Thanks to men who “can’t behave,” Bravalla Festival won’t see a 2018 edition.
Bravalla Festival organizers have shut down next year’s event. This comes after Sweden has seen an uncontrollable epidemic of sexual assaults and rapes at music festivals across the country.
Last year, at just two music festivals, people reported more than forty cases of rapes and sexual assault. Bravalla Festival saw five incidents of rape and twelve sexual assault reports. At Putte I Parken, police received thirty-five sexual assault claims.
The youngest victim was twelve years old.
A friend of the youngest sexual assault victim initially pleaded for help with bouncers at the festival. However, the pleas went unanswered as bouncers mostly ignored the charges. Speaking with Sweden’s AftonBladet newspaper, the unnamed friend decried the attack.
“A guy ran his hand between the legs of one of my friends. When she went to a bouncer, she was asked if she was drunk. I don’t know what the bouncers are doing there if they can’t help when people do this.”
Another claimed that a young male started dry-humping against her body.
At this year’s Bravalla Festival, police received eleven cases of sexual assault and one rape. The event took place between June 28 to July 1.
Following these claims, Bravalla Festival organizers had no choice but to cancel the 2018 event.
Organizers had attempted to prevent rapes and sexual assaults at this year’s event. However, they said,
“Some men — because we are talking about men — apparently can’t behave. It’s a shame.”
The music festival is Sweden’s largest music festival. It was first inaugurated in 2013. Kanye West, Robbie Williams, Iron Maiden and Wiz Khalifa, among others, have previously headlined past events. Over 50,000 festivalgoers have attended the Bravalla Festival each year.
In a statement on their website, organizers lamented the sexual abuses and rapes. They said (roughly translated),
“We have done everything in our power to prevent and secure safe festival experience for our visitors… With that said, sexual abuse continues to occur.
“‘I’ve had it. Violence kills the festival experience and the love for music, and – first and foremost: people are getting hurt. One is one too much !,’ says Folkert Koopmans owner [and] founder of the Bråvalla Festival. Therefore, we have decided not to make Bråvalla 2018.”
The statement admits that hundreds of cases of rapes are reported in Sweden every day.
Stefan Lofven, Sweden’s Prime Minister, decried last year’s attacks against women at music festivals. Lofven ensured that he would tighten laws on sexual assault across the country.
Speaking out about attacks against women, educator Kat Stuehrk urged festival organizers to do more to prevent similar cases. She works with Rape Victim Advocates, a non-profit organization which helps sexual assault survivors. In a statement to the Huffington Post, Stuehrk said,
“It’s time for festival organizers, musicians, and music fans to prioritize this issue, and take responsibility for preventing sexual violence at music festivals, so that everyone can have a good time.”
Image by Karl af Geijerstam (CC by 3.0)