Swedish festival cancelled after multiple sexual assault claims

Sweden’s biggest music festival, Bråvalla, has cancelled its 2018 event after a report of rape and multiple sexual assault claims at this year’s event.

Police in Norrkoping, the Swedish town where Bråvalla is held, received 11 reports of sexual assault this year. Officers say the rape victim was attacked while Swedish group Håkan Hellström performed on the Friday night.

The organisers released a statement announcing that next year’s event won’t be taking place after numerous sexual abuse claims were made during the festival. In 2016, five reports of rape were made over the course of the event.

The festival was headlined at the weekend by System of a Down, Linkin Park, Alesso and The Killers. Mumford and Sons, the British folk rock band, said they would not play the festival again following their 2016 slot, unless something is done about the high rate of reported sexual violence.

“We’re appalled to hear what happened at the Bråvalla Festival last weekend. Festivals are a celebration of music and people, a place to let go and feel safe doing so. We’re gutted by these hideous reports. We won’t play at this festival again until we’ve had assurances from the police and organisers that they’re doing something to combat what appears to be a disgustingly high rate of reported sexual violence,” said the band in their statement.

According to the BBC, the company which organises Bråvalla Festival, FKP Scorpio, said they did not think I was safe to put on another event.

“Words cannot describe how incredibly sad we are about this, and we most seriously regret and condemn this,” stated the press release on the festival’s website. “This is not OK. We do not accept this at our festival. Therefore, we have decided not to organise Bravalla 2018.”

In May, more than 25 UK music festivals turned off their websites for 24 hours as part of The Association of Independent Festivals’ (AIF) zero-tolerance campaign to bring awareness to sexual assault at outdoor events.