I must laugh at Riot fests 2017 amusing rules (the rules for 2018 are still to come.) These rules included “Donald Trump-NO”, “ Justin Bieber-NO” and “Crying-NO”. Yes, there are some also realistic and important rules in their long list of “Weapons, knives, or firearms of any kind- NO” and “Fireworks or incendiary devices- NO”.
As a new festival goer (and avid writer!) I applaud their humor in a topic that although is important can be rather dull. I’ve plowed through dozens of music festival websites and Riot Fest’s humor has completely won me over.
View the full list of rules on Riot Fest’s FAQ page.
Between the laughter and serious facts, I stumbled upon this rule that really made me think: “Indian Headdresses- NO”
Last year the buzz around music festivals that I, and many others, saw on our social media was about Indian Headdresses and Culture Appropriation. The trending stories were no longer about the musicians, the music, the art, or even the fashion, but the mere lack of respect and ignorance that a few festival goers have for other people and their cultures.
As a society, we are beginning to have these tough conversations about culture through the internet and social media. We are learning that what one person may believe to be just another fashion piece, to another person it can be a lot more than that.
These pieces, like the Native American Headdresses, are more than an accessory. They have a lot of history and significant meaning behind them. “Warriors earned a feather each time he did something the tribe felt was a brave act.” (Indian Headdress.) You can read the entire article here: http://www.indians.org/articles/indian-headdress.html
We are lucky to be able to have all this information and resources like Google to understand each other, as we become a part of (what I hope to be) a well informed and globalized world.
Let’s go beyond knowing and put what we learn into action. Let’s be understanding and aware that what we do or wear can have a great impact on others.
It shouldn’t be the responsibility of the venue or festival to make sure we stay respectful. With the knowledge we have, we should want to respect one another’s cultures enough to express it through our choices.
With festival season quickly approaching (YAY!) let’s remember that our clothing does make a statement, so let’s make sure it is the right ones.
I believe that we want to as a music community to keep these places and spaces welcoming and inviting for all. Let’s keep these festivals a place to tell our stories through art and music while we all are able to relax, celebrate life and have a fun time. It’s an opportunity to come together while celebrating our uniqueness.
As this article comes to a close (Thank goodness I made the deadline!) I look forward to Riot Fest in Chicago September 14th-16th, and my delicious dinner… Pineapple Pizza!