10 Black-Owned Music Festivals In America
Music festival attendance is increasing every year and it always seems like there's a new must-go-to festival to attend. They have become vital part of our summer, a place where we can let off steam, listen to our favourite artists and something we all look forward to. However, with over 800 music festivals in the US, only a few are Black-owned and they are repeatedly over shadowed, even though they often feature the same headliners. So, instead of fighting for a ticket to Coachella, why not have support a Black music festival in this list, which were created with a Black consumer in mind and will definitely make you rethink which one you attend next summer.
10. Sol Blume
Sol Blume was co-founded by Fornati Kumeh and Justin Nordan, who created the festival to contrast the hyped rock / hip hop tradition and offer something more chilled out and soulful. Based in Caesar Chavez Plaza, in Sacramento, CA, the festival focuses on music of the RnB genre, with previous performances from artists such as Ari Lennox, Miguel, Jhene Aiko and Nao. Sol Blume has had two successful festivals to date, but unfortunately like so many others had to postpone their 3rd year due to the coronavirus, but they promise to come back ASAP.
9. Broccoli Festival
Broccoli Festival was founded in 2010, by Brandon McEachern, with their first official music festival in 2013, held in Washington, DC and was created to promote environmental causes in the African-American community. Broccoli Fest offers more than just music, here you can experience a carnival, VR activities, a cannabis experience and a market place. During the quiet season, BF also helps to inspire the next generation of young Black people, so alongside the festival they provide a digital space for students, professionals and community leaders to come together for online lectures and impact sessions.
8. Roots Picnic
Roots Picnic was created by, you guessed it, the hiphop group The Roots, and is based in their hometown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Fairmount Park. It has been going for over 10 years now and is well known for its laid back vibe and multiple experiences with 3 stages of music, gaming, art and dialogue. RP has hosted a wide range of artists from De La Soul to Lil Uzi Vert to Willow Smith, but they are also keen to highlight new and upcoming artists which you can find on the cricket stage.
7. Made In America
Made In America stands out from the rest by offering different genres of artists to be perform alongside each other, mixing Rap, Rock, Electric and Pop. It was founded by Jay-z in 2012 and held in Philadelphia, providing the area with at least $10 Million economic growth and he works closely with the mayor of the Philli to provide a positive experience. There has been a documentary made about the festival, that features the same name, it follows multiple music acts and discusses what it truly means to be made in America.
6. Curl Fest
What started out as a meet up of a group curly haired girls in 2010, who came together to discuss their hair and swap tips, has now turned into one of the most important music and cultural festivals in the US. Curl Fest was born to combat the very bland beauty industry and to give it the shake up that was much needed. Here you can explore Black beauty stores and talks, all while listening to some great music, just make sure to rock your best curls.
5. One Music Festival
One Music Festival is not just a festival that celebrate's music but also diversity and unity and is a place where everyone is welcome, hence the name. Held in Atlanta, Georgia, you can find a wide range of local food trucks here along with local brands and artists that the festival takes pride in supporting. The festival attracts over 50 thousand attendees and has become the Southeast's largest 2 day, urban progressive music festival.
4. ESSENCE Festival
Essence Festival is the oldest festival on this list, dating back to 1995, it is an extension of the well known lifestyle magazine of the same name, that celebrates African-American women. Since, it has become one of the biggest African-American cultural events in the USA and boasts half a million visitors every year, providing it's location New Orleans with essential tourism and can say that it has had an incredible $280 Million economic impact on the area. You can guarantee to see some amazing artists when while you visit as it seems that everyone has performed here at least once.
3. Something In The Water
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Something In The Water is a new festival created by Pharrell Williams in 2019, it is located in his hometown Virginia, on Virginia Beach. Although new, the festival is quickly becoming a must visit for music lovers and aside from it's main attraction, the beach location, the festival actually offers much more, with art installations, a basketball court, film screenings, a church service and panel talks. You will be able to find new, classic and pop music here, which ultimately reflects Williams music career, past performers have included Missy Elliot, Migos and Janelle Monae.
2. Camp Flog Gnaw
Camp Flog Gnaw, previously known as Odd Future Carnival, has been held annually since 2012, the unusual name is an anagram of Golf Wang, which is founder Tyler, The Creator's clothing brand. Usually held late summer or in the autumn in Los Angeles, the festival has grown year by year and has featured some of the best alternative RNB and Hip Hop artists such as Blood Orange, The Internet and Chance The Rapper, and of course Tyler fans won't be disappointed to know that he makes an appearance every year, along with some Odd Future members such as Earl Sweatshirt and Domo Genesis.
Inspired by the documentary that bares the same name, Afropunk Festival was created to provide a community often overlooked, Black punks, a space to perform and enjoy alternative music. It was founded by James Spooner in 2005 and originally located in Brooklyn, but as time went by, Spooner felt like it no longer provided Black punks the same space it did before and left his position. Since, there have been multiple controversies, with many headliners being called to be replaced due to homophobia or racism, which are against the festival's core values. However, Afropunk has gone on be known all over the world with festivals in Europe and Africa and regardless of what it's become, it remains one of the most iconic alternative Black festivals ever to exist and one you'll be sure to tell our grandkids about.