AfroFuture Fest, a small Detroit music festival that initially charged white people twice the price of admission, has reversed course after organizers said they received threats.
The Aug. 3 festival to take place at Detroit’s Feedom Freedom farm was initially charging people of color $20 and “non-POC” $40, The New York Times reported Sunday.
According to AfroFuture’s Eventbrite page, the ticketing structure was built to ensure that “the most marginalized communities (people of color) are provided with an equitable chance at enjoying events in their own community (Black Detroit). Affording joy and pleasure is unfortunately still a privilege in our society for POC and we believe everyone should have access to receiving such.”
But organizers said the unusual pricing structure made them the target of threats and they were forced to change course for fear of their own safety.
“For safety, not anything else but that, the new ticket structure will be a standard set price across the board of $20,” Adrienne Ayers, who co-directs AfroFuture Youth, told The New York Times. “However, there will be a suggested donation for non-people of color.”
Ms. Ayers said the previous pricing structure was created because “events often designed for marginalized black and brown communities can easily be co-opted by those with cultural, monetary and class privileges.”
It was so controversial that Jillian Graham, a Detroit-based rapper who goes by Tiny Jag, dropped out of the event.
“I was immediately enraged just because I am biracial,” Ms. Graham told the 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.
“It’s non-progressive and it’s not solution-focused in my eyes,” she said. “It seems almost like it has spite, and unfortunately with spite comes hate, and that’s just not obviously going to be a good direction for us to go if we’re looking for positive change.”
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