fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Minister: No rise in sex attacks at Swedish fests

Despite multiple sexual assaults at two Swedish festivals last summer, the incidence of sexual harassment at live music events in Sweden is less frequent than it was two decades ago, interior minister Anders Ygeman has said.

Speaking yesterday at concert industry conference Sweden Live, Ygeman said: “Sexual molestation at festivals is, in my eyes, less common now than 20 years ago.”

The minister’s views were echoed by Kristina Ljungros, chairwoman of sex-education nonprofit RFSU, who said her organisation does “not believe that crimes have increased”. Ljungros, who joined Ygemen, FKP Scorpio’s Kajsa Apelqvist and We Are Stockholm’s Eve Widgren on a panel discussion on sexual harassment at concerts, added, however, that “it’s good we’re talking about it now” and that “we all have a responsibility” to prevent sexual assaults, reports SVT.

“Sexual molestation at festivals is, in my eyes, less common now than 20 years ago”

Widgren, meanwhile, said “sensational” media reporting has contributed to a sense that sexual assaults are on the rise in Sweden, even if that’s not the case.

More than 35 sex attacks were reported at the Putte i Parken festival in the first weekend of July, with a similar spate of assaults also affecting FKP Scorpio’s Bråvalla festival the same weekend.

FKP Scorpio chief executive Folkert Koopmans later clarified to IQ that of the five initial reports of rape at Bråvalla, two were withdrawn and three would be better described as sexual harassment. “Swedish women are encouraged to stand up and report any type of sexual harassment – much more so compared to most other countries,” he explained. “As a result we receive a high number of reported rapes and other incidents.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Over 35 sexual assaults reported at Swedish fest

At least 35 young women were sexually assaulted at a Swedish music festival last weekend.

Radio station P4 Värmland reports that police received 24 complaints from attendees at the final day of Putte i Parken (‘Party in the Park’) in Karlstad on Saturday, with a further 11 people coming forward since.

Speaking to Swedish news agency TT, Varmland police officer Per-Arne Eriksson said the victims were exclusively girls and young women and the perpetrators groups of teenage boys. The youngest victim was 12 years old.

One victim, 17-year-old Alexandra Larsson, said she felt a man approach her from behind and put his hands between her legs. “Luckily, I had jeans on, but I just thought, ‘God, what would have happened [if I didn’t]’,” she told Aftonbladet.

“I was standing and dancing when a guy came up to me from behind and held me down and started humping against my body,” another 15-year-old victim told the Expressen. “It was horrible.”

“I was standing and dancing when a guy came up to me from behind and held me down”

The mother of the 15-year-old said security at the event failed to take reports of sexual assault seriously. Breitbart reports that “the promoter” of Putte i Parken called the behaviour of security staff “unacceptable” and said they should lose their security licences.

IQ has contacted festival director Frida Persson for comment.

The anti-immigration Fria Tider (Free Times) reports that seven of the perpetrators were “foreign young men”, and the eighth “a younger man who speaks Swedish”. (“We think he may be Swedish, but he has dark hair, so we do not know,” says the paper.)

The attacks echo those at Schlossgrabenfest in May, at which small groups of men “from the South Asian region” surrounded women attending the festival and groped them in the crowds in front of the main stage.

Europe, Dolores Haze and The Quireboys headlined Putte in Parken, which took place 30 June to 2 July in the Mariebergsskogen park.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.