back to top

A Canadian Music Festival Has Banned Clueless People From Wearing Headdresses

Seriously, stop it.

Posted on

Despite ample, readily available information explaining why wearing a headdress is a crappy thing for a non-Aboriginal person to do, the trend persists.

Jupiterimages / Getty Images // BuzzFeed Canada

Essentially, unless you are an Aboriginal person who has earned a headdress or someone with the authority to do so has placed one on your head, it's a bad idea.

This form of cultural appropriation has been spotted year after year at music festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo. Now some Canadian festivals are now saving clueless attendees from themselves.

"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," the post said.

Headdresses are also included in the festival's list of banned items on its website.

The post has thousands of shares and likes as well as many comments thanking Osheaga organizers for sending a clear message to festival goers.

Last year, B.C. festival Bass Coast also banned "feathered war bonnets or anything resembling them."

According to their website:

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.

Other festivals, however, may need a nudge. On Saturday, a photo of a woman in a headdress and face paint was spotted at the Winnipeg Folk Festival by Déne Sinclair.

Sinclair told CBC News she approached the woman and asked about her apparel, but the woman declined to speak.

The festival's manager told CBC the Winnipeg Folk Festival will look into placing restrictions for future events.

Lauren Strapagiel is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Contact Lauren Strapagiel at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.