By Peter Hasson
A Detroit youth music festival is offering different ticket prices for different races, leading one rapper to withdraw from the event.
AfroFuture Fest tickets for “persons of color” cost half as much as tickets for “non-persons of color,” according to the event page.
Early bird tickets for white attendees run at $20, while early bird tickets for non-white attendees cost $10. After July 17, tickets for white people will cost $40, while tickets for non-white people will cost $20.
OFFICIAL LINE UP For Afrofuture Fest IS HERE✨✨✨
We’re activating the BLACK farm grounds of FEEDOM FREEDOM(866 Manistique) & YES, this is happening on BLACK Detroit’s Eastside
— Afrofuture Youth (@AFYDet) July 4, 2019
A spokeswoman for Eventbrite, a popular ticketing website hosting the festival, said the event will be removed if the terms aren’t changed.
“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,” the spokeswoman told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an emailed statement.
“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,” the spokeswoman added. “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.”
Detroit-based rapper Jillian Graham, who goes by the stage name Tiny Jag, withdrew from the event on account of the race-based prices.
“Tiny Jag wants everyone to understand the effort to black empowerment is a mutual goal but not at the expense of morale,” a spokeswoman for the rapper told the DCNF.
“I was immediately enraged just because I am biracial,” Graham told the Detroit Metro Times on Thursday.
“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,” said Graham, who performed at last year’s event.
Event organizers didn’t return an email seeking comment.
Organizers posted an explanation for the race-based pricing on the event website, stating that “equality means treating everyone the same,” while “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),” the organizers state.
“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,” they added.
“This cycle disproportionately displaces black and brown people from enjoying entertainment in their own communities.”
The festival is scheduled to take place early next month.
This article has been updated to include comments from Eventbrite and Tiny Jag.
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