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Bass Coast Festival Bans Native American Headdresses

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INDIO, CA - APRIL 15: Coachella music fan attends Day 3 of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival held at the Empire Polo Club on April 15, 2012 in Indio, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella) | Frazer Harrison via Getty Images

Canadian music festival Bass Coast has put a ban on Native American headdresses and war bonnets, which have become popular but insensitive fashion statements at places like Coachella, Electric Daisy Carnival and Governors Ball.

The festival, which takes place Aug. 1-4 in Merrit, British Columbia, released a statement via Facebook:

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.

Last year, Canadian EDM group A Tribe Called Red spoke to HuffPost Canada about the offensive nature of the headdresses seen at concerts and festivals. "I have yet to speak to someone who is First Nation who wears fake headdresses and war paint to EDM concerts. It's 'redface.' Just like 'blackface,'" said Ian Campeau. (For more on why you shouldn't wear a war bonnet, refer to MTV's excellent explainer.)

Celebrities like Khloe Kardashian and Pharrell Williams caused controversy after they were photographed wearing the war bonnets -- Kardashian at North West's first birthday party and Williams on the cover of U.K.'s Elle. Williams issued an apology and said, "I respect and honor every kind of race, background and culture. I am genuinely sorry," but still drew backlash for the cover.

[h/t the Guardian]

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