Following a spate of sexual assaults at Swedish festivals so grim and numerous, the attacks made headlines around the globe, one pertinacious Swede has set in motion plans for a women-only festival.
The aptly-titled Statement Festival is the brainchild of comedienne Emma Knyckare, who launched a Kickstarter with a clear mission statement, “At music festivals, everyone should feel safe.”
With a modest target of 500,000 Swedish Kroner, or about A$80,000, it’s been easily reached, the Festival is now pencilled in for the summer of 2018. There’s one hitch (and it’s a big one): only cis women, trans women and those who identify as non-binary are invited. If you’re a guy, tough luck.
Statement Festival was kicked into action after a disturbing string of assaults and rapes were reported at some of the county’s most popular festivals, such as Bravalla and Putte I Parken. Organisers of Bravalla, the country’s Sweden’s biggest music festival, axed the 2018 event after 27 sexual assaults were reporting from its 2017 event. Mumford & Sons headlined the fest in Norrköping in 2016 but vowed never to return following five rapes and, as the band pointed out at the time, a “disgustingly high rate of reported sexual violence.”
It’s no laughing matter, says Knyckare of Statement, which will be the biggest of its kind. “Help us to create a safe space for the people who want to attend a festival without feeling scared for their personal safety,” she explains on the Kickstarter post.