A Detroit music festival faced public backlash after announcing segregated entrance prices. The AfroFuture Fest listed entrance at $20 for people of color and $40 for white people. Organizers explained the entrance disparity on their Eventbrite page by stating, “Our ticket structure was built to insure that the most marginalized communities (people of color) are provided with an equitable change at enjoying events in their own community [Black Detroit].”
Organizers of AfroFuture Fest walked back their ticket prices following the withdrawal of biracial performer Tiny Jag, who dropped out of the festival in protest. The rapper made a statement on her Twitter page, saying ticket disparities do not “reflect the views of myself or the Tiny Jag team.” She further expressed empathy with those offended by the actions taken.
Ticketing website Eventbrite also took action, threatening to remove the event from its listings for breaching terms and conditions. “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 the 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,” read part of the statement released by a spokesperson for Eventbrite.
Citing harassment and threats from white supremacists and desire to keep participants safe, AfroFuture Fest organizers released new ticket prices as $20 for the general public and suggested donations for white people.