AFROPUNK descended upon Brooklyn New York last weekend and it was truly an out of this world experience. The two day festival took place at Commodore Barry Park Saturday and Sunday. This was my first time attending an AFROPUNK festival and I was excited about from the time I purchased my ticket until now as I am writing this post. Festivals like this one are so important. This festival was oozing with Black love, culture, pride, creativity, peace, and of course incredible music. There were numerous events taking place surrounding the festival. On Friday night, I attended the inaugural Fancy Dress Ball. The event was described as a party with a purpose. Funds from the ball will be used for the AFROPUNK Global initiative “which dedicates itself to the promotion of diversity in media and the arts in addition to volunteer service.” The costumes and fancy dresses worn by the attendees were extremely impressive and inspiring. The night was topped off by an energizing performance by Grace Jones. She was phenomenal. Grace brought an air of drama, danger, and comedy on stage. She moved and danced around the stage better than any of her predecessors of today.
On the first official day of AFROPUNK, I was blown away by the number of fashion forward eclectic people. The vibe was loving and peaceful and fast-paced. There were numerous food trucks with many varieties of things to choose from. Everything from down home BBQ to vegan delights. The clothing and jewelry vendors sold unique one of a kind goods that were African and Native American inspire. There was also a section designated as Activism Row. This area was filled with many groups and organizations that are helping to improve the social climate as it stands in America. The social activism of AFROPUNK is the true spirit of the festival and it was the glue that bonded everyone there. They even have a program that encourages people to volunteer as a way to earn tickets to the festival. SZA, Kelis, Lauren Hill, and Grace Jones totally rocked the house. The combination of main stream acts on the main stage, with more traditional punk bands on the smaller stage was perfection.
The second day of the festival was equally as magical as the first but it had more of a low key vibe. Things just seemed to be more relaxed. Kalela belted out smooth and soothing jams while Young Paris hit us with impassioned beats and African inspired costumes. However, the highlight of the night, and the entire festival, in my opinion was Mr. Lenny Kravitz. He is a true rock star in every sense of the word. Brooklyn was on its feet for the entire performance.
Leaving the festival was even fun and exciting. There were many people exiting at the same time and we would all randomly start singing songs together. It was epic. AFROPUNK is needed for so many reasons. There was nothing but Black peace and love. We are a multifaceted people and events like AFROPUNK give America and the world an opportunity to see how dynamic we are. AFROPUNK is eye opening and all inclusive. I am so happy I attended. I returned to Atlanta feeling energized and refreshed. I cannot wait for AFROPUNK Fest ATL!!!