Bass Coast Festival Bans Its Attendees from Wearing Native American Headdresses

By Marissa G. Muller

Festival fashion is unfortunate in many ways – the faux-bohemian homogeny, the fact that for some it’s an excuse to wear just swimsuits – but there’s nothing more appalling about it to some than the recent trend of wearing Native American headdresses.

In that respect, Coachella is well-regarded the worst offender but another festival, outside of the U.S., has taken a stand.

Bass Coast festival in British Columbia, Canada, has banned attendees from donning the culturally-appropriating headgear, The Guardian reports.

The festival is cracking down on Native American headdresses out of respect for the “aboriginal peoples” who hail from where the event takes place.

Related: Pharrell Apologizes for Wearing Native American Headdress on the Cover of Elle UK

“We understand why people are attracted to war bonnets,” the festival’s organizers said in a statement. “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 feel our policy aligns with [aboriginal peoples’] views and wishes regarding the subject. Their opinion is what matters to us.”

How exactly will this ban work? Simple: attendees who arrive to the festival wearing Native American headdresses will be turned away by the guards.

So far, the reaction has been mostly positive with some of the festival’s Facebook fans applauding the decision. One commentator wrote, “I’m in awe. It’s like when you see a flash [out of] the corner of your eye and not until the crackle of the thunder hits your chest do you feel its impact. It’s a good feeling to be respected.”

The crackdown on such headdresses recently hit one of its highest-profile cases when Pharrell was forced to apologize for wearing a Native American headdress on the cover of Elle UK.

“I respect and honor every kind of race, background and culture,” he said in a statement. “I am genuinely sorry.”

Bass Coast takes place in Merritt, British Columbia, from Aug. 1-4.


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