Things You Should Know Before Attending Afropunk-Atlanta



This past weekend (Oct 15, to be exact) I attended the music festival AfroPunk, in Atlanta, GA. It was my first time at an actual music festival and while I was extremely hot, I enjoyed myself.

The origins of the AFROPUNK festival finds its home in Brooklyn, Ny. But over the years they have found themselves showing up in Johannesburg,South Africa, and Atlanta, which is where I found myself. Though I had known of AFROPUNK for a while, I knew there wasn’t an economically efficient way for me to attend the event in Brooklyn, but with Solange being the headliner in Atlanta that Sunday, I knew I had to go. Though my experience actually seeing Solange was disappointing (and that had NOTHING to do with her, she was a dream), AFROPUNK was an experience that I won’t forget. Being in a place with all of these beautiful black faces, with all of these amazing outfits and hairstyles, I was amazed. With my first time, I learned some things that would be helpful to those who plan on attending AFROPUNK-Atlanta 2018, or any other upcoming music festival.


  1. Drink plenty of water

It’s HOT, you are in the SOUTH. It would behoove you to make sure that you are getting plenty of water PRIOR to the event. NOT waiting until you get there to start chugging.

Also you are allowed to bring a non-glass water bottle. I suggest you take up this offer to bring in a bottle and refill it periodically. Otherwise you’ll be paying 4 whole American dollars for water. Don’t play yourself, bring the bottle.


  1. Clothing Optional

Afropunk is definitely the place to wear literally anything (or nothing if that’s your thing) you want.

There is nothing in your closet too revealing, to tight, to short to wear to afropunk, here you can for a few hours have a safe space to escape from societal/heteronormative structures that tell you certain articles are clothing are not “appropriate”.

Wear the rainbow nipple covers and short shorts and go enjoy yourself.


  1. Festivals are not for the vertically challenged

If you find yourself being vertically challenged, you have two options, get right up in front of the stage or go all the way to the back in order to see your fav performer. You can’t be in the middle or even a few feat from the stage and expect to see what’s happening. Even though tall persons can probably see the stage from anywhere, they always seem to want to be in the front, blocking everyone else’s view of the stage. I’m speaking from the experience of someone clocking in at five foot four.


  1. Know yourself

It’s hot, there are endless amount of people and crowds, you will be on top of each other during the performances. Know your limits. If you have a thing with crowds, it’s okay to stay in the back corner of the venue. If you get claustrophobic, it’s okay to remove yourself from the crowd  to take a breath. You can still get that spot, just push your way toward the front, and make sure your friends have left a small space for you to get back in.


  1. There is food for everyone

I’m vegan and there was an option for me. I only saw one place that offered a vegan option and it happened to be nachos. I am not 100% sure if another food truck offered something vegan, but this was the only menu I saw labeled. Which was still better than most events, who leave out those who align their lives with vegan or plant-based lifestyles.


  1. Download the APP

AFROPUNK has a downloadable app in which you can see the schedule for the performers’ lineup, the guest speakers and a map of the entire venue. Also the app sends updates to your phone to let you know when major performers are hitting their respective stages. The app overall is user friendly and is a great help to navigating the festival.


  1. Wear comfortable shoes

For the most part, you will be standing on your feet the entire event. There are no chairs for festival goers to sit in, and you aren’t allowed to bring your own. You can, however bring a blanket and set up somewhere and chill there. But when the performers start to go on, especially the headliner, you’ll want to get up and dance/bounce around. So cute sneakers are advised.


  1. You don’t have to go “on time”

There is a designated time in which the festival will begin allowing festival goers in the venue. But you aren’t obligated to go at that time. You can look at the schedule and see what’s lined up and decide when you want to go. The day I went, the venue opened at 1PM but I didn’t get there until 5PM because I’m gonna be honest, I just wanted to see Solange and she wasn’t gonna be on stage until 10. I spent the other five hours after I got there  walking around checking out the venue and enjoying the performers that came before her. And around 7 I started to try and cement the best spot to see her. Figure out what’s best for you.  


  1. Have fun!

There can be many critiques of AFROPUNK-Atlanta, but I still suggest you go and experience it for yourself. This movement that AFROPUNK has created is one that should be celebrated and supported. AFROPUNK has managed to create an entire weekend revolving around blackness and even gives panels discussing topics that are important to us. For a few hours or the whole weekend black people are allowed to be unabashedly themselves without judgment. For a few hours our blackness isn’t a crime or a threat. We can just be US together, at an event created for us by us. And for that, I thank and support the AFROPUNK team.


*this one is one I tookIMG_2269.jpg


*all pics courtesy of AFROPUNK’s Instagram.