AfroFuture Fest Changes Its Ticketing Structure After Reportedly Receiving Threats From White Supremacists
The festival organizers announced the change on the organization’s Twitter page on Sunday.
Update (July 11, 2019): AfroFuture Fest changed its ticketing structure after they faced backlash for charging white attendees a higher price than people of color.
The festival organizers announced the change on the organization’s Twitter page on Sunday, reports The Detroit Metro Times. AfroFuture claimed the change was prompted by threats and harassment from white supremacists.
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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'
“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],” it read.
The group also received pushback from Eventbrite, who threatened to remove the event from its platform, according to CNN.
"In this case, we have notified the creator of the event about this violation and requested that they alter their event accordingly," the website said in a statement. "We have offered them the opportunity to do this on their own accord; should they not wish to comply we will unpublish the event completely from our site."
Francesca Lamarre, an AfroFuture organizer, insisted the ticket structure wasn’t created to insult white people. The organization’s intent was to create a safe and accessible space for Black folks and other people of color. The festival was created by AfroFuture Youth, a nonprofit organization created to empower Black youth using the growing Afrofuturism movement.
If you’re in the Holiday Spirit & wanna give the gift of creating a space for black youth in Detroit to build a new world using Afrofuturism frameworks through the lens of art, tech, media, and healing, it’s possible!— Afrofuture Youth (@AFYDet) December 25, 2018'
Hit this link, donate, and RThttps://t.co/skyieqySzS pic.twitter.com/cqAgQvHbym
"The ticket prices aren't reflected to leave white people out," Lamarre told Metro Times. "It's meant to have a fair chance of being able to engage in the spaces that were created and catered specifically for Black people, Black voices, Black artists, and the Black community. So it's not to divide — it's to ensure we have an equitable chance to experience joy and pleasure within the same space."
AfroFuture Fest co-director Numi Ori named “equity” as the goal of the original ticket structure.
"There are events and spaces being created in the city that we don't have access to, which means that we are not always going to be able to afford them or go there," Ori said. "Or we don't feel welcomed because people don't look like us — specifically with concerts, which is just one little piece of the puzzle or one little drop in what's really the bigger issue."
Original story: A Detroit rapper canceled a gig at a local music festival due to its racially motivated ticket prices.
Tiny Jag pulled out of AfroFuture Festival because they charged white patrons more than those of color. White people who want to attend the festival have to pay $20 for an early bird ticket and $40 for a regular ticket. People of color only have to pay $10 and $20, respectively.
Jag, who is biracial, quit after someone tipped her off about the prices via Instagram.
"I was immediately enraged just because I am biracial," she told Detroit Metro Times. "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."
Many of the songs she performs are from her first project Polly, which is named after her grandmother.
"A lot of the songs that I perform are from my first project called Polly — that is my grandmother’s name," she said. "How do you want me to come to a performance and perform these songs off a mixtape that is titled after this white woman that you would have charged double to get in here? Like, it’s just outrageous from so many different angles."
AfroFuture director and founder Numi Ori explained the basis of the ticketing structure on Twitter.
To clear up any misunderstandings, there is a reason tickets for people of color are PURPOSELY cheaper than tickets for white people. @AFYDet and Afrofuture Fest is about promoting EQUITY over EQUALITY. Please continue reading the next tweet for a better understanding— Afrofuture (@NumiOri) July 2, 2019'
The ticket structure is set up to support the most marginalized. Often times when dope events happen in Detroit the cheapest tickets are bought and then sold by people not from the community bc they can afford them first, leaving higher price tickets as the only options left.— Afrofuture (@NumiOri) July 2, 2019'
Black and brown people deserve access to quality events in their city and it isn’t fair when events happen in their city that they don’t have a chance of being apart of because people who don’t look like us take advantage and also have more access to collective wealth.— Afrofuture (@NumiOri) July 2, 2019'
"Black and brown people deserve access to quality events in their city and it isn’t fair when events happen in their city that they don’t have a chance of being apart of because people who don’t look like us take advantage and also have more access to collective wealth."
The controversy led to a lively discussion on Twitter. There were a few (mostly white) critics, but AfroFuture also received a lot of support.
Tiny Jag has gotta have a white mom! This is the behavior of white mom biracials. https://t.co/309SDggFQ8— bad news women (@badnewswomen) July 4, 2019'
Afrofuture fest is charging white people double to attend a festival located in black ass Detroit. Y'all wanna be part of black culture sooo badly you better be willing to pay us our worth— Regine Stan 👑 (@DamnItsShanti) July 5, 2019'
put respect on @NumiOri + afrofuture name. all that back + forth beefing is whatever but what ain’t up for debate is that she been taking care of those black kids + that’s the FOCUS at the end of the day.— Juju (@JayePrime) July 5, 2019'
Anyone who calls themselves an ally to a group understands that the marginalized group can not sustain the work that they do off is rts & rants, they need capital, they need money. This is no different than an ally simply donating to a group, person, or cause.— .Just Dee (@_youreWelcome__) July 3, 2019'
I asked some yt peoples about paying for a ticket that black people are discounted for...they said, “GOOD”— 🏁 Poison Ivy 🏁 (@AOImani_) July 3, 2019'
who’s upset and what’s the argument
The AfroFuture Festival is scheduled for August 3 at Feedom Freedom in Detroit.