Last year the festival made national news when Colombian-Canadian artist Lido Pimienta stopped her set. Pimienta invited “brown girls to the front,” an extension of the ’90s Riot Grrrl punk ethic that called for women to stand near the front of the stage in a show of strength instead of being pushed around by violent mosh pits made up predominantly by men.
After Pimienta’s request, several white attendees and a festival volunteer refused to move and she stopped playing. She told Billboard Magazine last year: “I ask them to share the space in a more significant manner as an act of love and solidarity with people who, outside of the music show bubble, have to constantly justify their existence to the world.”
A week later, festival organizers posted an apology on its Facebook page, reading “We will not accept this behavior and neither should you. Be responsible for your friends–talk to them and support them as they move towards unpacking their racism. People of Color deserve safe spaces and it is your responsibility to help. It is also ours.”