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.
Just months earlier, professionals from across the Swedish industry banded together for The Equalizer Project, which hopes to eliminate the gender gap in the music biz, while promoting tolerance and equal opportunities for all creators.