Afropunk is moving online for Planet Afropunk, a three day festival on October 23-25, 2020. Since 2005, Afropunk has put together festivals in Atlanta, Brooklyn and Paris. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has led them to bring the experience online for the first time with one large digital gathering.
This year’s theme is “Planet Afropunk: Past, Present and Future is Black.” The idea for the theme came from “the reality that the upheavals experienced over the course of the year are far from novel; they have been central to the Black experience across space and time,” according to the Afropunk website.
Planet Afropunk intends to embrace what it means to be Black through Black music, art, conversation and activism from all over the globe. Conversations on politics and social justice will be an especially large focus this year given that the festival ends only nine days before the 2020 US presidential election. One of the goals of the festival is to motivate the Afropunk community to vote.
Tickets are available at planetafropunk.com and will be free thanks to the help of its sponsors, including Bose, Target, Grubhub, Maui Moisture, Ben & Jerry’s and AARP. Bose’s credited for funding the festival’s Pink Stage.
There are also some non-music events hosted by the other sponsors. Ideaville provides the event with keynote speakers, solution thought sessions, interviews, a Black Queer Town Hall and community soap box. Bites & Beats is GrubHub’s way of offering special deals for North American festival participants. Art & Times is a gallery showcasing South African artists. Hair & Beauty Village is Maui Moisture’s contribution to celebrate the role of hair in Black identity. Activism Row aims to facilitate discussions on social injustice, systematic racism and more. Finally, Spinthrift Market features participating black-owned vendors.
The lineup is yet to be announced but promised to feature headline artists from all over the world. It will be streamed on planetafropunk.com.
A quote from Afropunk’s strategic advisor, Nichelle Sanders, was included in the press release. “Now more than ever we need the resilience and creativity of our community to keep our culture alive and thriving. In creating PLANET AFROPUNK we’ve designed a safe space for our community to celebrate and inspire, cry and shout, and to heal and motivate one another. AFROPUNK’s approach to activism and fighting oppression has always been to celebrate Black music, art and culture – and ultimately Black joy. The AFROPUNK community is global, and we’ve built this planet to connect seamlessly. All across the world we are connecting in sameness and in difference to discover the joy in our Blackness, but also in the visual and musical artists and authors. And this is what AFROPUNK enables.”