Ellie Goulding, pictured here performing in 2015, was among the artists at this year’s Bravalla Festival. Photo: Cedric RibeiroOrganisers of Sweden’s biggest music festival Bravalla have cancelled next year’s dates after a spate of sexual assaults at this year’s event.
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The festival – which featured artists including The Chainsmokers, The Killers, Linkin Park, Halsey and Ellie Goulding – was held over four days on the outskirts of Norrköping, in eastern Sweden, wrapping up on Sunday.

Police confirmed they’d received reports of four rapes and 23 sexual assaults between Thursday and Sunday, theAssociated Pressreports.

With Sweden’s prime minister Stefan Lofven joining in condemning the incidents as “obnoxious acts by deplorable men”, festival organisers took the unprecedented step of cancelling next year’s event.

“Words cannot describe how incredibly sad we are about this, and we most seriously regret and condemn this. This is not f—ing OK. We do not accept this at our festival,” said FKP Scorpio, the German company that organises the festival, ina press releaseshared on Saturday.

They added they had “done everything in our power” to offer a safe environment for visitors–following numerous reported assaultsthe year prior, as well as criticisms from past performers including Mumford and Sons–but were unable to “eradicate the darkness”.

“Some men, because we are talking about men, apparently can’t behave. It’s a shame. Therefore, we have decided not to hold Bravalla in 2018,” the statement continued.

“We will continue to work together for a better world… Let’s take care of each other, choke hatred and violence, and let the music win.”

The cancellation is the sternest move yet by festival organisers looking to tackle what’s become a worldwide epidemic – including in Australia, where local initiatives have finally sought to counter the problem at live events.

Earlier this year, the Rainbow Serpent Festival inVictoria launched Australia’s first festival “safe space”, staffed by counsellors trained by the Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault, after four reported sexual assaults at the event the year prior.

Laneway Festival also launched a national safety hotline, in conjunction with Melbourne band Camp Cope’s #ItTakesOne campaign, encouraging festivalgoers to report any instances of sexual assault.

Last December, five women were sexually assaulted at the Falls Festival in Tasmania, leading organisers to issue a call to “boys and men to have some respect”. The festival has said it is looking at adding CCTV security and new reporting channels to improve safety at its next events.