For those who don’t know, Curlfest is an annual event that celebrates and recognizes natural hair. People from all over the country and the world gather to learn about different brands/vendors, engage in panel discussions, dance on the main stage and/or attend just to enjoy the ambience.
Usually, it takes place at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, N.Y., but this year, they moved it to Randall’s Island, N.Y. You couldn’t drive there so you had to call an Uber, take a shuttle/bus or walk. My friend Jessica and I decided to park at 127th and 2nd Ave and walk. It wasn’t bad at all. It took about 20 minutes to get there and find the line.
Now, I will say, upon getting into the park, they didn’t put up ‘directional signs’ so it was a bit confusing, but we eventually found our way.
Now, let’s talk about the ticket line. You had the option to buy:
We bought ‘Early Bird Platinum’ which gave us admission to the event, an official gift bag and VIP Access. So upon entering the park we joined the ‘Platinum’ line, but apparently, there was another line called ‘VIP’. We asked security and they didn’t know why there were two lines and we even found a staff member who didn’t know either. After going back and forth for about 30 minutes, they told us to stay in the Platinum line. Those in the “VIP” line would get their bags now and we could pick it up in the ‘VIP Access Area’ whenever in the back of the park.
Buying this ticket allowed us to enter 30 minutes before the doors opened. We immediately went to Creme of Nature, BET Her, DevaCurl & Target. If you want to see vendors and get samples, then arrive early. The lines get long as the day goes by and it’s hot, so I suggest knocking out what you want to see and buy so you can relax.
At this point, we decided to head over to the VIP area to get our gift bags. Upon getting there, they only had influencer/blogger bags and told us to go back to the front entrance.
So we walked back to the front and after trying to get them multiple times over the span of 4 hours, people arguing with staff/security and even witnessing a girl pass out, they told us they ran out. Mind you, hundreds of people didn’t get one due to the wrong people receiving them and/or they didn’t have enough (video below of people waiting).
The organization has since issued an apology saying they will offer some type of refund.
Anywho, here are a few more highlights from the event:
My friends & I (my friend Chantelle joined us later) had a great conversation with Dr. Camille Verovic who is the creator of GirlandHair, a hair care line formulated for natural and relaxed hair under protective styles. She was inviting and explained to us exactly how to use her products. I purchased the Biotin-Infused Hydrating Milk so be on the look out for a review!
Various bars were set up throughout the area and towards the back were the food vendors.
About 10+ trucks were there and we found the best one with the shortest line. There name was Made From Scratch.
One of my friends didn’t get her food because the truck ran out of propane and had to wait for more. They took down her number, but never called so she got a refund, which was annoying, but at least she got her money back. I ordered Frimp & Fries (fried shrimp and steak fries). It was good.
The ‘Shine ‘N Jam’ Braid Tour showed out with the best idea. If you purchased their new ‘Magic Fingers’ product for $10, you could get your hair braided in either 2 braids, 4 braids, a halo braid or 4 braids into 2 braids. When I tell you the stylists were going to WORK (two videos below). Chile, if I didn’t have in crotchet….
There were so many other brands/vendors like The Lip Bar, Urban Skin RX, Mielle Organics and Palmers, to name a few.
Overall, this year was an interesting one. I don’t know if they worked with a new company or what, but it was very disorganized. At one point they stopped scanning tickets and I believe conducting bag checks which is a huge security risk. I appreciate the organizations apology and I hope next year will be a different experience.
Will I attend? Ehhh…let’s see how I feel next year. I actually prefer the Brooklyn location so we shall see.
Until next time Curlfest….