BC's Bass Coast Festival Bans First Nations Headdresses
Published Jul 24, 2014Fans who head to Merritt, BC's electronic music festival Bass Coast early next month with see artists like A Tribe Called Red, Addison Groove and Mat the Alien. Here's one thing they won't see, however: First Nations headdresses.
Concert attendees will be banned from wearing headdresses on the festival site. In a statement on Facebook, the Bass Coast Festival organizers explained that the festival is held on indigenous land. They consulted with local First Nations in the province, and they are enforcing a no-headdress policy that conveys their wishes.
Read the full statement below:
For various reasons, Bass Coast Festival is banning feathered war bonnets, or anything resembling them, onsite. Our security team will be enforcing this policy.
We understand why people are attracted to war bonnets. 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.
This will come as welcome news to performers A Tribe Called Red, who have spoken out against fans coming to shows wearing headdresses. The band's Ian Campeau has referred to the practice as "redface," and lent his support to other festivals that have banned the items.
Headdresses have been a frequent source of contentious debate as of late. Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips was recently at the heart of an alleged racism controversy involving a headdress.
Bass Coast Festival runs from August 1 to 4. Read about it here.