Electric Forest Joins Other Festivals – Bans Feather Headdresses
Electric Forest has grown in popularity on an exponential level these past two years. As a festival gets larger, certain rules and regulations are usually forced upon them. Whether it be by social pressure or otherwise, Electric Forest has joined several other festivals located near Native American grounds to ban attendees from wearing ceremonial headdresses at the festival.
The debate, which started sometime in 2014, continues to yield two solid and conflicting arguments, and the opposing sides don’t seem to be changing their minds. On the one hand, several people from indigenous cultures, and even those who are not part of one, are claiming that wearing the headdresses is offensive. They claim that the headdress is strictly used for sacred ceremonial gatherings and rituals. Wearing them at a festival, where they often are destroyed and worn by people doing nothing but getting intoxicated, takes away from their sacred nature and undermines what they are traditionally used for. Those opposed to wearing headdresses at festivals want to keep the beautiful yet sacred garment where it belongs, they do not wish to have the lines blurred as to their true meaning. On the other hand, some believe in the freedom to wear whatever garment they choose. Those who want to wear the headdresses think they “look cool” and do not think that they need to be confined to those who are in a particular culture. These people think that the headdress dissenters are too sensitive and need to let people do whatever they want.
It seems that this debate will continue until the headdress fad is finally over, if it ever goes away. In the meantime festivals like Electric Forest probably wish to head to the side of the argument that causes the least harm and offense for everyone. It seems an easier route to avoid offending an entire culture or group of people rather than allowing people to offend if they feel they have the freedom. This writer stands by the decision to ban them, as we need to step back at times and be more sensitive to cultures and beliefs we may not fully understand before standing defiant. Yes, they are gorgeous, but also sacred to some. Leave your headdresses for another day if you plan on attending Electric Forest this year. Sensible Reason will be here, as usual, to keep you up to date on any Electric Forest news and announcements. We’re excited for another year with the Forest Fam!