The summer festival season in Sweden is over for the year but reports claim that there were over 150 cases of sex attacks including 20 rapes at various festivals around the country.
There were a total of 150 sex assaults at the 20 festivals in Sweden in 2017 according to figures collected by the Swedish police. Many festivals saw a rise in attacks since last year with the Malmöfestivalen in Malmö seeing 30 attacks, up from 18 in 2016, Metro reports.
Härnösands Stadsfest had the highest increase in sex attacks with 22 cases reported compared to only one last year. The Putte in Parken Karlstad festival and the Trästock Festival were the only festivals to see a dramatic decrease in attacks. Putte in Parken reported 40 attacks last year which shrank to four this year and the Trästock Festival went from 14 cases to five.
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The Bråvalla Festival, which has since been cancelled and will not take place next year, had a total of 23 reported sex assaults but also four rapes. Organisers of the festival said that they had attempted to stop the attacks but to no avail and announced the cancellation of next year’s event in response.
Thomas Nyberg, local police district manager in southern Ångermanland, dealt with cases at the Härnösands Stadsfest festival and said many of the attacks occurred in crowded open areas which made it difficult to prevent them.
Whilst the Bravalla Festival organisers have chosen to cancel their festival, others have offered alternatives to prevent further sex attacks. Feminist Emma Knyckare proposed creating a festival that would negate the possibility of sex attacks by simply not allowing any men to either attend or perform at the event.
“It was an idea I had for all those men who rape at festivals … this was a solution,” Knyckare said and told media that she already had people on board to organise the festival which she expects will occur next summer.
In 2016, a report from non-profit organisation The Night Shift claimed there had been a 1,000 per cent rise in sex attacks whilst another report revealed that many of the perpetrators of the attacks came from migrant backgrounds.