Punk-rockers across the country are in for a treat this fall as Brooklyn’s Afropunk Festival has recently announced that they will be headed South and West for 2015. The festival, usually held in Fort Greene’s Commodore Barry Park, will expand to Atlanta, Georgia and possibly Oakland, California next year. Organizers Jocelyn Cooper and Matthew Morgan plan to celebrate the great news with a kickoff party set to take place on October 5th in Atlanta, where a few headliners from this summer’s festival will perform, including SZA, Baby Baby, Hollyweerd, and Sofa King, among others.
The event, better known as the “Wicked Afropunk Party”, is sponsored by Redd’s Wicked Apple. It will be hosted by Joi Gilliam, C. Will, and Brannon Boyle, with grub provided by Chef Dan Brown. But that’s not all: the kickoff will feature live art by Corey Davis and Atlanta-based graphic designer PaperFrank, and the only way to join in on all of the fun is to RSVP.
The festival has come a long way since its humble beginnings at Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2005, where short films and music curated by James Spooner were featured as a part of BAMCinematek for a much smaller turnout of about two to three hundred people. This exciting expansion is certainly good news for Afropunk enthusiasts outside of the East Coast, who, year after year, flock to the small park in Downtown Brooklyn to see some of the latest and greatest pop, rock, punk, soul, and R ‘n’ B acts. And with the addition of two new booming locations, the festival can only expect to broaden that fanbase, and quite possibly expand their yearly lineup along with it.
While, according to their Facebook, the intention of the festival upon its founding was to become a “cultural movement celebrating the creativity and freedom of spirit in alternative Black culture”, over the last ten years it has evolved into something much larger, while managing to maintain that mission. Afropunk has become one of the most prevalent music and cultural festivals for people of all walks of life, regardless of race, age, and musical preference. And we can only hope that it continues to do so in light of this wonderful news!