For the first time ever, the annual AFROPUNK music festival charged an admission fee for a lineup that consisted of more mainstream acts. This was a major change from the previous years where the lineup comprised of emerging artists and local bands. Despite the changes which included the lineup and a new pre-event to kick off the fest, the Fancy Dress Ball, AFROPUNK brought back it’s other anticipated attractions. The attractions including live art, eccentric vendors from kente cloth clothing to delicious empanadas and more drawing in thousands of stylish attendees.
Based on its previous years and both days of AFROPUNK this past weekend, it’s safe to say that AFROPUNK is one of the most stylish music festivals on the East Coast. And maybe in the World? You be the judge. When at AFROPUNK, it’s an unwritten rule that you must dress to impress or just dress how you really want to – either way you’ll be accepted. The jaw-dropping, neck breaking fashion took place on and off the stage. Off the stage, you’d be sure to spot the trendiest, yet cultural fashions this summer including crop tops, capes, sheer tops, sports bras, platform creepers/sandals, unique sneakers, afros, color braid extensions, turbans, and dashikis. A lot of dashikis.
Other fashion trends we have to admit were very interesting. We’re talking about men wearing women’s clothing and vice versa, then afterwards spotting a young woman who’s breasts were barely covered by silver chains, colorful and oversized afros, and much more. On the stage, in reference to the lineup, artists such as SZA and UNiiQU3, were dressed in what you can call ‘laid back chic’ rocking oversized tanks/dresses. It has been said as a fashion ‘do’ that sometimes less is more, especially at a music festival!
On the other hand, the legendary Grace Jones, at 67 years old took the stage in avant-garde attire, barring it all only covered in white body paint in which can be best described as a tribute to another legend, Keith Haring. As well, Jones wore a tribal head ornament and waist garment made of straw. Despite the fashion rules, other rules of the festival were displayed on all three stages, which included: no racism, no sexism, no ageism and other clauses encouraging what the festival is now really about.
AFROPUNK has evolved into not only a music festival but a movement that is taking over the globe – for all to enjoy. While this expansion is great for a movement that began in New York at a small venue that could probably hold 2% of attendees this year, there’s been feedback from some that the festival is growing too fast. In other words, AFROPUNK is missing the ‘punk’ in regards to musical acts and in a way gentrifying. Either way, AFROPUNK festival has already successful launched in Europe and is planning it’s second annual festival in Paris in 2016. AFROPUNK fest’s next stop for the first time ever is on October 3rd and 4th in Atlanta, Georgia.
If you’ve never been to AFROPUNK festival before, you should go. Go for the music, the creative minds and the fashion. Speaking of fashion, view the stylish people we spotted at the 2015 AFROPUNK festival in Brooklyn via the gallery above.