival. Therefore, we have decided not to organise Bravalla 2018.”

“Words cannot describe how incredibly sad we are about this,” they continued, “and we most seriously regret and condemn this.”

Swedish comedian and radio host Emma Knyckare responded to these events with a proposal to challenge this culture of sexual assault. The comedian’s response – a women-only music festival.

The idea, while gaining quite a bit of controversy, has attracted a wide set of supporters who agree that there is a need for a major change.

In May of this year, Rolling Stone reported more that 25 UK-based music festivals took part in a zero-tolerance campaign against sexual assault.

2016 Bravalla Festival headliner and internationally-acclaimed band Mumford and Sons issued a public refusal to play at Bravalla again until, as reported by BBC News, festival officials and police take action to “combat what appears to be a disgustingly high rate of reported sexual violence.”

As reported by Digital Music News, Knyckare said that creating a safe environment for women is what’s most important.

FKP Scorpio shared sentiments that weren’t so different. “It was a shame,” they said, ”that some men couldn’t behave properly.”

“Sexual abuse continues to occur,” said the press release on Bravalla’s website, “We have seen it at our and other festivals in recent years and it is a huge social problem that affects every part of our society. Definitely not just festivals. There are about one hundred rapes committed every day in Sweden and it is a challenge the society at large needs to deal with. We are working actively to eradicate this darkness.”

Kynckare’s woman-only music festival is said to be scheduled for summer of 2018.

Featured Image by karlafg on Flickr
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Be Informed