Swedish music festival cancelled next year due to sexual assaults
The largest music festival in Sweden will not go on next year because, for the second year in a row, more than a dozen sexual assaults of young girls marred the event.
Last year, more than 40 young girls reported being sexually assaulted. Men described as being of "foreign origin" were responsible.
Despite increased security this year, the assaults continued.
Festival safety manager Ulf Bowein was asked why the sex attacks were continuing to happen despite the increase in the number of personnel and tighter security precautions. He said: “That’s a good question—ask those who commit the infractions instead.”
“Unfortunately, it’s like anywhere in the community. We have a number of individuals who commit the crime,” he added.
Bowein noted the number of attacks had gone down in number since last year. Reports claimed that men, largely described as being of “foreign origin”, had sexually molested up to 40 girls at the festival.
The news prompted British band Mumford and Sons, who headlined the event, to announce a boycott for future performances until the situation was brought under control. The band did not feature at all in this year’s event.
Sex attacks became common at Swedish festivals last year, so much so that officials estimate the number of sex attacks at outdoor music festivals increased by 1,000 per cent in 2016.
The targets of the sex attacks are generally young girls, many of them underage. 17-year-old Alexandra Larsson was one of the victims and she described what happened to her: “First, someone touched me on the butt a few times. I turned around and inquired who had done it, but got no answer.”
“This was repeated several times. Finally, someone touched me on the genitals. Then I got angry and turned around and shouted, ‘Whoever it was, you are an idiot!'”
It should be noted that authorities have not identified the perpetrators of the assaults this year. Less than a month ago, two "African migrants" were arrested for sexually assaulting numerous women at a railway station.
Sweden has been a primary destination for migrants from the Middle East and Africa due to their generous welfare payments and welcoming government. But the spike in crime - including sexual assaults - has changed authorities' minds. They are now offering money for the recent arrivals to go home.
The national character of Sweden has been altered by the new arrivals, with migrants outnumbering native Swedes in some communities. The problems the migrants bring with them - along with the question of what to do with so many illiterate, unskilled workers - will occupy the government's attention for years to come.