Sexual Assault: Sweden Is Getting a Man-Free Music Festival 'Until Men Learn to Behave'

A police officer is seen at the campsite at Bravalla Festival in Norrkoping, Sweden July 1, 2016. The festival will not open in 2018 following a string of sexual assault reports. TT News Agency/Izabelle Nordfjell/Reuters

Sweden's music festival scene has been blighted by a string of sexual assault allegations, with a major festival cancelling over the issue. On Saturday, the country's largest festival, Bråvalla, announced it would not be holding an event in 2018, after police said they had received reports of four rapes and 23 sexual assaults following this year's outing.

Now, a comedian from the country thinks she has the answer: a man-free music festival.

Emma Knyckare, a Swedish comedy performer and radio presenter, floated the idea in a tweet at the weekend, The Local reported.

"What do you think about putting together a really cool festival where only non-men are welcome, that we'll run until ALL men have learned how to behave themselves?" she wrote.

Knyckare subsequently confirmed via her Instagram account that she'd gained enough support to get plans in place for a festival in 2018.

"Sweden's first man-free rock festival will see the light next summer," she said. "In the coming days I'll bring together a solid group of talented organizers and project leaders to form the festival organizers, then you'll hear from everyone again when it's time to move forward."

As well as Bråvalla, the We Are STHLM young people's festival in the Swedish capital also faced sexual assault allegations in 2014 and 2015.

Sexual assault at music festivals isn't just a Swedish problem, though. On May 8, 28 British music festivals staged an online "blackout," replacing their websites for 24 hours with the message #saferspacesatfestivals to support a campaign raising awareness of the issue.

The world-famous Glastonbury festival in the U.K. opened a space exclusively for people who self-identify as women in 2016. "The producers of The Sisterhood believe that women-only spaces are necessary in a world that is still run by and designed to benefit mainly men," organizers said at the time.

In the U.S., the women-only Michigan Womyn's Music Festival ran annually from 1976, but closed down in 2015 following controversy over its treatment of transgender artists.