Swedish music festival cancels 2018 event after rape reported

Current British Prime Minister Theresa May and former Prime Minister John Major arrive for a ceremony for former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl at the European Parliament in Strasbourg eastern France Saturday

Swedish music festival cancels 2018 event after rape reported

Sweden will not see the Bravalla Festival in Norrkoping, one of its largest music festivals, next year as the event has been called off in light of several reports of sexual assault for the second consecutive year.

The festival, which hosted almost 45,000 people over four days ending Saturday in the southern city of Norrkoping, made the decision after a young woman reported being raped Friday, the Associated Press reported.

A teenage girl was reportedly sexually assaulted at the festival during a concert by local musician Håkan Hellström on Friday, police said Saturday, adding that they are also looking into multiple reports of molestation. Other performers at this year's event included American rock band The Killers, DJ duo The Chainsmokers, and Alesso, the Swedish House DJ.

Saying that they have done "everything in our power", to prevent sexual violence at the festival, the organizers argued that the problem itself goes far beyond Bråvalla and music festivals in general, and concerns Sweden as a whole.

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"Words can not describe how incredibly sad we are about this, and we most seriously regret and condemn this", said a press release on the festival's website.

At last year's event there were five reported cases of rape and 12 sexual assault incidents.

The organizers have not announced if or when the festival will return. "We do not accept this at our festival". The British band Mumford and Sons, which had been one of the headliners at Bravalla 2016, said on Facebook a year ago they would be boycotting the festival until "we've had assurances from the police and organizers that they're doing something to combat what appears to be a disgustingly high rate of reported sexual violence". "The looming threat of sexual violence has turned festivals into unsafe places for many music fans, particularly women".

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