‘Man-Free’ Music Festival Planned After Wave Of Sexual Assaults In Sweden

UPDATE 20/12/18: ‘Women-Only’ Music Festival Found Guilty Of Discrimination In Sweden

ORIGINAL STORY: A ‘man-free’ music festival is being planned in Sweden, after a wave of sexual assaults led to the cancellation of the country’s Bråvalla festival earlier this week.

Police received reports of 23 sexual assaults and four instances of rape at this year’s Bråvalla festival, which will no longer take place in 2018. In its place, Swedish comedian and radio host Emma Knyckare is organising a new ‘man-free’ event.

“What do you think about putting together a really cool festival where only non-men are welcome?” Knyckare said on Twitter, adding that her event would take place “until all men have learned how to behave”.

As the BBC reports, Knyckare later confirmed plans for the festival, saying, “Sweden’s first man-free rock festival will see the light next summer.

“In the coming days I’ll bring together a solid group of talented organisers and project leaders to form the festival organisers, then you’ll hear from everyone again when it’s time to move forward.”

Knyckare has denied that banning men from her festival would be unfair, telling Sweden’s Aftonbladet, “Since it seems to be OK to discriminate against women all the time, maybe it’s OK to shut out men for three days? I would not exactly call it an abuse not to come to the festival.”

Five rapes and 12 cases of sexual assault were reported at Bråvalla festival last year. In Australia, 2017 has already seen assaults reported at festivals like Rainbow Serpent Festival, UNIFY Gathering and Falls Festival.

The idea of ‘man-free’ areas at music festivals isn’t new; Glastonbury Festival introduced its first-ever female-only venue called The Sisterhood last year.

If you need assistance, 1800 RESPECT – the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service — can be reached on 1800 737 732, while Lifeline can be reached on 13 11 14.

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