Calgary Folk Festival on headdresses: It's never been a problem

Calgary Folk Festival organizers say they've never had anyone show up with First Nations headdresses, so they won't be following Edmonton's lead to ban them.

Executive director Debbie Salmonsen said Wednesday the festival doesn't have a policy prohibiting any type of costume, but hopes patrons use common sense.

"First Nations artists do not consider it respectful when people wear headdresses, which they are not culturally entitled to wear, so we would hope in respect for both our aboriginal audience members and artists that people will respect that."

In recent years, some music fans have taken to wearing feathered headdresses at festivals. Many First Nations people consider the trend offensive, as it ignores the spiritual significance of the items and reinforces cultural stereotypes. 

Salmonsen says she's only seen headdresses worn at U.S. festivals, which are usually followed by negative reactions on social media.  

Edmonton Folk Festival bans headdresses

The Edmonton Folk Festival has become one of a growing number of music festivals banning patrons from wearing First Nations headdresses.

Anyone showing up at the gates with these items will have them confiscated by security, the festival stated on its Facebook page Tuesday. 

"Such headdresses have a sacred, cultural meaning and we ask that you respect and honour that by not using them as a fashion accessory," the post read.

The Winnipeg Folk Festival is under pressure to enact a ban after a woman was spotted wearing a headdress and face paint on the weekend. 

The Calgary Folk Festival runs from July 23-26. The Edmonton Folk Festival runs from August 6-9.