Minimum Gauge: Detroit Music Festival Ignites Controversy After Offering Lower Ticket Prices for People of Color

Plus, Fiona Apple to donate royalties from her hit "Criminal" to a refugee support group and Holocaust denial costs Metal band Tau Cross its record deal (and most of its members)

Jul 8, 2019 at 6:02 pm

click to enlarge Tiny Jag - Photo: Noah Elliott Morrison
Photo: Noah Elliott Morrison
Tiny Jag
HOT: Music Fest Reverses Charges

When Detroit rapper Tiny Jag pulled out of an upcoming music festival in her hometown recently, her reasoning caused a firestorm on social media. The musician (who is biracial) said she was no longer going to perform at the AfroFuture Fest after she was informed that advance tickets for the event had two price tiers — $10 for “POC” (“people of color”) and $20 for “NONPOC” attendees. The story — first reported by Metro Times — spread quickly to national media outlets, causing ticketing site Eventbrite to threaten to stop selling tickets. Some speculated that the festival could be hit with lawsuits, but on social media, organizers said it was doing away with the pricing discrepancy (all tickets are $20 now) after “threats from white supremacists” and racist attacks on Instagram. The organizers still defended the initial pricing, telling Metro Times “it's not to divide — it's to ensure we have an equitable chance to experience joy and pleasure within the same space.”

WARM: Apple’s ‘Criminal’ Royalties

Fiona Apple has announced that she will be donating recent royalty payments for her biggest hit, “Criminal,” to While They Wait, an organization that helps refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. with legal and other forms of assistance. “After months and months of reading the news about how my country is treating refugees, I’ve become gutted with frustration trying to figure out the best way to help,” the singer said of her decision in a note posted on a fan site. “I could write a song about this and maybe I will but for now, I will use ‘CRIMINAL’ to help the WRONGLY criminalized get justice.” Apple says she’ll be donating all of the money she makes off of the song this year and next to the organization.

COLD: Relapse Releases Conspiracist

Intercontinental Punk/Metal all-star group Tau Cross (featuring members of bands like Voivod and Misery) recently lost its record deal with the esteemed Relapse label over liner notes for the band’s forthcoming album. According to Relapse, a German magazine pointed out that the band “prominently” thanked writer Gerard Menuhin, a far-right conspiracy theorist who has called the Holocaust the “biggest lie in history.” In a statement, the label said the acknowledgment (which they initially missed while proofing the liner notes) put the album’s lyrics in a new light and that they were severing all ties with the group. In the aftermath, the band’s singer and lyricist Rob Miller doubled down on his support for Menuhin, but all of his bandmates — who were reportedly unaware of the influence — have left Tau Cross.