(NEW YORK POST) — A Detroit music festival has dropped its controversial plan to charge white concertgoers twice as much as people of color — saying it was for the “safety of the community” following a furious backlash.
The AfroFuture Fest sparked outrage with its ticketing model for the Aug. 3 event that saw people of color paying a maximum of $20 compared to $40 for “Non-POC” tickets.
Biracial rapper Tiny Jag was so “enraged” that she publicly withdrew from performing, and ticketing website Eventbrite threatened to bar the festival from its services, according to the Independent.
The festival finally backed down late Sunday — but blamed threats from racists rather than the race-based disparity itself.
“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,” organizers announced on Twitter late Sunday.
However, Eventbrite had earlier made it clear the festival would not be able to carry on using its website if it stuck with the pricing policy.
“We do not permit events that require attendees to pay different prices based on their protected characteristics such as race or ethnicity,” a rep told the Independent.
“In this case, we have notified the creator of the event about this violation and requested that they alter their event accordingly. 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.”
The rep continued: “Our mission is to bring the world together through live experiences. We strive to provide a platform that enables people to gather for their chosen purpose, and that reflects diverse viewpoints, so long as they don’t violate our terms.”
Festival organizers had earlier insisted the ticket structure was “built to insure [sic] that the most marginalized communities (people of color) are provided 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,” they stated.