Published by Overland (blog), 19 August 2014. Original post. Promotional image from Beyond the Valley’s website.

Music festivals are, almost by definition, supposed to have their fingers on the cultural pulse. Thus it hardly augurs well that the Beyond the Valley festival—a new player in Australia’s already-crowded music festival scene, to take place on Phillip Island over New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day—has chosen to promote itself through a series of videos that tick nearly every box of colonial appropriation from Native American cultural traditions. A debate about the use and misuse of war bonnets (traditionally worn only by male warriors of certain Plains Indian groups) has been raging in both North America and the United Kingdom since a Canadian electronic music festival, Bass Coast, advised attendees that war bonnets or anything resembling them would not be permitted onsite. For an Australian festival to launch a publicity campaign that places white Australians in war bonnets front and centre in this climate looks less like carelessness than a deliberate provocation.

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