Swedish government rules women-only music festival guilty of discrimination

“It’s sad that what 5,000 women experienced as a life-changing festival made a few cis men lose it completely.”

December 19, 2018
Swedish government rules women-only music festival guilty of discrimination Women attend the Statement Festival at Bananpiren in Gothenburg, Sweden, on August 31, 2018   FRIDA WINTER/AFP/Getty

Statement Festival, a Swedish festival for "women, non-binary, and transgender [people] only,” has been found guilty of gender discrimination by the country's government. Sweden’s Discrimination Ombudsman ruled that the festival broke the law by “discouraging a certain group from attending the event,” according to The Guardian.

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A press officer for the ombudsman added: “These [infringements relate to] statements made before the festival, that they wrote on their website. Still, we haven’t been able to prove that someone would have been discriminated against in connection with the implementation or that someone would have been rejected.” No penalties will be imposed on organizers of Statement Fest.

The two-day Statement Festival took place in Gothenburg in August and was “launched as a response to the countless abuse of women [that] had taken place at music festivals,” according to festival organizers. In 2017 police received four rape and 23 sexual assault reports at Sweden's largest festival, Bravalla. That event was cancelled in 2018 as a result.

Statement responded on Instagram, writing in Swedish: “It’s sad that what 5,000 women, non-binaries, and transgender [people] experienced as a life-changing festival made a few cis men lose it completely. The success of the Statement Festival shows that is exactly what we need and the DO’s verdict doesn’t change this fact. Otherwise, we have no comments. We are busy changing the world."


Swedish government rules women-only music festival guilty of discrimination