Sweden's First 'Man-Free' Music Festival Is Actually Happening

© James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock
© James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock | © James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock

Music Editor

Sweden is set to hold its first ‘women-only’ music festival next year after a funding campaign secured its target of £47,000.

Comedian Emma Knyckare came up with the idea after several music festivals in Sweden were hit by allegations of sexual assault and rape.

She launched a Kickstarter campaign for a ‘man-free’ event called Statement Festival, which has since reached its original target of 500,000 kronor (£46,840), with donations from over 3,000 people.

A statement on the fundraising page reads: ‘At music festivals, everyone should feel safe. This sounds obvious, right? Still, year after year the music festivals around the world have shown us the opposite.

‘Statement Festival wants to change this and in the summer of 2018, we will arrange the world’s most awesome music festival – without cis-men. Help us to create a safe space for the people who want to attend a festival without feeling scared for their personal safety.’

The money raised will go to covering costs including paying artists, renting space for the association, running the festival and security.

Next year’s Bråvalla, Sweden’s largest music festival, was cancelled after four reports of rape and 23 sexual assaults which allegedly took place this summer.

Organisers told AFP: ‘Certain men… apparently cannot behave. It’s a shame. We have therefore decided to cancel Bråvalla 2018.’

Last year, Mumford and Sons released a statement saying they wouldn’t perform at the festival again until they had assurances that fans could be protected.
While Swedish singer Zara Larsson added: ‘Damn you people who shamelessly rape a girl in public. Damn you guys who make a girl feel unsafe when they go to a festival.’

Swedish prime minister Stefan Lofven told Expressen newspaper: ‘This must stop.’

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