Sunday, 2 July 2017
Swedish music festival is cancelled for 2018 after spate of rape cases
Organizers of Sweden’s Bråvalla annual music festival have decided to call off the 2018 event after this year’s festival was marred by sexual violence. Police say they are looking into over a dozen reports of molestation and at least four cases of rape. Swedish police have confirmed they are investigating four potential rapes and some 22 counts of molestation reported on the grounds of the three-day musical festival, which concluded July 1 near the southern Swedish town of Norrkoping.
A teenage girl was reportedly sexually assaulted at a performance by local musician Håkan Hellström on Friday, police said Saturday, adding that they are also looking into multiple reports of molestation. As news of the incident hit the headlines, the company in charge of the festival, FKP Scorpio, issued a statement, denouncing the violence and announcing that the event was being cancelled next year.
“Words cannot describe how incredibly sad we are about this, and we most seriously regret and condemn this. This is not f**ing okay. We do not accept this at our festival,” the statement reads.
Saying that they have done “everything in our power,” to prevent sexual violence at the festival, the organizers argued that the problem itself goes far beyond Bråvalla and music festivals in general, and concerns Sweden as a whole.
“It is a huge social problem that affects every part of our society. Absolutely not just festivals. There are about a hundred rapes every day in Sweden and it is a challenge that society has to face,” the organizers said.
The company denied media reports that event’s cancellation was triggered by financial losses it suffered last year and not security or ethical concerns.
“Obviously, it’s not good financially to run a festival associated so strongly with violence and insecurity. But to say that we use violence as an excuse for not doing it next year is remarkable and cynical speculation,” the company said in a press release, cited by Expressen. Sex crime allegations, meanwhile, continued to pile up, with police announcing Sunday that another three women had reported incidents to law enforcement.