Sweden's forthcoming Statement Festival is definitely saying something. The summer 2018 event will only allow cis women, non-binary and trans women to attend. No men are allowed.
Statement Festival is a direct reaction to a rash of sexual assault and rape cases reported at Sweden's popular festivals Bråvalla and Putte I Parken. Bråvalla 2018 was canceled following 23 reported sexual assaults in 2017 alone.
What started as a tweet from comedienne Emma Knyckare quickly gained traction, culminating in a Kickstarter to raise funds for a female-only festival. The Kickstarter outlines that, in Sweden, it is not illegal to exclude a group based on gender when the exclusion is made in "good intention," here giving female-identifiers a safe place to enjoy music in public. Now that the goal of 500,000 Swedish Kroner, or more than $60,000, has been raised, Statement Festival embarks on the next phase of its journey.
"If you, as a man or woman, are upset by the idea of a men-free festival, you may instead be upset about how many women are asked to stay home [by] friends and family when they plan to go to the festival or elsewhere," organizer Klara writes. "Put your energy on what is actually unfair. You as a man are just offended because you can not do as you like for once, which you are used to."
Specific dates and headliners have not yet been announced. Learn more about Statement Festival via Kickstarter.