Festival Slammed For Selling Half-Price Tickets To People Of Colour
The future of a music and culture festival in Detroit is on shaky ground after a rapper pulled out due to organisers setting ticket prices based on race.
AfroFuture Fest put on by a local art and social collective set full price early bird tickets for people of colour at US$10, the same ticket would cost white festivalgoers $20.
Biracial rapper Tiny Jag, whose real name is Jillian Graham, was scheduled to perform in August but pulled the pin when a white friend reached out to her about AfroFuture's pay model.
"This does not reflect the views of the Tiny Jag team," she posted to Twitter. "I will not be playing this show."
Graham said she was upset because of how she thought it would have affected her family.
"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," Graham told Metro Times.
AfroFuture Fest has explained its policy decision, claiming the event and its ticket costs are all about equality.
"Equality means treating everyone the same," the listing on ticketing website Eventbrite explains.
"Our ticket structure was built to ensure that the most marginalised communities (people of colour) are provided with an equitable chance at enjoying events in their own community (black Detroit)".
Now, Eventbrite has threatened to remove the festival from its site, claiming the policy breaches the company's terms and conditions.
"Charging different prices based on race or ethnicity clearly violates our Terms of Service," it said in a statement.
"We are giving the creators of this event a chance to do the right thing and change their pricing, but will have to remove the event if they don't comply".
The situation has been met with a mixed reaction online, with one user labelling the situation "embarrassing", while others have backed the two-tier pricing system.
Gawd this is embarrassing. My white mom would be PROUD to pay more because she understands the history of economic exploitation of black folk in this country to benefit whiteness & she wants a better future for black folk, including her black kids.https://t.co/W3ce9kW8su
— Ijeoma Oluo (@IjeomaOluo) July 6, 2019
"This is legitimately offensive to everybody," rapper Zuby wrote.
It's now been a week since Graham pulled out but the pay model remains the same.