The Detroit rapper Tiny Jag made a big decision by pulling out of a local concert that charged white people more for tickets than people of color.
The event, scheduled for August 3, is called AfroFuture Fest, and “early bird POC” tickets go for $10 and “NONPOC tickets” sell for $20. Jag said she learned of the price difference after a friend, who’s white, brought it to her attention.
“I was immediately enraged just because I am biracial,” Jag told the Detroit Metro Times. “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.”
The rapper said she promoted the concert without knowing about the price difference, but once festival organizers confirmed it was true she dropped out and stopped supporting it.
“A lot of the songs that I perform are from my first project called ‘Polly,’ that is my grandmother’s name,” she explained. “How do you want me to come to a performance and perform these songs off a mixtape that is titled after this white woman that you would have charged double to get in here? Like, it’s just outrageous from so many different angles.”
The event organizers explained why there’s two different prices, and they said it’s to ensure that people of color can afford tickets.
“Equality means treating everyone the same,” read a message on the site EventBrite. “Equity is insuring everyone has what they need to be successful. Out 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).”
“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,” the message continued.
Jag said she’s in total favor of equity but doesn’t like the organizers’ approach.
“It’s non-progressive and it’s not solution-focused in my eyes,” she stated. “It seems almost like it has spite, and unfortunately with spite comes hate, and that’s just not obviously going to be a good direction for us to go if we’re looking for positive change.”
The Detroit rapper also took to Twitter and explained why she was leaving the festival, which ensued huge backlash.
“I hope I don’t see
@tinyjaguar on no local lineups. Not bc she pulled out, that’s her right. But bc of the unnecessary smear campaign she started against @NumiOri greatness. AND AFROFUTURE FEST NEEDS TO SELL OUT (after I get my tickets).”
“So a biracial rapper turned an event about uplifting black children in Detroit
#AfroFutureFest about herself and white people’s fragile feelings. These snowflakes are upset about an extra $10! It should of been discretionary but were any of them even planning to attend?! Be real.”
“Afrofuture fest is charging white people double to attend a festival located in black ass Detroit. Y’all wanna be part of black culture sooo badly you better be willing to pay us our worth.”
“Gawd this is embarrassing. My white mom would be PROUD to pay more because she understands the history of economic exploitation of black folk in this country to benefit whiteness & she wants a better future for black folk, including her black kids.”
UPDATE: Festival organizers announced they’ve cancelled the two different ticket prices, and all tickets are now $20. They also asked non people of color to donate.
“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,” the message read.