The Detroit AfroFuture FEST August 3 concert was reportedly charging white people twice as much for tickets as “people of color,” resulting in the withdrawal of a biracial rap performer who was offended by the bigoted system. Fortunately, public outcry against the ticketing scale forced Afrofuture Fest organizers to change their pricing model.
Local Detroit rapper Tiny Jag, whose real name is Jillian Graham, was disturbed to learn that her white fans were being charged $20 for early-bird tickets when POC (people of color) were being charged only $10, Detroit’s Metro Times reports. Following the early-bird special, tickets would have doubled in price to $20 for POC and $40 for white consumers.
Graham told the LA Times, “I care not only because I was raised to care about things like this, but because I actually have the blood in me.… My own family members would be affected by this decision.”
When this pricing model came to Tiny Jag’s attention, she sent out a tweet to her fans stating that was withdrawing from the event.
Referring to the event’s unfair pricing policy, Graham tweeted, “This does not reflect the views of myself or the Tiny Jag Team. I will not be playing this show. I apologize to anyone who may have been triggered or offended.”
Some Twitter users immediately responded with support for Graham’s decision.
“Thank you! MLK Jr. would be proud of you,” one user responded.
Another added, “Respect to you for standing up against this.”
Others admitted to not being familiar with Tiny Jag’s music but being impressed by her bold move.
“I’ll be honest, I don’t know your music at all, but I respect your decision to the fullest and I will check out your music guaranteed. Maybe I’ll dig, maybe not, but I definitely respect your view on this,” one wrote.
Fortunately, when the unfair pricing policy came to the attention of EventBrite, which hosts ticket sales for the festival, a spokesman immediately issued a statement explaining that the platform does not permit events that require people to pay different prices based on race. The spokesman warned that if AfroFuture FEST did not change its pricing structure, the event would be delisted.
The pricing structure has since been revised and now asks for a $20 general admission price with a box that allows consumers to make a “Non POC Suggested Donation.” The site includes a pop-out message explaining the donation: