The Afrofuture Festival is set to go down on August 3 at the Feedom Freedom grounds in Detroit, and it originally had a controversial pricing structure for tickets: a “NONPOC(WHITE PEOPLE)” ticket was selling for $40, while “POC(PEOPLE OF COLOR)” tickets were only $20. Following backlash, the festival has decided to alter its ticket pricing, so now all tickets are available for $20, according to The New York Times.
As of this posting, the fest’s Eventbrite page reads:
“WHY DO WE HAVE POC(PEOPLE OF COLOR) AND NONPOC(WHITE PEOPLE) TICKETS? I’M GLAD YOU ASKED!
EQUALITY MEANS TREATING EVERYONE THE SAME
EQUITY IS INSURING EVERYONE HAS WHAT THEY NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL
OUR TICKET STRUCTURE WAS BUILT TO INSURE 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.
WE’VE SEEN TOO MANY TIMES ORGASMIC EVENTS HAPPENING IN DETROIT AND OTHER POC POPULATED CITIES AND WHAT CONSISTENTLY HAPPENS IS PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF THE COMMUNITY BENEFITING MOST FROM AFFORDABLE TICKET PRICES BECAUSE OF THEIR PROXIMITY TO WEALTH.
THIS CYCLE DISPROPORTIONATELY DISPLACES BLACK AND BROWN PEOPLE FROM ENJOYING ENTERTAINMENT IN THEIR OWN COMMUNITIES.
AS AN AFROFUTURIST YOUTH LEAD INITIATIVE THE VOICES OF OUR YOUTH INFORM OUR RESISTANCE.
HERE’S WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY
‘IF YOU DON’T SEE MY BLACKNESS, YOU DON’T SEE ME. PERIODT!'”
Afrofuture Youth founder and co-director Adrienne Ayers said that due to “threats and harassment” after “right-wing websites highlighted the pricing,” she decided to change the payment structure, saying, “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.”
Last week, performer Tiny Jag, who identified to The New York Times as biracial, decided to cancel her performance at the festival due to the pricing policy. Detroit-based civil rights lawyer Tiffany Ellis also told The New York Times that while private organizations are more able to chose how they do business, the “discriminatory” pricing structure could have resulted in lawsuits, saying, “We have constitutional rights as an individual, and the 14th Amendment provides that we cannot be discriminated against because all people are created equal. When it’s a private actor, those protections are different.”