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Afrofuture Fest: Music festival warned after doubling ticket price for white people – The Independent

Ticketing website Eventbrite has threatened to remove a music festival in Detroit from its listings after organisers offered people of colour a discount on tickets.

Afrofuture Fest, an event put on by local art and social collective Afrofuture Youth, set the full price tickets for people of colour at $20 – however this rose to $40 for non-people of colour.

Advertising for the event said equality “means treating everyone the same”.

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The listing added: “Our ticket structure was built to ensure that the most marginalized communities (people of colour) 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.”

However Eventbrite has since clamped down on the event – stating the approach breaches the companies terms and conditions.

A spokesperson said: “Our mission is to bring the world together through live experiences. We strive to provide a platform that enables people to gather for their chosen purpose, and that reflects diverse viewpoints, so long as they don’t violate our terms.

“We do not permit events that require attendees to pay different prices based on their protected characteristics such as race or ethnicity.

“In this case, we have notified the creator of the event about this violation and requested that they alter their event accordingly. We have offered them the opportunity to do this on their own accord; should they not wish to comply we will unpublish the event completely from our site.”

It is currently unclear what steps the organisers will take for the event, a small scale festival that is due to take place on 3 August on the site of community gardening project Feedom Freedom in Detroit’s Jefferson Chalmers district.

But organisers have already had some kickback from performers – including Detroit-based rapper Tiny Jag, who pulled out of the event after learning of the ticketing policy.

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The musician, whose real name is Jillian Graham, told the Detroit Times: “I 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.” 

She added: “A lot of the songs that I perform are from my first project called Polly – that is my grandmother’s name. 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.” 

However some criticised the artist for her move, arguing that the policy was well-intentioned and supported the local community.

Iljeoma Oluo, author of So You Want To Talk About Race, wrote on Twitter: “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.”

The Independent has contacted the event’s organisers for comment.

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