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Native American headresses banned at Canada's Osheaga festival

Montreal event becomes latest festival to prohibit use of symbolic item as a fashion accessory

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Festival goers have been banned from wearing Native American headresses at Canada's Osheaga Festival.

Event organisers today (July 14) confirmed the news that the accessory, also referred to as a First Nation headdress or war bonnet, would be outlawed at their festival. Osheaga takes place in Montreal between July 31 and August 2 with headliners this year including Florence + The Machine, Kendrick Lamar and The Black Keys.

A post on the festival's official Facebook page explained the reasons behind the ban and politely asked fans to leave the items at home.

"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."

NMEEmilie Bailey/NME


Osheaga is one of three Canadian festivals to ban the headdresses this year, with Heavy Montreal Festival and IleSoniq also announcing a ban. Last year saw Canada's Bass Coast event become one of the first festivals to restrict ticket holders from using them as a fashion accessory.

Pharrell Williams was forced to issue an apology for wearing a Native American headdress on the cover of a magazine in 2014. The singer appeared on the front of Elle magazine, trading his famous brown hat for the feathered headdress.

Similarly, Ellie Goulding was met with criticism when she wore one for an Instagram picture she promptly deleted last year.

Glastonbury organisers also placed Native American headdresses on a list of items that on-site traders are forbidden to sell without prior authorisation at this year's event.
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