Osheaga Issues Ban on Headdresses as Fashion Accessories

BY Sarah MurphyPublished Jul 14, 2015

Osheaga is set to take over Montreal at the end of the month, and organizers are making it clear that culturally appropriative accessories won't be tolerated at this year's event. According to a statement released yesterday (July 13), organizers have banned festivalgoers from wearing First Nations-style headdresses as fashion accessories on the event grounds.
The elaborate, decorative headpieces are traditionally worn during special ceremonies by select members of indigenous communities, but in recent years, they have been appropriated as a fashion trend at music festivals around the world.
Osheaga's decision to add headdresses to their list of banned items comes following controversy at last weekend's Winnipeg Folk Festival. As CBC reports, angry festival attendees took to Twitter to condemn a woman for wearing a feathered headdress and face paint to the event.

In accordance with their banned items policy, Osheaga will confiscate any headdresses that arrive on the premises. The full statement was posted to the festival's official Facebook page and reads:
Please note that First Nations Headdresses are not permitted at the festival. The First Nations Headdresses have a spiritual and cultural meaning in the native communities and to respect and honor their people, Osheaga asks fans and artists attending the festival to not use this symbol as a fashion accessory.
Thank you for your understanding and your cooperation!
Following the decision to ban the headwear, fellow Montreal festivals Heavy Montreal and ÎleSoniq have followed suit and also adopted the ban.
Osheaga's 2015 instalment is scheduled to take place from July 31 to August 2 at Parc Jean-Drapeau.

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