I know this post is a LONG time coming but way back on July 21st, I went to my very first CurlFest.
CurlFest is a festival where curly natural hair is promoted and a bunch of POC come through with our natural hair and enjoy each other and the discount and sometimes free hair products.
As I said before, it was my very first time going so I can tell you first hand how every other time went. I do know that they’ve changed their admissions process. Before admission was free and it was first come, first serve to get a goodie bag with hair care products. This time, you had to get a special ticket that was around $20, I believe in order to get the hair care goodie bag. I was super broke so I knew that I’d have to wait to get the free admissions ticket.
I busted my butt getting enough tickets online only to arrive and realize there was no ticketing process. CurlFest is in prospect park and there were no gates or admissions area that I saw in order to check to see who arrived. My crew and I just walked into the crowd.
I will say right now that CurlFest is such an amazing and beautiful festival. There were so many black people gathered around and appreciating and supporting each other. People were selling their art and good food. It was all smiles and good looks. I loved it. I love being surrounded by people who look like me. I felt so comfortable and happy. I freaking love my people.
I’m not sure how CurlFest worked out in the past and I don’t know if my being late had any effect on this but it was super chaotic.
Once I got into the mix, there were so many lines and I had no idea what was being sold or given away. I was just on lines standing and waiting. The lines were so long and I gave up on so many of them because I didn’t feel like that line was worth it. I spent that time inline thinking about ways the process could be better.
When I went to BookCon, they had specific times when certain ARCs (Advanced readers copies) would drop. So each booth had a schedule of when people could come and wait for that specific book.
I think if each booth scheduled at what time they would drop products, people would know what they are waiting for, when the allotted time will close and when of if they will start giving it away again.
For example, Shea moisturizer could giveaway a package of leave in conditioners between 12 and 1 and at 1, they will stop giving them away and if there is more then they give more away at the end or at 4pm.
Between that time they could give away the edge control gel from 1:30-2:30. And any remaining gel would be given away at the end or at 5. And then maybe do goodie bags at the very end.
It’s a thought. I just felt like the system was confusing for me to navigate. My crew and I wandered and enjoyed every beautiful POC within an hour and then we left with a few free goodies we could get.
I am definitely going to CurlFest next year because I have a big love for black people. We are so amazing. I would just like to see more structure. I’ve gone to other festivals and conventions where there was more structure. I know that CurlFest is different because they giveaway products along with having discounted prices. This makes people very eager to participate and because of this, I think there needs to be a way to understand how to jump into it all.
I was standing on lines with no idea what I would receive at the end.