Swedish police received at least 23 reports of sexual assault and four reports of rape all in four days. The Bråvalla 2018 music festival has been cancelled in response.
A damper on the fun
CEO of FKP Scorpio, the production company based in Germany that runs the music festival, expressed in a statement that “I’ve had it”, he went on to say, “Violence kills the festival experience and the love for music, and — first and foremost: People are getting hurt. One is one too much!”
The first report is said have been come in on Friday from a woman who was allegedly raped while the festival headliners, Håkan Hellström, were on stage performing.
By Sunday the Post had recorded the incidents at 11 sexual assaults and one rape. The numbers rose since. Police Chief Martin Hedberg told the Guardian newspaper, that the reports cited “weak descriptions” of the accused. There is very little information for the police to investigate.
A persistent problem
There is an increase in sexual assaults at music festivals worldwide. This behavior isn’t unusual for the Swedish music festival. Bråvalla saw five rapes and 12 sexual assault cases in 2016. And on the very same weekend at another Swedish music festival, Putte i Parken in Karlstad, there were 32 incidents of sexual harassment reported by women at the event.
Leif Nystrom, Karlstad Police Department Inspector told the New York Times, “These were reports of women being touched in unwanted places, such as on their breasts and on their bottoms and inside their underwear.”
Bråvalla organizers’ decision to cancel next year’s festival wasn’t about inability to prevent sexual violation or running from the problem, it’s about “making a clear statement.”
The FKP Scorpio’s event organizers said “We do not accept [sexual assault] at our festival.” Implying that until the problem ceases, there is a possibility the organization may never hold the popular festival again.