Statement festival, a Swedish event labelled as ‘the worlds first major music festival for women, non-binary and transgender’ people, has been found guilty of discrimination.
The event, created after a string of rapes and sexual assaults committed at two of Sweden’s largest festivals, was led by a collection of women are seeking change and launched in August.
A Kickstarter campaign reached its funding target of 500,000 kronor (£47,000) which allowed Swedish comedian Emma Knyckare to organise the “man-free” event which stipulated that any males would be confined to a ‘man pen’ in a backstage area, according to reports.
Now, however, Sweden’s Discrimination Ombudsman (DO) ruled that describing an event as “male-free” violated anti-discrimination laws and festival organizers have been condemned for their ns.
“It is important to point out what an infringement is. These are the statements made before the festival, what they wrote on their website,” DO Class Lundstedt said in a statement.
“Still, we haven’t been able to prove that someone would have been discriminated against in connection with the implementation or that someone would have been rejected.”
Responding to the news, Statement Festival said: “It’s sad that what 5,000 women, non-binaries and transgender experienced as a life-changing festival, made a few cis-men lose it completely.
“The success of the Statement festival shows that is exactly what we need, and the DO’s verdict doesn’t change this fact. Otherwise, we have no comments. We are busy changing the world.”
The festival was in reaction to the news that Bravalla, the current largest music festival in Sweden, was cancelled the 2018 event after four rape claims among multiple reports of sexual assault.
Outrage has followed an official police statement in the south-eastern district of Östergötland after it claimed the officers received four rape and 23 sexual assault reports – all of which took place between Thursday and Sunday.
It is believed another woman, who filled a report, said she was forced against her will to have sex with a man after she changed her mind.
“Certain men apparently cannot behave. It’s a shame. We have therefore decided to cancel Bråvalla 2018,” the festival’s organisers said.
“Words cannot describe how incredibly sad we are about this, and we most seriously regret and condemn this,” German organisers FKP Scorpio said a press release on the festival’s website.