Music’s Fulcrum of Black Diversity, AFROPUNK, Released Its 2017 Lineup: SZA, Sampha, The Cool Kids, & More!
Afropunk is much more than a music festival.
As in, born of African spirit and heritage; see also black (not always), see also rhythm and color, see also other, see also underdog.
As in, rebel, opposing the simple route, imbued with a DIY ethic, looking forward with simplicity, rawness and open curiosity; see also other, see also underdog.
‘AFROPUNK is defining culture by the collective creative actions of the individual and the group. It is a safe place, a blank space to freak out in, to construct a new reality, to live your life as you see fit, while making sense of the world around you.‘
Nestled in the greenery of Brooklyn, New York, the annual gathering is a fulcrum of cultural diversity. It’s an escape that’s committed to change, celebrating Black culture, and creating conversation.
Take a trip with us, if you will, to Brooklyn, as we explore the many reasons this Black-centric celebration is the must-stop inclusive fest environment of the summer!
Photo Credit: Onaje Scott
Afropunk began in 2003 after a documentary entitled Afro-Punk highlighted the Black presence in the American punk scene. In the film, director James Spooner, who grew up Black in New York, questions what it means to be Black amongst a considerably white musical realm. Spooner explored this idea through exclusive interviews with various punk rock bands including, Fishbone, and the Dead Kennedys, in turn, showcasing issues of racial exile, interracial dating, and the lives of people of color led amongst a predominately white community.
The festival as we know it today began in an effort to provide an opportunity to foster community amongst the white dominated punk subculture. It wasn’t long until Afropunk became the world renowned destination for African-Americans we know it as today.
Today Afropunk is an online platform and worldwide destination with festivals in New York, Atlanta, Paris, London, and Johannesburg, South Africa. The online platform reaches 14 million people weekly across its site and social media platforms.
One may read a number of banners flying high at the festival:
NO ONE IS FREE UNTIL EVERYONE IS FREE
Negativity and hate are everywhere, a lot of which is deeply engrained in the foundation of the nations, but in this free festival state of Afropunk, all inhabitants are to work to be a little bit more understanding, inclusive, celebratory, and appreciative.
In turn, the festival is a beaconing mecca of inclusion and cultural celebration.
Check any negativity and internalized judgment at the gates of Fort Greene’s Commodore Barry Park, because here at Afropunk there’s no space for it.
Photo Credit: Driely Carter
Forget about trends while you’re at it too. Afropunk will shatter any preconceived expectations you have about festival fashion. When it comes to fashion at Afropunk, there are no rules but to break the rules.
SO LET THAT FREAK FLAG FLY
Here at The Sights and Sounds, that’s something we can definitely get behind.
But Afropunk also brings forth a boastful lineup of creative and diverse artists. This year’s bill includes an impressive array of artistry including Gary Clark Jr., Sampha, SZA, Kaytranada, Thundercat, Macy Gray, Willow Smith, The Cool Kids, Kevin Abstract, artist-curated stages, and more!
To learn more about the individual artists visit http://afropunkfest.com/brooklyn/line-up/. In the meantime stayed tuned for updates on special guests, afterparties, vendors, and curated events/stages still to come!
AFROPUNK’S FULL 2017 LINE-UP:
Tickets for the two-day festival are on sale now with general admission weekend passes priced at just $89.85 so get on it while you can. After all, you deserve to take a break from populist pop and the traditional festival experience for once.