During this year’s summer festival circuit, a number of rapes and sexual assaults took place. One of Sweden’s biggest festivals, Bråvalla, saw four rapes and 23 sexual assaults reported. In the year previous, five rapes and 12 sexual assaults were documented. The festival’s event, originally planned for summer 2018, was cancelled following the attack reports.
Now, following a very successful crowdfunding campaign, it looks like Sweden will be the home of the first ‘women-only’ music festival, offering a safe space for women who just wish to enjoy music without physical threat. Titled Statement Festival, the idea for the event was first proposed by Emma Knyckare, a Swedish comedian, last year.
The Kickstarter campaign smashed its original target of cash to make 500,000 kroner (£46,840), with 3,000 donors. The money will be used to book the location, security and artists, as well as other general costs for large scale events.
“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,” the campaign site reads. “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.”
Statement Festival will cater to up to 100,000 punters, welcoming self-defining cis women, trans women and non-binary people, as the Independent reports.
Women-only and queer spaces exist at festivals like Glastonbury: the ‘revolutionary clubhouse’ ran by The Sisterhood debuted at the 2016 event as an intersectional, inclusive, accessible space with live music, DJs and workshops.
Last year, Nattskiftet, an anti-rape organisation, was one of many charities in Sweden that called out the serious lack of security, safety framework and support by music events: “Festival organisers must take this seriously. After quite some time, they're on their way to understanding it. But very little is happening.”
Fuck yes, see you at Statement Festival 2018.