In 2011, travel entrepreneur Evita Robinson created Nomadness Travel Tribe, the first community designed for travel enthusiasts of color to connect with each other online. Robinson was inspired to create the platform after traveling abroad in Japan for over a year. Upon her return, she desired to create a sense of community that she could relate to after noticing a void in the representation of travels of color during a time when African Americans were one of the fastest growing travel markets.
Today, Nomadness Travel Tribe has grown into a global community of over 20,000 members from around the world who are enthusiastic about bridging the gap between travel and community. Members of Tribe have accumulated over 100,000 passport stamps and collectively contribute to over $50,000,000 being injected into the travel industry annually. This September, Robinson is launching one of her biggest ventures yet, Audacity Fest; the first travel festival for people of color.
Creating Audacity Fest is something that’s always been a vision for Robinson, “I've always wanted to create a travel festival that was for travelers of color. I wanted that feeling that we have digitally every day in Tribe to be manifested at this festival while galvanizing the local community and also bringing in our international community of travelers of color.”
This year, Audacity Fest will be held in Oakland, California a shift from the east coast where some of the largest Nomadness events have taken place in past years, “we wanted a place that really was indicative of Nomadness and the group's personality, we're big on immersing ourselves in local culture, international and domestic” says Robinson.
As for the vibe of the festival, the Nomadness founder notes that the energy will be different, “I'm not trying to bring a New York experience out to Oakland. You guys tell me what's hot out here, and that's what we'll bring for you guys. We've been doing that for some of our partners, we're partnering with SoOakland, and they really appreciate it on the back end.” The festival plans to tour different locations each year determined by an internal voting system that tribe members participate in.
Robinson has an extensive history of curating unique experiences for travelers of color through Nomadness Travel Tribe that often sell out within hours, but this time around it was important for Audacity Fest to have it’s own voice.
“This is bigger than Nomadness, I really wanted there to be a differentiation between Nomadness Travel Tribe and what is known and Audacity Fest. Everything from the name, to have the "audacity" for us to come through the way we did this industry, and to assert ourselves as a community as buyers and creators and business owners in this space when nobody was paying attention to us.”
For this year’s festival, she's on a mission to bring the love and connection her virtual platform has cultivated throughout the years into a physical space “I hope people take away something that I feel like Nomadness Travel Tribe members feel every day, which is community” says Robinson.
Attendees can expect to see a range of discussions hosted by leading influencers in the industry including a panel titled: 'Traveling Under Trump 2.0' featuring Janaye Ingram of Airbnb and The Women's March on Washington, activist Dr. Maytha Alhassen, Tamika Mallory of the National Action Network, and Kifah Shah of Suki Se. There's also a panel on 'Location Independent Entrepreneurs' featuring Jubril Agoro of Passport Heavy, Libryia Jones of Wanderist Life, and Gloria Atanmo from The Blog Abroad. Travel Channel hosts Kellee Edwards, Oneika Raymond, and Financial expert Tiffany "The Budgetnista" Aliche are also among the notable speakers participating in the day long festivities.
“I want people to meet some of their favorite black travel influencers, Muslim travel influencers, somebody who may only have 500 followers on Instagram all the way to somebody who may have a million followers in the same space at the same time, and to be able to build with one another, to have experiences while getting amazing information and content from our panels.”
Audacity Fest takes place on September 8. 2018 at Jack London Square Lawn in Oakland, California.