US music festival, AfroFuture is under fire for charging people different rates for tickets based on their race. Initially, the festival was charging white people double the amount for general admission tickets. However, the fest has since reversed its pricing after heaps of backlash from some groups.
Given the basis of the festival is to celebrate African American artists in Detroit, the festival found their initial pricing to be just. But, once rapper Tiny Jag pulled out of the festival and publicly came out about it, the fest was slammed. To add to the fall out, white supremacist groups were going off (surprise, surprise).
Tiny Jag dropped out after hearing the festival was charging different rates, prompting so many people to lose their shit. The Detroit rapper is biracial, and she said this triggered her to take action. She claimed to have no idea about the festival’s pricing model until a friend of hers sent her the tickets. Which, I do find to be pretty fucked. Like, festivals should deff inform their performers on everything they’re signing up for.
sorry ily guys💕💕🌸 pic.twitter.com/MfhuQeEX0U
— TINY JAG🖤🦇 (@tinyjaguar) July 2, 2019
Tiny Jag, whose real name is Jillian Graham told Detroit Metro Times, “I was immediately enraged just because I am biracial. I have family members that would have, under those circumstances, been subjected to something that I would not ever want them to be in … especially not because of anything that I have going on.”
Tiny Jag wasn’t alone in standing up against the initial pricing model. Eventbrite, a ticket website, threatened the festival that they would unpublish the event for offering different prices.
Charging different prices based on race or ethnicity clearly violates our Terms of Service. We are giving the creators of this event a chance to do the right thing and change their pricing, but will have to remove the event if they don’t comply. #afrofuturefest
— Eventbrite (@eventbrite) July 7, 2019
Following the backlash, the festival changed its pricing. The festival was aiming to send a message that in the US opportunities for minorities are not on a level playing field. And despite generations of oppression, racism still brutally effects so many people. So, they were a bit reluctant to change their pricing. But they did so after some groups came out of the woodwork to be aggressive and racist. Yikes.
For the safety of our community, family, elders who received threats from white supremacists,& youth who were subjected to seeing racist comments on our IG pg,Afrofuture Fest has changed our ticketing model to $20 General Admission & suggested donation for nonPOC on @eventbrite pic.twitter.com/6wQXEjRKtt
— Afrofuture Youth (@AFYDet) July 7, 2019
Prior to changing the pricing, the festival proudly announced their system saying, “Our ticket structure was built to insure that the most marginalised communities (people of colour) are provided with an equitable chance at enjoying events in their own community (black Detroit).”
Some people were truly pissed at the festival for charging festival goers different rates, while some were really about the OG system.
Gawd this is embarrassing. My white mom would be PROUD to pay more because she understands the history of economic exploitation of black folk in this country to benefit whiteness & she wants a better future for black folk, including her black kids.
— Ijeoma Oluo (@IjeomaOluo) July 6, 2019
Festival charging different prices based on race… 👎🏾
Well done intersectional radicals. You’ve become the very racists you claim to stand against.
So woke… So very woke. pic.twitter.com/v3YKHpRgRQ
— ZUBY: (@ZubyMusic) July 6, 2019
Detroit is notably a city with a high African American population. Yet, gentrification is sweeping the city pushing white people in to areas that were once predominately black (sad). And so, it’s really understandable why this festival was trying to give back to African Americans in the area. They also did so on the basis that rich white people can get tickets to festivals more easily than POC.
But, creating a black and white society doesn’t fix the problem. Their reasoning is recognised, and their festival should still be supported, but this is not the only way to address the situation. So good on the festival for changing the prices to keep the people attending the festival free from aggression.
Image Source: Tiny Jag Facebook.