Festival Review #1: Afropunk Turns Commodore Barry Park Into A Music Haven

Afropunk had to have been one of coolest festivals I have been to, and I have been to several. Its ability to turn Commodore Barry Park into a mystical city was uncanny. As people walked in with flowered hair and colorful scarves, the festival’s initiative to bring music and social consciousness came through with the warm breeze of the day. Afropunk brought to life a dream that can feel too distant to be realized: social unity. 
This sign alone grew my heart 10 million sizes bigger. The ambiance was set and the movement clear: Love! Afropunk was about Love! Love of all races, genders, religions, and every other label that we use to define ourselves and confine others. It was incredible to experience a festival so heavily moved by a desire to promote both the beauty of blackness through the beauty of humanness. Although Afropunk Fest was a celebration of black culture and music, the atmosphere felt so genuinely good that that the day appeared to be a marker on how to celebrate life. 
The Art

For one, the art was SPECTACULAR! There were moments when I had to drag myself from the hypnosis they ignited because they made me think I was at The Met. The graffiti/paintings were stunning and filled with social innuendos/symbols that could leave an art professor analyzing them for years.

Activism Row 

Walking through Activism Row made me feel smarter. Is that possible? Can you feel smarter just by walking through an area dedicated to expand your mind to the social injustices this world has historically faced? Yes. Moreover, the “bring a book, take a book” deal was pretty sweet. Had I known prior I would have gladly exchanged my personal library for that of AFROPUNK!

The Vendors

I really enjoyed the setup of the vendors as a side market. They were neatly and cleanly placed to make festival-goers feel as if this was a legitimate shopping center. Some of my previous festival outings involved vendors sporadically placed throughout the space like leftover sprinkles. Yet, Afropunk made sure that the vendors were displayed attractively so that their area motivated goers to look and potentially spend their whole paycheck. (lol!) How thoughtful! In addition, Dark & Lovely gave free braiding and African head-wraps till 7pm, which only furthered the free love and vast amount of free goodies the fest had to offer. No, I did not get my hair braided because my hair in the summer should NOT be touched by beautiful, human hands. #humidityaintpretty #washanddryonly

The People!
I am convinced that festivals attract the best people. It kind of feels like a “spiritual cop-out”. Of course, you are going to have a momentous time, especially at Afropunk, because you are surrounded by the loveliest human beings. Everyone was so vulnerable and emotionally liberated that I thought I had walked into Heaven. The sincerity of each person’s heart in feeling joy and hoping that this festival was a step closer to universal joy was riveting. #ilovepeople #faithinhumanity #restored

The Afropunk Theme- Power To Party

In Their Own Words

Power, it’s a feeling, it’s an energy, it’s the undisputed connection between cause and effect – the best of us give it away, the worst usurp it, but living modern life to the fullest, means either mastering your relationship to it or walking in its shadow. We are not blind.
Party is an oxymoron, it’s a gathering of many for a shared purpose and it’s also an outcast individual, it’s a lively social occasion as well as a gang – and the story of any party is never over, because like naked cities and the metaphysical “I”, there’s always another take.
Power to the Party means trusting the friction, the transference of great capacity to the free spirit, belief in the high-heeled spark of the assembly, and the group-mind’s ability to choose a glorious path. This isn’t about getting elected, or being protected; it’s about staking a claim.

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