Canada's Bass Coast Festival Bans Native American Headdresses

British Columbia EDM Fest takes a stand against cultural appropriation

Canada Music Festival Ban Native American Headdress Bass Coast
Yeah, don't do this. Photo by Harper Smith
WRITTEN BY
Colin Joyce

Native American headdresses have long been a troubling mainstay of music fest attire, but a Canadian EDM festival has taken a surprisingly progressive stand against the trend. In a message posted to their Facebook page last week, via Jezebel, Bass Coast Festival informed concertgoers that they are "banning feathered war bonnets, or anything resembling them, onsite."

"We understand why people are attracted to war bonnets," the post continued. "They have a magnificent aesthetic. But their spiritual, cultural and aesthetic significance cannot be separated. Bass Coast Festival takes place on indigenous land and we respect the dignity of aboriginal people. We have consulted with aboriginal people in British Columbia on this issue and we feel our policy aligns with their views and wishes regarding the subject. Their opinion is what matters to us."

According to the Facebook post, security guards will be enforcing the ban, though its unclear what response a violation will provoke. Bass Coast is set to go down from August 1-4 in Merrit, British Columbia. Neither Pharrell nor Wayne Coyne is set to appear at the festival, but they could still learn a lesson or two about cultural appropriation from these new rules.

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