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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chief executive Folkert Koopmans later clarified to IQ that of the five initial reports of rape at Bråvalla, two were withdrawn and three would be better described as sexual harassment.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.”

 


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Swedish hitmakers form rights education group

Swedish songwriters Björn Ulvaeus, Max Martin and Niclas Molinder have announced the formation of the Music Rights Awareness Foundation, an international, “apolitical” organisation aiming to educate music creators on their intellectual property rights.

Ulvaeus, one quarter of Abba; Martin, a six-time Ascap songwriter of the year, third behind only Lennon and McCartney for the most №1 singles for a songwriter/producer; and Molinder, who has written, produced and remixed for Ashley Tisdale, Lady Gaga and Willow Smith under the name Twin, already work together as co-owners of digital rights platform Auddly.

“Information and education [are] obviously always key and I am hoping Music Rights Awareness, together with others, will help the creative community help themselves in the challenges ahead,” says Martin.

“There is an ignorance when it comes to rights among both songwriters and the industry… with Music Rights Awareness we can help the world’s musicians at a broader level”

Molinder says the project’s genesis came after realising, “while working together, […] there is an ignorance when it comes to rights among both songwriters and the industry. We are convinced that many of the legal disputes that are now underway could have been averted, and with Music Rights Awareness we can help the world’s musicians at a broader level.”

The foundation’s first project will be Music Rights in Africa, an educational programme targeting musicians in Malawi, Rwanda and Tanzania. “African writers should be on par with Americans in terms of having the same knowledge,” Ulvaeus tells Billboard. “In many areas of the world, the concept of copyright is relatively new and MRA can do something really important.”

 


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