Goldenvoice, the event organizers who host the massively popular Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, will be launching a new team called GV Black. This latest team is meant to expand the representation of the Black community at the company, while also highlighting the Black experience regarding the organization’s Black employees.
“The black employees at Goldenvoice have formed GV Black, a team to help us create initiatives to highlight the black experience at our organization, and expand representation of the black community at Coachella,” event organizers wrote in a statement.
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Coachella garnered attention in 2018 for having Beyonce as the first Black woman to headline the event, while also garnering attention for hosting more Black women on its lineup than years prior. While the event has been praised for highlighting more Black artists, criticisms have been levied against music festival culture and the representation of Black audiences at music festivals.
According to a Nielsen study in 2013 a mere 13 percent of music festival attendees were Black, while a majority of festival-goers tended to be White males in the 18 to 35 year old demographic. Some music festivals such as Afropunk in Brooklyn have created festivals in response to this issue, as the company is a Black led organization focused on highlighting Black artists in a space meant to be safe for a Black audience.
“You have to work a little bit harder to get our money in the festival space,” Matthew Morgan, one of Afropunk’s founders, stated in an interview with Billboard. “You have to feel comfortable going to a festival that is predominantly white. We never look at how fearful black people feel about entering spaces where they may feel they’re not welcome.”
Goldenvoice has cancelled all its scheduled events this year including Coachella due to COVID-19. Recent reports from the festival and its sister event Stagecoach suggest that the event may have a different lineup from the intended 2020 event.