‘World’s first’ festival free from cis men will come back

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Statement, billed as the “world’s first major music festival for women, non-binary and transgender people,” is back almost two years after a massive backlash it faced for excluding cisgender men. The two-day festival was formally condemned by the Swedish Discrimination Ombudsman in 2018 because of its policy banning men, but it will still be back to Gothenburg on September 4-5 next year. Statement was created in response to a wave of sexual assaults at festival grounds reported in the summer of 2017 in respond to sexual assault and abuse against women. Marketing materials warned that cis men were not welcome, and during the event itself men working as technicians, managers or for artist were cordoned off in a “man pen.” All performers were either women or non-binary people. The ombudsman found the festival in breach of anti-discrimination laws, but was unable to issue any sanction because men were not physically blocked from buying tickets or attending the event.

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