Sweden’s Bråvalla music festival announced on Saturday that it would not be holding an event in 2018 due to reports of four rapes and 23 sexual assaults in this year’s festival. In response, radio presenter and comedian Emma Knyckare posed the idea of a men-free music festival over twitter.
“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?” she wrote.
The idea quickly gained overwhelming support and Knyckare has since stated that she’s in the process of bringing together a team to put on the festival next summer.
To provide a safe space for women to enjoy music festivals is the most important response to Bråvalla but the problem of sexual violence still looms large over how this can be fostered at music festivals all around the world. Just earlier this year at Tasmania’s Falls Festival there were reports of five incidences of sexual assault. Music festivals should take steps to form a culture of care and safety for their guests and unfortunately for Bråvalla that meant closing their doors for a year.
For those waiting for the end of winter and the start of festival season: stay safe and look after your friends.