Detroit concert organizers say ticket prices were different for white people due to wealth gap

AfroFuture Fest prices changed after death threats

By Larry Spruill - Reporter

DETROIT - When you’re promoting an event, publicity is usually a good thing, but Detroit’s AfroFuture Fest is getting national attention for a reason the organizers say they never intended.

MORE: Detroit festival criticized for race-based ticket prices

Numi Ayers and Franchesca Lamarre really don’t have time for much the last couple of days. They are the concert planners for a two-day festival called AfroFuture Fest.

“We have Milfie performing and we have Blkboyshine, who will be hosting as well. We have Charity, Curtis Roach,” Lamarre said.

It’s a concert that benefits the organization AfroFuture Youth.

“(AfroFuture Youth) gives black teens in Detroit the space and the tools to build a more equitable future for all aspect of black lives,” Ayers said.

But their schedules have been on overload, not really for planning the concert but because of the ticket prices on Eventbrite. It advertises different early bird prices. One ticket is for POC, or person of color, at $12.24 and another price for non-POC, or non-person of color, at $22.85.

The event is getting nationwide attention but the organizers said there’s a reason for the price difference.

“We’re not operating from a framework of equality, which means that everybody is accommodated the same. This is about accommodating people based on their specific needs as a collective," Ayers said. "There is a wealth gap between black and white people. It’s about understanding that collectively there are things that disenfranchise us that has impacted us disproportionately, where we need discounts."

Ayers said there is some controversy behind their methods but overall people are supporting them. However, rapper Tiny Jag, who is bi-racial did drop out of the lineup.

Tiny Jag released this statement:

“Although the overall goals of the Afro Future Fest are vibrant and necessary for the black community, I could not stand behind the measures taken in effort of accomplishing them. Utilizing a ticket structure that alienates any race is simply unaligned with my views. I know we can make necessary strides in equity and agency for blacks without compromising our integrity. I am happy the ticket structure has since been modified and no longer reflects that division.”

“We respect that person’s choice, is really all I think needs to be said about it. Do what you have to do for you, but the show will continue to go on,” Ayers said.

Ayers told Local 4 they have received death threats. Due to safety reasons, all of the tickets at the door are $20.

Seventeen entertainers are scheduled to perform.

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