Woman-only music festival to take place in Sweden

After a music festival was cancelled following sexual assault reports, Swedish comedienne Emma Knyckare wrote a tweet, launched a Kickstarter, and founded Statement Festival, a women-only music event. 

Catherine Edwards
Catherine Edwards NewsMavens, Sweden
Woman-only music festival to take place in Sweden - NewsMavens
Emma Knyckare, YouTube

Why this story matters:

"What do you think about putting together a really cool festival where only non-men are welcome that we'll run until ALL men have learned how to behave themselves?" Emma Knyckare wrote on Twitter. At first it was just an idea, but now the festival is a reality and will take place in about one month.

Not only will the audience be made up solely of cis-women, transgender men and non-binary people, but these groups will also make up the entire line-up and a large part of the backstage efforts from publicity to staging. Male members of the crew will be confined to a specific area of the venue.

Knyckare has received a lot of backlash for this over the last year, both from people questioning the inclusion of transgender men and from those who criticize the idea of the festival itself. For her part, she says the festival isn't a solution to the problem of sexual violence but a temporary response, and at least offers women a safe space. 

In the interview recommended below, Knyckare explains her hopes for the event, and what she thinks others can learn from it.

Details from the story:

  • Knyckare first wrote the tweet on July 2 last year, and Statement Festival begins on August 31 this year.
  • Over 7,000 people are expected to attend.
  • More than 150 sexual assaults were reported at music festivals in Sweden in 2017, and the phenomenon has also been reported in many other European countries, including France and the UK.
  • Statement Festival secured its funding through a Kickstarter campaign backed by more than 3,000 people.
  • Meanwhile, the Bråvalla festival has been shut down for good after initially cancelling the 2018 edition following the reports of rape and assault last year.
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Karolina ZbytniewskaEuractiv, Europe
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