The AfroFuture music festival in Detroit has been forced to reverse their policy of charging white people double the price for tickets, after the ticketing website Eventbrite warned that they do not allow discriminatory pricing structures.
The festival, set to take place August 3rd, was initially offering different ticket prices based on the race of the attendee. For white people, or “non-persons of color,” early bird tickets cost $20, compared with $10 for people of color. For those planning on buying tickets closer to the event date, white people were asked to pay $40 compared with $20 for people of color.
The pricing structure led to a significant backlash, with critics questioning the legality and ethics of the organizers’ race-based pricing. One of the performers, a mixed race rapper named Tiny Jag, pulled out the festival in protest, describing it as a “non-progressive” and motivated by “spite.”
Festival charging different prices based on race… 👎🏾
Well done intersectional radicals. You've become the very racists you claim to stand against.
So woke… So very woke. pic.twitter.com/v3YKHpRgRQ
— ZUBY: (@ZubyMusic) July 6, 2019
However, the organizers have backed down from their position, which they previously claimed would ensure that marginalized groups were given “equitable chance at enjoying events in their own community.”
In a statement provided to CNN, ticketing website Eventbrite said that the company does 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,” said a company spokesperson. “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.”
Announcing the decision, AfroFuture confirmed that they would scrap the pricing system but would still ask white attendees to pay an extra donation.
“For the safety of our community, family, elders who received threats from white supremacists, & youth who were subjected to seeing racist comments on our IG pg, Afrofuture Fest has changed our ticketing model to $20 General Admission & suggested donation for nonPOC on Eventbrite,” they wrote on Twitter.
For the safety of our community, family, elders who received threats from white supremacists,& youth who were subjected to seeing racist comments on our IG pg,Afrofuture Fest has changed our ticketing model to $20 General Admission & suggested donation for nonPOC on @eventbrite pic.twitter.com/6wQXEjRKtt
— Afrofuture Youth (@AFYDet) July 7, 2019
The organizers also decided to offer free tickets for people of color, although they quickly sold out. With all $10 “Early Bird” tickets also selling out, the only ticket still on offer is a “General Admission,” priced at $20.