Detroit event tickets initially cost more for whites than blacks
By COREY WILLIAMS
DETROIT — A global ticketing and event platform has told a group that it could not charge whites more than blacks and other people of color to attend a Detroit event advertised on the firm’s website.
Organizers initially promoted on Eventbrite that early bird POC — people of color — tickets for the Aug. 3 AfroFuture FEST were $10. NONPOC tickets were $20. NONPOC is referred to as “white people” on the Eventbrite page.
Eventbrite said in a statement that once it became aware of the difference in ticket prices, it notified the creator of the event “and requested that they alter their ticket prices accordingly” and threatened to remove the event from its website.
On Monday, only $20 general admission tickets were listed.
“We do not permit events that require attendees to pay different prices based on their protected characteristics such as race or ethnicity,” Eventbrite said.
AfroFuture Fest is scheduled to run from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Feedom Freedom Grounds, the site of a community garden flanked by a small vacant lot about six miles northeast of downtown.
Organizers describe the event as “immersive, intimate, and intentional space keeping for afro-black futurist.” They also promise a “360 transformative dreamscape centering Detroit’s black magic performers and artisans with community.”
“Our 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 community (black Detroit),” they wrote on the Eventbrite page. “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 posting goes on to say that in mostly black cities “people outside of the community” benefit “most from affordable ticket prices to events because of their proximity to wealth.”
“This cycle disproportionately displaces black and brown people from enjoying entertainment in their own communities,” the post reads.
The Associated Press left an email seeking comment from organizers.
No applicable city of Detroit permits have been issued for AfroFuture Fest, according to the mayor’s office.