Describing itself as “the other black experience”, Afropunk showcases the very best of black alt music, art, and fashion.
Inspired by the 2003 documentary of the same name, the Afropunk movement took root online as a space for multicultural kids “taking the path less traveled” before the festival swept across the US and Europe.
Afropunk debuting and taking root in the UK is hugely exciting for the punk and alt scene, so here’s the top three reasons why you need to get hyped right now:
1) Afropunk is taking punk back to its roots
With its focus on community, diversity, and fitting in no matter how different you think you are, Afropunk is taking punk back to what it’s supposed to stand for. It’s dedicated to showcasing self-expression, and providing a space for young people, black, white, queer, etc. to come together and make art. Most of the stalls are from arts companies rather than corporations, with the focus very much on homegrown artists. It’s political, it’s community based, it’s diverse. It’s everything punk needs to be right now.
2) It’s showcasing a tonne of exciting blacks bands
MNEK, a firm favourite on Radio 1, Hannah Faith, a london based selector famed for her eclectic mixes and DJ sets, and the Noisettes, the trio behind the hit single Don’t Upset the Rhythm, are all featured on this year’s line-up along with several other hot new artists bringing a new perspective and edge to a scene that’s become slightly homogeneous (and pretty white-centric).
3) It’s got the coolest looking crowd you’ll ever seen
Think Coachella but with brighter colours. Far from the band tees and ripped jeans of Download, or the wellies and face glitter of Glasto, Afropunk has one of the best dressed, fashion forward festivals you’ve ever laid eyes on. Check out some of these tweets from previous years:
The punk/alt/hardcore scene in the UK is still dominated by white fronted bands. Afropunk should be an important event to everyone in the punk movement. Diversification means a more inclusive scene, and more talented artists sharing their music with us. Lets hope Afropunk London is a hit.