Detroit Music Festival Charged White People Higher Ticket Prices, Later Backtracks + Biracial Rapper Cancels Appearance
Detroit’s Afrofuture Fest is stirring up controversy regarding to race relations. At the time of their initial announcement, the underground hip-hop focused festival reportedly charged non-people of color $40 per ticket, while Black people were charged $20 for entry.
Half of the proceeds from Afrofuture’s ticket sales will benefit a Detroit minority youth group – with 13 non-POC agreeing to the higher ticket price. The festival’s co-director, Adrienne “Numi” Ayers, spoke about why the rates were hiked for White people:
“Events often designed for marginalized black and brown communities can easily be co-opted by those with cultural, monetary and class privileges. Our goal is to ensure that the youth of our community can participate in the building of a more just society, one that specifically promotes equity over equality.”
Reportedly, due to an overwhelming amount of hate mail from right-wing and white supremacy groups, the prices were made equal for all races. Numi added:
“For safety, not anything else but that, the new ticket structure will be a standard set price across the board of $20. However, there will be a suggested donation for non-people of color.”
However, biracial rapper Tiny Jag pulled out of the festival due to the discriminatory practices. She told Twitter followers:
“I was going to make a video but I am too triggered to address this issue in that way. I was unknowingly added to the Afrofuture event (miscommunication?)…today, a nonpoc friend of mine brought to my attention that Afrofuture is requiring non-people-people-of-color to pay twice the amount to attend the festival as POC. This does not reflect the views of myself or the Tiny Jag team. I will not be playing this show.”
She clarified her decision with a separate post.
Despite Tiny Jag’s decision, Numi Ayers says that she received messages from White people claiming to support the difference in price. She said:
“There were a lot of white people who were telling us they didn’t mind paying extra. Quite a few.”
“Everybody else is fine. Everybody on the lineup has expressed extreme support of everything that we’re doing. Our supporters are all here. I want to make it clear that a lot of people in the city of Detroit, especially the Detroit art scene, are supportive of what we’re doing.”
Detroit’s Afrofuture Festival takes place on August 3rd at Feedom Freedom Farm.
What do you think of Afrofuture’s pay-per-race ticket experiment? Let us know in the comments.
Written by Miata Shanay