Eventbrite threatens to pull festival offering cheaper tickets for people of colour

A Detroit music festival faced being pulled from ticketing website Eventbrite after charging white people twice the price of people of colour to attend. 

Afrofuture Fest was forced to rethink their pricing structure, which saw tickets for people of colour advertised at US$20, while non-people of colour would need to pay US$40.

In a statement from Eventbrite, the online ticketing giant said Afrofuture's prices violated the company's terms, according to The Independent.

"We do not permit events that require attendees to pay different prices based on their protected characteristics such as race or ethnicity," the statement said.

Eventbrite said they had requested the festival alter their event to align with the rules, adding that they would unpublish the gig from their listings should they refuse.

The New York Times reports that Afrofuture Fest has now set a standard price of US$20 across the board.

Adrienne Ayers, the founder of Afrofuture Youth, said the change was necessary for "safety, not anything else but that".

Ayers told the Times right-wing websites had originally pointed out the pricing structure, prompting calls of threats and harassment from some people.

The event will suggest a "donation" for non-people of colour attending.

The original Eventbrite listing explained the difference in cost as necessary to provide people of colour with an "equitable chance at enjoying events in their own community (black Detroit)".

"Affording joy and pleasure is unfortunately still a privilege in our society for POC and we believe everyone should have access to receiving such."

The controversy around pricing saw one artist, Jillian Graham, also known as Tiny Jag, drop out.

Graham told the Detroit Times: "I was immediately enraged just because I am biracial".

"I have family members that would have, under those circumstances, been subjected to something that I would not ever want them to be in."

Half the profits from the festival, due to take place August 3, will go towards a sponsored program that focuses on young black people in Detroit.


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