Ever heard of the Maywood Music Festival? No. You’re missing out because organizers of the festival hit the ball OUT OF THE PARK this year. Their key to success: catering to young Latino millennials, who don’t necessarily want to listen to Mexican banda.
The festival is an effort to highlight the region’s youth, born to first generation immigrants. The acts, which sometimes jumped from English to Spanish, consisted of heavy metal, hip-hop, urban cumbia and blues bands, as noted by the LA Times.
The city of 28,000 residents has gone through some rough patches and as it rebuilds it looks to its young residents for support and leadership.
“We have friends opening up galleries. We have friends opening up delis and cafes, things we want to see in our community,” said David Martinez, 20, who helped organize last year’s Maywood Music Festival. “This festival is coming from that same vein.”
Don’t forget to add to your festival list for next year.
To learn more on this year’s Maywood Festival, click here.
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Travelers from the U.S. seem to think that they’re exempt from following CDC guidelines once they’re outside of the country. Case in point: a recent arts and music festival that took place in Tulum – the hipster destination an hour south of Cancun.
Thousands of the U.S. tourists arrived to the small beach town to party at the Art With Me festival despite the fact we’re in the throes of the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yes, it’s true that young people are less likely to become hospitalized or die from COVID-19 infection. However, each of us, regardless of age, have a personal responsibility to be considerate of our more vulnerable neighbors – not to mention the locals at the destinations we’re choosing to visit.
Mexico’s Art With Me festival has been deemed a super-spreader event putting at risk the health of locals.
Mexico’s annual Art With me festival – which supposedly combines wellness, cultural immersion, and electronic music – in Tulum is billed as Mexico’s Burning Man. It’s designed to “inspire and activate attendees,” and has now been deemed a super-spreader event after at least 17 attendees tested positive for COVID-19 in the weeks following the festival.
Art With Me took place from November 11-15 and now less than a month later, doctors in the U.S. are noting an uptick in cases related to the four-day festival.
“I would say that 60-70 percent of my positives in the last couple weeks in New York City have been a direct result of either people coming back from Art With Me or who have been directly exposed to someone who attended Art With Me,” said Eleonora Walczak, founder of the private COVID care and testing company Checkmate Health Strategies, in a statement to the Daily Beast. “And I test in Miami as well, and my testers there tell me that a lot of their positives are people coming back from Art With Me.”
Videos of mask-less partygoers started making their rounds on social media.
Although it seems like many attendees tried to conceal their visit to the festival, in the days following the event videos started popping up on social media.
In videos on Facebook and YouTube, hundreds of maskless attendees can be seen dancing and not observing social distancing guidelines. One video refers to the partygoers as “gringos mensos” or “gringo idiots,” so it’s safe to say that the festival didn’t have the blessing of all locals.
The event has put the health of local Mexicans at increased risk as Mexico enters its deadliest phase of the pandemic yet.
COVID-19 has devastated Mexico. In terms of official infections, it appears that Mexico is a far better place than the U.S., but those numbers are deceiving as Mexico has one of the lowest testing rates in the world.
Even taking that low testing rate into account, the virus has infected more than 1.2 million people and killed over 110,000 – giving Mexico the highest case-fatality rate in the world at 9.2 percent, according to Johns Hopkins University.
But those grim numbers haven’t stopped the partying in Tulum.
Tourists, primarily from the United States, Europe, and South America, have descended on the beachy municipality in groups to dine, dance, and flout COVID restrictions. Tourists’ pandemic partying in Tulum has angered locals, who feel their behavior is recklessly endangering the community, and many believe that festivals like this may end up forcing the community to the brink of a public health disaster.
And despite the risk, another music festival is soon planned to take place in the same town.
Just as locals and health officials are starting to recognize the impact that Art With Me had, locals in Tulum are bracing for even more trouble: a more than two-week-long music festival starting on New Year’s Eve, dubbed Zamna.
The electronic music festival is dubbed as a place where “indigenous culture and electronic music unite” but it will end up having a hugely negative impact on the local community – which is made up largely of Indigenous Mexicans – in terms of COVID-19 infections.
Although young folks are less likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID, they may be the demographic most responsible for spreading the virus right now—and delaying a return to normalcy.
“Are they on a different planet than the rest of us and don’t realize there’s a pandemic going on?” Dr. Timothy Brewer, a professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Medicine, told The Daily Beast. “In the country as a whole, 18- to 49-year-olds are driving this pandemic.
Afrofuture Fest, a Detroit-based music festival, thought they had a bright idea when they decided to charge Non-People Of Color $10 more than their Black and Brown participants. Recently, outrage over the charge discrepancies has led users to accuse the festival’s part planners of planning a “reverse Jim Crowe era” event.
Ultimately all of this has led the event to backtrack on their earlier effort to charge people with different skin colors different prices.
The Detroit-based music festival recently debuted ticket prices based on the buyer’s skin color on Eventbrite and the backlash has been severe.
Afrofuture Fest is a Detroit-based event that is being hosted by local art and social collective Afrofuture Youth. According to the Afrofuture Youth website, they have good intentions.
The program aims to provide students with resources that will allow them to craft a “new, more equitable world.” In their attempts to achieve this however the collective planned to host AfroFuture Fest on 3 August by charging people of color and white people different prices. AfroFuture Fest‘s Eventbrite page featured an Early Bird POC Ticket for $10 and an Early Bird NONPOC Ticket for $20.
Of course, it didn’t take long for the differing prices to get picked up and go viral.
According to The Independent, the event’s listing said equality “means treating everyone the same.” and that the event’s “ticket structure was built to ensure that the most marginalized communities (people of colour) are provided with an equitable chance at enjoying events in their own community (black Detroit). Affording joy and pleasure is unfortunately still a privilege in our society for POC and we believe everyone should have access to receiving such.”
News of the event’s charging practices went viral on social media when rapper Tiny Jag pulled out of the event and cited the unequal prices in tickets.
In an interview with CNN, Tiny Jag said she had been unknowingly added to the event but decided to support the collective’s cause by performing, however, once she learned of the prices, Jag said she felt “triggered.” According to JAG, she identifies herself as biracial and group up with a white grandmother.
“I didn’t think we were near that thinking that something like that could be progressive,” she told CNN. “We have never seen hate work, I don’t understand.”
In a Twitter post about the incident, the rapper issued a statement saying that the charges do not “reflect the views of myself or the Tiny Jag team.”
Eventbrite has also spoken out against the charges.
The U.S.-based event management and ticketing website told CNN that they do not “permit events that require attendees to pay different prices based on their protected characteristics such as race or ethnicity.”
They also said that they had notified the creator of the event about the violation and asked that the event’s prices be altered. “We have offered them the opportunity to do this on their own accord; should they not wish to comply we will unpublish the event completely from our site,” Eventbrite told CNN.
Of course, users online have split opinions about the event and the criticism its charges have received.
While many of the complaints about the ticketing prices have come from conservatives, many have been quick to defend the prices saying that the event was attempting to achieve equity.
Others have said that basing prices on skin tone pushes us further away from equality.
As is typical for Twitter, everyone has opinions and what one party finds racist the other finds right.
After all of the backlash, on Sunday evening, Afrofuture Fest tweeted that they had reversed their decision on ticketing prices.
The group said that they had “received threats from white supremacists” who were attacking children with “racist comments” on social platforms.
The ticketing formula has since changed on Eventbrite to include a $20 general admission fee and a “suggested donation for nonPOC.”