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Refused Win Hellfest With Powerful Speech About Gender Inequality In Music

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It’s no secret that Europe is home to a unique breed of totally brutal, soul crushing artists throughout the hardcore, punk and metal genre, and it’s festivals like Hellfest – an extreme music festival that takes place in France every June – that premiere these acts in all of their glory.

In the past, the festival has featured some absolute legends, including artists like KISS, SlayerMötley Crüe, Marilyn MansonAlice Cooper, Iron MaidenGuns N’ Roses and Def Leppard. However, it’s this year’s addition to the lineup – Swedish punk mercenaries Refused – that had the whole festival cheering.

The quartet quickly became a crowd favourite when the band took a public stand against the sexual harassment women often face at live music events, and the way women can often be treated in general.

Frontman Dennis Lyxzén empowered the audience stating, “Today on stage, we have 208 musicians. 5 women! That’s beyond fucked up, alright? If we want to live in an equal fucking world, we need to take responsibility and make sure it’s not like that.

“I don’t want to live in a world where half of the population is scared of me,” he continues. “I don’t want to live in a world where we as men reproduce a culture of rape, abuse, violence and murder. I don’t want to be part of that! So, here’s a simple thing we need to think about – one simple thing! Men, guys, dudes! get your fucking shit together, alright? Get it together! If we want to look our sisters in the eyes, we need to destroy the patriarchal system that possesses everyone”.

The powerful, compelling, and no doubt influential speech comes at a time where the alternative music scene is well and truly fed the fuck up with incidences of abuse going down at gigs – to name just a few of the recent waves made, Real Friends frontman Dan Lambton has spoken out against misogyny in the pop punk world, while High Tension frontwoman Karina Utomo spoke out against the shit women face in Australia’s own hardcore scene.

Take a look at Dennis Lyxzén’s full speech at Hellfest below!

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