Sweden Festival Premiere Canceled

Swedish Police shut down Into The Factory festival over security concerns regarding the festival site. Specifically, a police report says inebriated festival-goers might think it’s a good idea to jump from high ledges. 

Into The Factory
Sophie Valencia Vogel.
– Into The Factory
Festival site in Sweden

The new festival promoted by Music Goes Further was scheduled for Aug. 10-12, with a lineup including Andrew WeatherallHarvey SutherlandJuan AtkinsAdam Beyer and many others.

Music Goes Further claims to have been cooperating fully with authorities for the past seven months, “and dutifully applied for the permits needed to conduct a public event.” Still, police did not grant the permission, stating that it thought the drug-taking part of the audience would be at risk of falling off the factory walls on site.

An excerpt from the police report, published by the promoter, reads: “Along the walls there are step-like objects as well as a comprehensive system of wall studs, making climbing along the walls easily accessible. Getting up to thresh yards uphill is no big trouble for those motivated to climb.

“The risk of falling casualties, alternatively climbing in combination with drug effects, where the idea of flying from heights does not seem quite strange, causing the local police area to see enormous security risks in the design of the buildings regarding climbing opportunities to high heights.”

The report also states that “unreasonable police resources would be required to ensure an acceptable level of security.”

Music Goes Further director Mattias Hedlund voiced his frustrations with Swedish authorities.

“This is undoubtedly one of the worst situations in my 20 years in the industry. My colleagues and me are crushed over this. With all the energy and power that this process has taken from me, I really feel that this is my last attempt to make a festival in Sweden ever. We have put our hearts and souls in this project which makes the cancellation much worse.”

Hedlund said the decision took him by surprise. The police report references drug-related arrests in Dalhalla, where Music Goes Further put on a festival called Into The Valley up until last year. Hedlund, however, claims that “throughout our history organizing events we’ve had zero crimes, zero violence and zero sexual abuses in all our productions.”

Organizers told a frustrated Facebook crowd that “making dance events in Sweden has always been a struggle, battling with the police and other authorities eager to make our culture an example on the local war on drugs.”

Into The Factory was supposed to replace Into The Valley, which moved from Dalhalla in Rättvik, Sweden, to Rummu, Estonia, where it takes place this year June 29 to July 1.

When the move was made public in 2016, Music Goes Further also announced the launch of five new events, of which Into The Factory was one.

Into The Castle, which is scheduled for Jan. 26-26 in Cape Town, South Africa, is still good to go.

Not many details about the three other new projects have been revealed yet, apart from the fact that they’re supposed to take place in Southern Europe, Asia and South America. It remains to be seen whether the cancellation of Into The Factory will affect other Music Goes Further Events.

Pollstar sent out a request for comment.

Hedlund said most artists and agencies, staff, suppliers, production and marketing for Into The Valley have already been paid.

“With lost revenue from a festival that will not take place, Music Goes Further is put into a very difficult economic situation,” Hedlund said. “Visitors who have already bought tickets will be offered compensation in the form of a replacement event during the intended festival weekend, tickets to Into the Castle in Cape Town next January 2018 and tickets for Into the Valley in Rummu 2018.”