Into the Factory festival cancelled
Police strikes down on festival permit and forces cancellation of Into the Factory
With much pain in our hearts, we have to announce that the electronic music festival Into the Factory has to be cancelled.
For seven months, the festival organization Music Goes Further has worked to get the police on its side and dutifully applied for the permits needed to conduct a public event. However, the festival that would have taken place in Stora Vika, Nynäshamn on 10-12 August, cannot be produced as the police did not approve the event in a damning report with references that include, among other things, that "the risk of falls or alternatively climbing walls in combination with drug consumption where there is the idea of flying from heights does not seem strange… ". Quite a remark.
Ever since the start of the project, we have had tight dialogues with all the parties involved. There has been a continuous process where all other authorities have been very positive about the festival and had the impression that the event was a good thing for the area. The organizers had also experienced their contacts with police as positive in the conversations and meetings they have had, so this comes as an unpleasant surprise. An event like this usually takes 1-2 months to get approved, but Music Goes Further had been waiting a lot longer to get the official's authorization and permits for some reason.
"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", says Mattias Hedlund, Music Goes Further director. "We have put our hearts and souls in this project which makes the cancellation much worse", he continues.
In the rejection report issued by the police, references are made to the 2016 drug-related arrests in Dalhalla, when sister festival Into the Valley was conducted. It should be noted that throughout our history organizing events we´ve had zero crimes, zero violence and zero sexual abuses in all our productions. In the statement, the police believe that visitors may die of overdoses or be injured by climbing and jumping from the festival's tall buildings.
Extract from police rejection report:
"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."
In the decision, the police also write:
"Furthermore, unreasonable police resources would be required to ensure an acceptable level of security."
"The electronic music scene is growing very fast and we have many amazingly talented producers here. People often talk about Sweden as a music hub, with all the music that is created and exported from here. But I really think it's strange that if music and music exports are so important for this country, how can it be impossible to conduct a music festival? ", states Mattias Hedlund, Music Goes Further.
Into the Factory has received great attention in international press, as well as the Swedish scene, Stockholm as a city and the festival site in Stora Vika, which was really attractive to guests. Prestigious publications such as British newspapers The Guardian and The Telegraph list Into the Factory as one of the best music festivals in Europe, Condé Nast Traveler lists it as one of the best in the world, Italian Vogue and British BBC also recommend the festival, as well as a host of other major media outlets.
As planning for the next festival is a long time away, and payments to artists and agencies, staff, suppliers, production and marketing have already been carried out to a large extent, there have been therefore huge costs for Into the Factory. With lost revenue from a festival that will not take place, Music Goes Further is put into a very difficult economic situation. 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.