If you’re looking to celebrate natural Black hair this summer, purchase tickets to CURLFEST 2023. As in past years, it’s going to be a vibe.

Rain or shine, the festival goes down on July 15 at Randall’s Island in New York. The theme is Bounce Back, which is open to multiple interpretations. Grab your friends, family, and colleagues for a day-long celebration with The Culture in mind.

How did the idea of CURLFEST come to be? In 2010, a group of Black women got together and decided to create the Curly Girl Collective. What started as just a few small events in New York blossomed into something bigger, and CURLFEST was born. As of now, it’s the largest natural beauty festival in the world.

Why Is Curl Fest Necessary?

The pressure to conform to a Eurocentric aesthetic is palpable, and Black women feel this acutely. In some ways, the decision to go natural is an act of defiance. Whether you’re rocking an afro, Bantu knots, or corn rows, there’s an infinite amount of styles that don’t require relaxers and harmful chemicals.

Unfortunately, Black people are used to being told their hair is unkempt, especially in corporate spaces. Slowly but surely, this harmful narrative is being dismantled. There are now more Black people in corporate positions who wear their hair in braids, locs, and other styles, but there’s still plenty of work to do.

In the years preceding CURLFEST, co-founder Tracey Coleman and her team decided it was high time to elevate natural hair on a broader scale.

As explained on the website, “It quickly became evident that the growing natural hair community needed an advocate to overcome the increasing challenges we were facing in American society. From elementary schools and team sports to the armed forces and corporate America, natural hairstyles had become a target of scrutiny like never before. We knew we were at a pivotal point, and that a bigger platform was needed to shift the conversation and show the world that beauty comes in a range of shades, shapes, and textures.”

What Are The Ticket Tiers?

There are three ticket tiers: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The higher the tier, the greater the perks, but all tickets afford access to:

CURLFEST Beauty Row.

CURLFEST Marketplace featuring the dopest Black and women-owned vendors from around the country.

Empowerment stage, featuring special guests.

Food and drinks for purchase from vendors across the diaspora.

Main Stage dance party, CURLFEST activities, CURLFEST Arts District, and more.

How Do You Get To Randall’s Island?

There are pedestrian and bicycle pathways along Randall’s Island Park. They’re accessible from Manhattan, The Bronx, and Queens.

If you’re coming from Manhattan, hop on the M35 bus that you can get on the northwest corner of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue. Alternatively, you can drive across the RFK Triborough Bridge. For some major events, ferry service is provided. Check online for details.

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