The Afrofuture Music Festival and White Ticketgate. : ThyBlackMan

Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Afrofuture Music Festival and White Ticketgate.

July 14, 2019 by  
Filed under Ent., Money, Music, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Recently, there was some—let’s call it hub bub or static—about the Afrofuture music festival and a particular ticket practice. If you haven’t seen it, Afrofuture Fest was giving Black and brown festival goers a “POC Ticket” discount. Early bird was $10 and the regular ticket was $20, not including the ticket site’s fee. People of the Caucasian persuasion had to pay $20 and $40 respectively.

So…These Non-POC Ticket Prices

As you can expect, this went over like a fart in church. There were cries of “Racism!” and “Black people can be racist too!” and oh, what a garbage fire it was all around and for everyone involved. You also had biracial rapper Tiny Jag pull out of the event after it was brought to her attention what Afrofuture was doing.

In talking with the Metro Times, Tiny Jag said that she 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.”

So, she bounces from the festival. Afrofuture changes the price to $20 all around after pressure from Eventbrite with an option for a donation from white attendees. White folks—most of which weren’t even planning on going to the festival—pat the performer on the back for her decision. Because that the kind of “racism is bad” feel good moment some will eat up. You know, after hitting that one Martin Luther King, Jr. quote.

The Kindred Music & Culture Festival dropped Jag from their festivities a little bit afterwards. Kindred stated that Tiny Jag’s actions around her removing herself from Afrofuture brought threatening attention and the like to that festival and its own—which works in tandem with Afrofuture.

What Afrofuture Did Wrong

Some will say “Everything!” But really, the only thing they did wrong was the pricing and putting it out there on a site that could also face backlash and wasn’t going to back them. That’s the magic and folly of being overly idealistic.

You can’t go “Oh yeah, white folks have to pay double!” punch that into the paying tiers and let it cook on said site. It’s 2019, people are going to see that. While some will go “Meh.” there are other who take the greatest offense. Those who feel that being called “racist” has the same impact as “nigger” and their Black friends who let them get a pass.

So, anything resembling blood in the water would’ve resulted in backlash and this was raw meat tossed overboard. It was just stupid to actually put that as a pricing model and expect nothing to happen or the ticket office to back the event organizers. Hell, maybe any press is good press in this case. Plus, how do you even check if the ticket holder is white when they get a POC ticket? You can snatch the ticket from them at the gate, they paid for it!

On the flip side, this can be seen as an attempt at protecting a Black and brown music space. If you price the tickets unfavorably then you’ll get mainly festival goers of color. Then again, you probably wouldn’t get the numbers you need to warrant holding the festival next year. Also, Afrofuture could’ve promoted the event exclusively in Black and brown social media circles, via podcasts and YouTube channels of color and so on.

I’m not saying that the organizers didn’t do this and it probably would’ve made it harder to snag a large attendance but it’s no different than what Funk Fest does with the addition of radio. Factor in promotion in a predominately Black city and you’re going to get a massively Black turnout and keep the vibe of the festival—without charging white folks double the price and getting into a heap of trouble.

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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