Skip to main content

Founder of women-only festival, Statement, guilty of gender discrimination

But the Swedish event will not be penalised... 

The founder of women-only festival, Statement, has been found guilty of gender discrimination. 

The event took place in the Swedish city of Gothenburg in August, and was billed as the world's first major festival solely for women, non-binary and transgender people.

A crowdfunding campaign raised over £46,000 to make the debut edition possible, which was conceived in reaction to sexual assaults at other events, including 2017's Bråvalla, the biggest of its kind in Sweden, during which there were 23 reported incidents and four instances of rape.

Despite the clear need to provide a safe space, according to a report by The Guardian Sweden's discrimination ombudsman, DO, has  ruled that Statement broke laws banning gender discrimination. Authorities are clear "no differentiation based on sex was made between visitors at entry", but messages prior to the gates opening "discouraged a certain group from attending".

Organisers will not be penalised, though, as DO also found no individual suffered damage due to the restrictions.

London's Wireless Festival introduced an all-women stage this year following widespread complaints over its line-up, while in Barcelona Primavera recently confirmed an equal split of male and female performers for 2019, reflecting a wider trend on the international festival circuit

Read our features on the people creating a code of conduct to end sexual harrassment in dance music, and the first hand accounts of five women in the scene who have direct experience of this issue.