Afrofuture Fest set the full price tickets for people of colour at US$20 with the same ticket costing US$40 for people of non-colour on the grounds of equality.

By Ian Horswill

Posted on July 8, 2019

A musician, who says she is of mixed race, has quit a music festival after she discovered that people with white-coloured skin were being charged twice the price for a ticket, compared to “people of colour”.

Rapper Tiny Jag, real name Jillian Graham, angrily quit the Afrofuture Fest in Detroit, Michigan, next month.

Ticketing agency Eventbrite has also threatened to remove the music festival from its listings unless it changes its policy, The Independent reported.

Afrofuture Fest, a festival put on by local art and social collective Afrofuture Youth, set the full price tickets for people of colour at US$20. This rose to US$40 for white people.

Advertising for the festival said equality “means treating everyone the same”, adding “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).”

Afrofuture Youth insisted that “non-people of colour” must pay US$20 for early bird tickets while “people of colour” are being charged US$10.

Tiny Jag told CTVNews that she was “very angry” when she discovered the two-tier pricing.

“Initially I was very angry because of my own lineage, race and ethnicity,” she said. “I reached out to get clarification and proceeded to withdraw from the show and any promotional material. They considered their justification to be black equity.

“(Equity) is a goal I can stand behind but it’s the means I have a problem with,” added Tiny Jag, who is from Detroit.

Eventbrite said it had told the organisers of Afrofuture Fest that they had breached their guidelines.

“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,” a spokesman told The Independent.

“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.”

Afrofuture Youth today said it had amended its pricing for “the safety of our community, family, elders who received threats from white supremacists”.