After spending the past two weekends at music festivals, I really enjoyed my time seeing several of my favorite artist. However, I am tired and I learned a lot about these spaces. Black Festivals matter. The differences between the two cultures, even when it comes to something as simple as attending a music festival, are definitely apparent and if I never had a full understanding of what a culture vulture was before, I do now.
The f*ckery was at an all time high. I hate to say it but being around so many non POCs made it terribly uncomfortable. The constant shouts of “n*gga” during song and basic conversation was out of hand. Not to mention the liquid courage sprinkled through a 90% white crowd doesn’t leave people of color feeling that safe.
Don't get me wrong the music and artists were amazing. The Migos set was the “littest”, while Solange gave the best performance. I absolutely hate I missed 21 Savage but from what I heard his performance was lacking. Sampha was amazing but I began to notice people were just hanging out, talking, smoking, and taking up space so they could be in the front for the next artist, the Migos.
Getting back to the subject at hand, being pushed by white adults so they can hear Solange serenade us with songs like “FUBU” and “Mad” had me completely baffled and annoyed. I was at a lost for words when Brad and Hayley pushed to the front to see “Beyonce’s sister” (something I heard to many times throughout the night by a few). Even though Solange clearly says “Dont be mad you can’t sing along” because of the numerous use of the word “nigga”, they still managed to sing along.
Like we can’t have nothing…. Let us have this moment.
After the rain went away, more people that looked like me showed up. The atmosphere was completely different. Those brown girls did not come to play; with their faces beat to the Gods, they managed to still look cute while walking over the muddy grounds from the monsoon the day before. Don’t worry we did get a few attitudes from our own when trying to travel through the crowds but overall when you are surrounded by your people it’s a whole different feel.
Let me go over the huge difference. While we waited for Jay-Z, we ended up making friends with some random Ques (yes they were everything you just imagined).We laughed and talked junk with them and when the show started, they simply rapped every lyric word for word and bobbed their heads. Now when surrounded by non-POC they usually moshed, pushed each other, and threw water bottles. COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ATMOSPHERE.
Overall the festivals in themselves were amazing, but from here on out I will definitely monitor what festivals I attend. Hopscotch was different in that it really highlighted local bands Raurfest was geared to African Americans and again it was a pretty chill environment. However because of the black to white ratio at Made In America, you definitely need to be aware of how the different cultures get down at concerts.