Afro Punk Fest, one of the highly anticipated annual Brooklyn festivals known for attracting thousands of attendees worldwide returned this past weekend for it's 10th year and it just that. However, the festival did have it pros - as well as cons.
If you didn't know, Afro Punk is a community (which used to be underground) with the niche called "the other black experience" - a community of diverse individuals who are merged together through music, art, fashion. In fact, many music talents from previous years have gotten a career jumpstart from just being affiliated with the festival.
Afropunk is defined music-wise as anything that’s not mainstream hip hop or mainstream R&B, with acts this weekend from a variety of genres, such as: young rock trio, Unlocking the Truth, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Trash Talk, Lianne La Havas, Body Count, H09909, SZA, Princess Nokia, D'Angelo, among others.
This was the very first year that ticket sales were held for the festival, which was disappointing for many, since Afro Punk was always a free, donation driven music festival. Another disappointing aspect, was the confusing theme of the fest. The promotional brochure with FAQ regarding the festival, such as: lineup, directions and more read "F*!$ Afro Punk" however, was blocked out by a colored purple/black square and was not difficult to figure out what it read ; other areas and wrist bands repeated this theme.
In addition, the Afro Punk 2014 souvenir apparel was literally the rules of the festival: "no sexism, racism, ableism, homophobia, fatphobia, transphobia, etc."Was there any theme at all? Last, the highly anticipated headliner of the festival started over a hour late and didn't perform the song they're known for - you know that song. It was what can be best described as mediocre performance.
Afro Punk Fest 2014 was satisfactory compared to it's previous years. It is great to see a music festival evolve from small into what you can call a movement, however, it's our hope that the niche and theme is not forgotten and replaced with the desperate need to market and monetize which is becoming quite common in the growing market and demand of music festivals .
The Pros? Attendees received footwear by Product Of New York (PONY) and last, but not least, the beautiful people and kindred spirits who attended the festival. View the gallery above to view the people of Afro Punk 2014.
For all things Afropunk, visit afropunk.com