What about the artists? How were you able to get them to buy into the event?
The artists are the ones that really support it. They‚Äôre doing it because they get it; they‚Äôre doing it because they didn‚Äôt have the opportunity to do it. There are a lot of alternative artists that play to a predominately white audience. When they hear they can perform to an audience that is probably the most diverse, the most multicultural, predominately black audience that they‚Äôve probably ever preformed in front of, you can‚Äôt help but be excited about that if you‚Äôre a person of color. ‚ÄėCause you‚Äôre so used to performing to white people. And people really, really dig it. Erykah‚Äôs a huge supporter; Janelle has been phenomenal. I mean, they‚Äôre all people just that really love it. Pharrell [Williams] is coming this weekend to hang out, he‚Äôs not performing, he just wants to come and hang out.
What is a typical day like for you at the festival?
I don‚Äôt know what other people do, and I‚Äôve never had a ‚Äújob‚ÄĚ‚Ä¶ but I assume people that produce festivals sit in an office and they deal with the problems that are ongoing. I can‚Äôt sit still, so I spend the whole day checking on every single element that is happening. And I like it, people ask me to get an assistant, they ask me to carry a radio; I don‚Äôt carry a radio, I don‚Äôt have an assistant. I just like to walk around see people, listen to what they‚Äôre saying, look at their faces, see what they like, what they don‚Äôt like, and try and get a little bit of the experience that I felt when I first did my first show. If I can see that in other people, then I know that we‚Äôre continuing to do the right thing.
With the festival becoming bigger and bigger, are you worried that it might become too mainstream?
We know why we‚Äôre doing it and we know all the other elements that are so important. We have so much work to do. The festival is one component, but we produce commercials, we do marketing for brands, we‚Äôre making a new film, we‚Äôre trying to create content for a YouTube channel. We‚Äôre still not seeing the type of media that should be out there; we‚Äôre not seeing our stories told the way that we would like to tell them. There‚Äôs so much missing that we‚Äôre so far away from worrying about that. The playing field is so unequal, that at the point that it becomes equal, I‚Äôll be on the beach somewhere.