Music festival under fire for charging white fans double

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
Entertainment,
Publish Date
Monday, 8 July 2019, 3:46PM
A Detroit music festival faces the axe from ticketing website Eventbrite after it transpired it is charging white festivalgoers double the entry price.
A Detroit music festival faces the axe from ticketing website Eventbrite after it transpired it is charging white festivalgoers double the entry price.

A Detroit music festival faces the axe from ticketing website Eventbrite after they were caught charging white people double the price to enter.

Afrofuture was originally charging coloured people US$20 to attend the event, while non-coloured festival-goers had to fork out $40 for the same tickets.

The move has caused backlash around the world, with star musician Tiny Jag pulling out of the festival over the discriminatory price rules.

"I was immediately enraged just because I am biracial," Tiny Jag told the Metro Times of Detroit.

"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."

The festival is being billed as a fundraiser for an organisation which promotes the arts among the black youth of Detroit.

Tiny Jag says that she was offended by the fact that her white grandmother would have had to pay more to attend.

"A lot of the songs that I perform are from my first project called Polly — that is my grandmother's name," she says.

"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."

"I was immediately enraged just because I am biracial," Tiny Jag told the Metro Times of Detroit.

In a statement from Eventbrite, the online ticketing giant said Afrofuture's prices violated the company's terms.

"We do not permit events that require attendees to pay different prices based on their protected characteristics such as race or ethnicity," the statement said.

Following the backlash, and threats from white supremacists, Afrofuture has dropped their race-based pricing system and all tickets will now sell for $20.

"For the safety of our community, family, elders who received threats from white supremacists, and youth who were subjected to seeing racist comments on our Instagram page, Afrofuture Fest has changed our ticketing model to $20 General Admission and suggested donation from non 'people of colour' on Eventbrite," the company said on social media.

Tiny Jag's decision to cancel her participation in the festival was a hot topic of debate on Twitter, with supporters saying she was right while opponents blasted her.

"Props to Tiny Jag for standing up on principle and pulling out of the performance," tweeted fellow rapper Zuby.

"Want people to recognise that."

Another supporter of Tiny Jag wrote that charging whites more is a bad business decision since it risks alienating potential customers.

"Stop letting your white liberal allies lie to you," wrote businessman Hotep Doobs.

"They are NOT 'okay with paying more'.

"They front like they do, stop shopping with you altogether and now you outta business.

"It's not 'bad press', it's just a failing business model, beloved."

 

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