A Detroit youth music festival is offering different ticket prices for different races, leading a rapper scheduled to perform 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.
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Event organizers didn’t return an email seeking comment.
Detroit-based rapper Jillian Graham, who goes by the stage name Tiny Jag, withdrew from the event on account of the race-based prices. “I was immediately enraged just because I am biracial,” she 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.
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.
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