Swedish comedian wants female-only music festival after assaults

Bravalla is a four-day music festival held annually near the Swedish city of Norrkoping.

Story highlights

  • There were 23 reports of sexual assaults at this year's Bravalla festival
  • It prompted organizers to cancel next year's music festival

(CNN)A Swedish comedian wants a music festival with no men allowed after reports of widespread sexual assaults at this year's Bravalla, the country's largest music festival.

Bravalla organizers canceled next year's festival after 23 reports of sexual assaults at this year's event, which ended July 1, police told CNN affiliate Aftonbladet.
    "Some men ... obviously can't behave in an acceptable manner. It's a shame. We have therefore decided not to proceed with Bravalla 2018," the festival's organizer said in a statement.
      The four-day festival draws approximately 50,000 visitors annually. This year featured artists such as the Chainsmokers, Linkin Park and the Killers.
      After a surge of sexual assaults at the festival in recent years, some artists decided to cancel their performances.
      "We won't play at this festival again until we've had assurances from the police and organizers that they're doing something to combat what appears to be a disgustingly high rate of reported sexual violence," Mumford and Sons wrote on Facebook in 2016.
      In response to the cancellation of next year's event, Swedish comedian and radio host Emma Knyckare suggested a different solution: Keep the festival. Just kick out the men.
      Knyckare tweeted in response to the news of the cancellation, "What about organizing a really cool festival where men aren't allowed until ALL men learn how to behave."
      And she was serious.
      "I think it's appalling that half the population is allowed to walk around feeling unsafe. So there will be an alternative next year: A rock festival where women can feel completely safe," she told Aftonbladet.
      Bravalla has become a venue for frequent reports of sexual assaults. Bracelets with "Don't Grope" were handed out at last year's festival in response.
      "Who is doing the raping? Well, it's men. So why not organize a festival without men?" Knyckare told Aftonbladet.
      "Surely it must be reasonable to shut out men for three days when women are discriminated against all the time. I don't think you can compare assault to not being able to attend a festival," she said.
        Knyckare isn't the first to suggest a female-only music festival. In 1997, singer Sarah McLachlan founded the Lilith Fair tour that featured only female performers.
        We may be seeing a successor to Lilith Fair soon, as Knynckare assured her fans, "It's not yet clear when the festival is taking place, but it's happening."