[Ed. – How will disinviting men to the concert prevent them from hooking up with concert-goers afterwards?]
Matilda Hagerman laughs with her friends as she queues at a man-free music festival, which kicked off in Sweden on Friday in protest against a wave of sexual assaults at festivals in recent years.
“This festival was necessary because of everything that happened during festivals last year,” says the 27-year-old student with long pink hair and purple lipstick as her friends nod in agreement.
Held in Sweden’s second-largest city of Gothenburg, the two-day Statement Festival, forbids men but not transgender people. It was announced last year after police received four rape and 23 sexual assault reports at Sweden’s largest Bravalla Festival, which was cancelled this year as a result.
“What do you think about us creating an awesome festival where only non-men are welcome until ALL men learn how to behave?” Swedish comedian Emma Knyckare, who founded the Statement Festival, tweeted at the time.
Located inside an industrial building in Gothenburg’s harbour, only female bands are performing and neither male security guards nor journalists are allowed to enter.