Up-and-coming rapper Tiny Jag has canceled her appearance at AfroFuture Fest, scheduled for the beginning of August this year in Detroit, after discovering their pricing model.
According to ticketing sites and their own Instagram page, AfroFuture is charging non-POC (people of color) attendees double what POC are being charged.
Initially, AfroFuture doubled down on their stance, but have recently rethought after seeing what damage Tiny Jag pulling out, and the backlash associated with the pricing could really do to their show.
Tiny Jag is really Jillian Graham, 26, from Detroit, Michigan. If you haven’t heard of her, that’s not too surprising – she hasn’t made a huge musical entrance yet, but she has all the makings of becoming rap’s next big female star. S
Graham has her masters in criminal justice and sociology and has been recording backup vocals for almost 10 years now. Only recently has she stepped into making her own music, and to be honest… it’s a little odd.
Graham admits in one interview that she was a ‘weird kid’ growing up, and her music reflects that, aiming to make music for the weirdos that listen to her. In high school, her favorite artists included Eminem, System of a Down, and Spice Girls. She clearly wasn’t afraid of variety.
It would be one thing if Tiny Jag only pulled out after public backlash at the price issue, but she instead discovered it when a white friend screenshotted the ticketing prices and texted it to her, asking if she knew about it.
The price difference isn’t going to make white people pull out the discount paper towels for a month or go crazy couponing, but it is double. Presale tickets for AfroFuture Fest were $10 for POC or $20 for non-POC, and the full price at the door tickets were $20 for POC, or $40 for non-POC.
In a statement released by the rapper, she shared that it was “no fun” to make the decision to pull out of a show, especially one in her hometown, but she couldn’t be part of something that asked friends and family to pay more simply because of their color.
She feels the move was “out of spite”, and with spite comes hate. She also shared that her popular single Polly was named after her grandmother, who was white. The decision to sing Polly at a festival that would have charged her more didn’t sit right with her.
When Tiny Jag first announced her pulling out of the event, AfroFuture doubled down on their stance of charging more, saying that all they wanted to do was give “an equitable chance” to POC, and allow them to enjoy events in their community.
However, they have since backtracked. The reasoning? The event could be over before it begins.
Not only has Tiny Jag pulled out and made her stance clear, but the internet also does not appreciate the pricing model. Those of all races have criticized it, and AfroFuture’s organizers say they have received a significant amount of threats since their decision went live.
Eventbrite is an event advertising platform that shared information initially on AfroFuture but has since stated that they cannot support a festival that has this type of pricing. It goes against their terms of service, and if AfroFuture doesn’t change it, they will stop listing the festival entirely.
The event is only supposed to pull about 200 people, but over 70 tickets have been sold. As of now, it is still scheduled for August 3rd.