Earlier this week, David Guetta released a highly controversial video promoting his weekly “F*** Me I’m Famous” residency at Ibiza’s Pacha nightclub, that depicted extremely distasteful and degrading appropriations of Native American attire, culture and practices (the video has since been removed from YouTube). As the star of Pacha’s summer-long, Native American themed party, Guetta used this promotional video as an opportunity to showcase not only his cultural insensitivity, but also, the racist-chic style pallet of the club’s weekly parties, which incorporated face-painted models in buckskin bikinis, feathers and headdresses, carrying a totem pole and enacting war cries. All of which point to trivialization of and disregard for the Native American culture and insensitive cultural appropriation.
Following the waves of outrage that ensued from Guetta’s Pacha residency video that grossly pillaged and insensitively repurposed sacred aspects from the indigenous culture in the name of “fashion,” more festivals have declared a ban against Native American headdresses from their grounds. Some of the festivals now included on this elevated list are Montreal’s Île Soniq and Osheaga music festivals, Winnipeg Folk Festival, WayHome Music and Arts festival, Boots and Hearts festival, Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Heavy Montreal, Lightning In A Bottle, Bass Coast Festival (hosted on Native American grounds) and U.K.’s biggest festival, Glastonbury, just to name a few.
These festivals have joined the ranks of those who look past the veil of fashion and strive towards a deeper political correctness and cultural sensitivity, as they recognize the utility of festivals as a means of respect, inclusion, and diversity. This includes regarding the Native American headdress as a symbol of both spiritual and cultural meaning that deserves the utmost reverence and honor, especially from those outside of its cultural circle, rather than to be used as a superficial fashion accessory.
Although Guetta’s controversial video isn’t the first incident to spark this type of dialogue among the festival community, its immense popularity and backlash speaks volumes and has proven to be a welcomed opportunity for education, advanced enlightenment and cultural sharing.