While music festivals would ideally be considered safe spaces for anyone in attendance, it’s sadly more often the opposite, as people find themselves vulnerable to attacks whether in the moshpit or back at their campsites.
Now, as Billboard reports, a large-scale music festival in Sweden has had to call off its 2018 event featuring performances from Kanye West, Iron Maiden and more, due to a spate of sexual assaults reported by its attendees, culminating in a rape reported to police on Friday.
Police have said that they have so far received 11 additional cases of sexual assault in relation to the festival, which took place over the weekend, despite organisers’ claims they had worked to prevent such occurrences.
Bravalla festival took to social media to thank fans, while also lamenting (as translated by Facebook) “a frustrating, gloomy, strange, sad and rainy festival”, adding in a separate announcement that “some men — because we are talking about men — apparently can’t behave. It’s a shame.”
“Even if we don’t see each other next year, I’ll see you soon,” they continued. “Until then, we hope you take care of each other. Suffocate the hatred and let the music prevail!”
Sweden Prime Minister Stefan Lofven held a press conference following the event, Billboard reports, arguing for more surveillance and swifter punishment as he told the public “these are disgusting acts. We must stop this.”
The event’s future beyond 2018 remains uncertain, while on Australian soil authorities and festival organisers are facing similar struggles to stamp out abuse at music events. Some present drone surveillance as a potential solution, while festivals like Rainbow Serpent are doing everything they can to provide a safer space for their attendees following numerous reports of assault in previous years.