Besides entertainment, festivals can also prove to be change bringers.
The Afropunk Festival is a music festival held annually in Brooklyn, New York City since 2005. The 2015 edition was held in Brooklyn’s Commodore Barry Park while also expanding to Paris and Atlanta. Taking its name from James Spooner’s 2003 documentary film, Afro-Punk, the festival originally sought to provide the black community an opportunity to build community amongst the predominantly white Punk subcultures.
The festival then shifted to include Soul music to attract a wider audience, bringing in headliners like Lauryn Hill, Lenny Kravitz, and Gary Clark, Jr. In the present day, the festival continues to attract people from all racial backgrounds. While the lineup is still dominated by black artists, it has expanded to include, besides race, various other genres. In many ways the Afropunk festival has succeeded and exceeded its original purpose by providing an all inclusive atmosphere rather than trying to disassociate.
Afropunk firmly stands behind the following morals :
Described by The New York Times as “the most multicultural festival in the US,” it promises an eclectic line-up and an audience as diverse as the acts they come to see. While it is commonly referred to as a “festival,” it is much more a movement. To this day, the black community, though a large part of the USA, still faces discrimination, being prevented to hit their true potential. Afropunk not only provides that platform but is a prime example of how art and music can bring people together. Shifting focus off of race and focusing on the great things human minds can do show how the festival has itself progressed.