In news that will surely sadden the hearts of appropriation-happy festival-goers everywhere, The Guardian reports today that U.K. music festival Glastonbury has decided to restrict the sale of feathered "Indian headdresses." Glastonbury's organizers added headdresses to the fest's list of prohibited vendor items, alongside cigarettes and flares. The vendor agreement stipulates that prohibited items may not be sold on site without prior discussion with festival management, although it's not yet clear whether such discussion will result in exceptions.
The festival's decision was prompted by a Change.org petition initiated by Daniel W. Round, calling for the festival to uphold its "proudly progressive ethos" by taking a "principled stand in banning [headdresses'] sale." Interestingly, the petition received only 65 signatures, but it was enough to bring the matter to the festival's attention.
The petitioners' cause was probably helped along by the growing conversation around cultural appropriation. Earlier this year, Canadian music festival Bass Coast took a high-profile stand by banning festival-goers from wearing the sacred ceremonial garb. Especially since Bass Coast takes place on indigineous peoples' land, festival management stated that "it's important to respect the deep, cultural significance such garments represent to Native peoples."
Click over to the Guardian for more details on Round's asks — one of which Glastonbury has not addressed yet. Although the headdress restriction is not a complete victory, it could represent an important sea change: One of the U.K.'s most popular festivals is, subtly, taking a stand. And, with many voices clearly stating the harms done by cultural appropriation, this is a heartening start. (The Guardian)