A music and arts festival in Detroit is charging fans different prices depending on their skin colour.
The controversial pricing plan has led to one artist pulling out of the event, saying she was “enraged” by the policy.
The organisers of the AfroFuture Fest, set for 3-4 August, are charging lower rates for tickets bought by “people of colour” than for “non-people of colour”.
Early bird tickets for “POC” were $10 and $20 for “Non-POC”.
There were also some “POC” tickets which were free but they have now sold out.
Later date pricing offers “POC” tickets for $20 and “Non-POC” tickets for $40.
It was not immediately clear what the method was for confirming race and identity of ticket purchasers.
The organisers explained their pricing in the “frequently asked questions” section of their event website.
It stated: “Why do we have POC (people of colour) and Non-POC (white people) tickets? I’m glad you asked! Equality means treating everyone the same.
“Equity is insuring (sic) everyone has what they need to be successful. Our ticket structure was built to insure (sic) that the most marginalised communities (people of colour) are provided with an equitable chance at enjoying events in their own community (black Detroit).”
Tiny Jag, a biracial rapper based in Detroit, has quit the event and insisted AfroFuture Fest removed her name from all promotional material.
She told the Detroit Metro Times: “I was immediately enraged just because I am biracial. 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.”
Tiny Jag also said of the ticketing policy: “It’s non-progressive and it’s not solution-focused in my eyes.
“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 legality of AfroFuture’s ticket policy is believed to be questionable.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title II states: “All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, colour, religion, or national origin.”
The section describes places of public accommodation to include “any motion picture house, theatre, concert hall, sports arena, stadium or other place of exhibition or entertainment”.