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19 Nov, 2017 16:19

Dates set for first ‘man free’ festival in Sweden, tickets to go on sale in December

Dates set for first ‘man free’ festival in Sweden, tickets to go on sale in December

The first man-free music event organized in response to sexual offences at concerts in Sweden will be held at the end of next summer. Tickets will be available in just two weeks, according to an announcement ironically released on International Men’s Day.

Swedish comedian Emma Knyckare came up with the idea of a man-free music festival in July after the cancellation of the Bravalla Festival amid reports of sexual assaults and allegations of rape. Back then, the comedian suggested having a “really cool festival where only non-men are welcome,” but did not imagine the support and fundraising success her idea would have.

Apart from women, the event, called Statement Festival, will also welcome non-binary and trans people, and will be held from August 31 to September 1 in Gothenburg. The date and venue of the event were disclosed on International Men’s Day – November 19.

Announcing the event on their official social media accounts, the organizers said they are presenting some “more important” dates than International Men’s Day.

“We thought it was an appropriate day to talk about it – a reminder of the issues women still face from men,” Knyckare told the Local. 

Some organization details are still to be figured out, such as how to prevent men from entering. Still, the creators believe that it is important to allow trans men to come as they are “exposed to violence, hate and threats based on prevailing norms in our society.” 

“We do not claim that Statement Festival is the solution to the problems with the sexual violence – it’s a reaction to it,” the event’s website says, adding that its team hopes the event will “not be necessary” in the future.

Sweden has faced a wave of sexual offence allegations at popular music events. In July, the annual Bravalla Festival was cancelled due to reports of four cases of rape and 22 cases of molestation. In August, Swedish police confirmed that four teenage girls reported being raped at a festival in the town of Emmaboda, and 11 other women experienced sexual abuse there.