In a world of Bro-chella and other very terrible “high-end” and male-dominated music festivals, Sweden is trying something rather refreshing: a festival with no men at all.
But the Themyscira-esque idea isn’t completely random. It’s a response to the danger that women face at music festivals.
Over the weekend, Bråvalla, Sweden’s biggest music festival, announced that it was canceling its 2018 edition in light of reports of several sexual assault and rape cases at this year’s festival, which took place from June 28 to July 1. A staggering 23 sexual assaults and four rapes were reported at Bråvalla, and last year, five rapes and 12 sexual assaults were reported, causing Mumford and Sons to boycott the festival. Festival organizers told The Guardian, “Certain men … apparently cannot behave. It’s a shame. We have therefore decided to cancel Bråvalla 2018.”
But after Swedish radio personality Emma Knyckare tweeted a very popular suggestion to have a music festivals only open to non-men “until all men have learned how to behave” (trust us, that’s what the above tweet says) it seems something clicked. Knyckare later posted on Instagram that “Sweden’s first man-free rock festival will see the light next summer,” promising to bring together a team of festival organizers.
If the Alamo Drafthouse’s women-only screening of Wonder Woman is any indication, Bråvalla will most likely come under some intense fire from uh, #NotAllMen-ass angry dudes who haven’t personally sexually assaulted anyone so why should they be punished by this reverse sexism!!! Still, while I have never been to one of the bigger music festivals because I’m not really one for paying a lot of money to be around large groups of wasted people and Port-o-Potties, a music festival without men does sound much less stressful. Sexual assault is a big issue at music festivals, one that often flies under the radar. Hopefully this will encourage organizers of other festivals to also figure out more effective ways to protect their guests.