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Swedish music festival cancelled for 2018 following rape and sexual assault reports

Four rapes and 23 sexual assaults were reported at last weekend’s festival

Bravalla Festival 2017
Bravalla Festival 2017
Image: Pontus Lundahl/PA Images

SWEDEN’S LARGEST MUSIC festival has been cancelled for 2018 after a number of rapes and sexual assaults were reported at this year’s event.

This year, the Bravalla festival was headlined by The Killers, Linkin Park, Alesso and System of a Down.

Police in the southeastern district of Ostergotland, where the festival took place, said it received four rape and 23 sexual assault reports between last Thursday and Sunday at the event.

A woman said she was raped after changing her mind about having consensual sex with a man.

The festival organisers have released a statement announcing that next year’s event has been cancelled.

“Certain men… apparently cannot behave. It’s a shame. We have therefore decided to cancel Bravalla 2018,” the organisers said.

‘This must stop’

Chief police investigator Martin Hedberg said there are currently no suspects in the reported cases.

“Many reports [of sexual assaults] come after they’ve happened so there are weak descriptions [of the suspects] and nothing more to go on,” he told AFP.

Last year, local media reported that five women were allegedly raped at the four-day camping festival.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven slammed the incidents over the weekend and called for stronger surveillance at festivals.

“This is so disgusting. These are obnoxious acts by deplorable men,” Lofven told the Swedish newspaper Expressen.

This must stop

He said the government was in talks with the police for beefing up surveillance at such events.

Last year, the police were accused of withholding information about alleged sexual assaults against women by young immigrants at a Stockholm summer music festival in 2014 and 2015.

FKP Scorpio, the German owner of the Bravalla festival, has blamed last year’s incidents on a drop in ticket sales.

The festival sold around 45,000 tickets this year compared to 52,000 last year.

‘Appalled’ 

Mumford and Sons published a statement on their Facebook page condemning the assaults.
https://www.facebook.com/mumfordandsons/posts/10154373458853793

“We’re appalled to hear what happened at the Bravalla Festival last weekend. Festivals are a celebration of music and people, a place to let go and feel safe doing so,” the band said.

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 disgusting high rate of reported sexual violence.

With reporting by AFP

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