A First-Timer’s Guide to Attending CURLFEST NYC

A first Timer's guide to attending curlfest nyc

If you’ve been part of the natural hair movement for a while, CURLFEST NYC, one of the major events we’ve been waiting for is back! CURLFEST is an annual Natural Beauty Festival by Curly Girl Collective. If you’re a known product junkie, CURLFEST NYC is the place to get the best deals and samples from some of your favorite brands.

The first CURLFEST was held in 2014 at Prospect Park Brooklyn and there were 1000 people in attendance. The annual festival has since grown to be the world’s largest natural beauty festival with over 75000 attendees from around the world. Seeing Black people of all shades embracing their natural Black hair is a beautiful sight to see. In 2019, CURLFEST moved to Randall’s Island Park.

This year’s theme for curl fest is ‘The Bounce Back’ which represents Black women’s ability to overcome increasing challenges in the corporate space with race-based hairstyle discrimination and in other parts of their life.

This vibrant celebration of natural hair, beauty, and culture is an event you don’t want to miss. If you’re thinking about attending CURLFEST NYC for the first time, here are some tips and insider information to ensure you have an unforgettable experience.

Tips for Attending Curlfest for the first time
Abena from Embracenaturalbeauty_

Purchase Tickets EARLY

CURLFEST New York City tickets sell out FAST! To participate in CURLFEST activities, you need to buy tickets. Follow Curly Girl Collective for “save the date” and information on purchasing tickets. 

CURLFEST Ticket Tiers

There are three tiers for a general admission ticket at CURLFEST: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Children under 6 are free with a paying adult. Below are the various ticket tiers and what’s included.


Includes access to the CURLFEST beauty row, CURLFEST marketplace, main stage & dance party, empowerment stage, festival merchandise shop, food, and drinks for purchase from vendors.


Includes a CURLFEST® Gift Bag with beauty products from official sponsors, access to the CURLFEST Beauty Row, Vendor Marketplace, Main Stage & dance party, Empowerment Stage, Festival Merchandise Shop, Food and Drinks for purchase from vendors.


Includes VIP Admission to CURLFEST, access to the CURLFEST VIP area, CURLFEST Gift Bag with beauty products from sponsors, access to CURLFEST Beauty Row, Vendor Marketplace, Main Stage & dance party, Empowerment Stage, Festival Merchandise Shop, Food and Drinks for purchase.

Attending Curlfest NYC is better With Friends and Family

With the sun shining, live music blasting, and a display of Black joy on every side, attending CURLFEST is better with friends.

Not sure what to bring to CURLFEST? A blanket, or field chairs, snacks, footballs, frisbees, games, kites, bicycles, your best friends, and the preparation to have a good time. Camera equipment is permitted, but no drones are allowed.

If you don’t want to bring food or drinks, there are plenty of food vendors on site to get something to eat at a reasonable price. Most food and beverage vendors accept credit cards and other cashless forms of payment.

Tips for Attending CURLFEST NYC for the first time by curly girl collective - Go with Friends
With Constance from TeamNatural

Dress to Impress & Rock Your Natural Hair Proudly

CURLFEST is the ultimate expression of beauty and celebration of Black culture. Come out rocking your best kinks, coils, Bantu knots locs, corn rows, curls, braids, and fro! You’re bound to capture an infinite amount of styles as inspiration by just walking through the crowd. You might even get featured in a photo opp or two. 

Flower crowns, protective styles, and headwraps are also popular. Wondering what to wear to CURLFEST? Wear your best African (or African-inspired) attire, branded clothing to showcase your business, rompers, shorts sets, or festival wear. 

Tips for Attending Curlfest by curly girl collective - Rock Your Natural Hair
Ashley Hall

Come Ready to Spend Money

Not only does attending CURLFEST provide hair and style inspiration for men and women but there are also opportunities to support the cause and shop from new and established Black-Owned  Businesses. Vendors sell products within the natural hair, beauty, food, fashion, and jewelry businesses.

Be Prepared for the Large Crowds

If you’re attending CURLFEST for the first time with friends or children be prepared for large crowds. Large crowds can be overwhelming, and cell service can be spotty. Create a meeting place with your group if someone gets lost. 

Stay Hydrated & Wear Sunscreen

CURLFEST is in an open field with large crowds and lots of action. There will be times of waiting in long lines, searching for friends, dancing, and lots of energy. Remember to take breaks when necessary. 

If you do bring [alcoholic] drinks to the party, make sure to have enough water to keep yourself hydrated. Even if you bring an umbrella shade, it is important to wear sunscreen. Make sure to apply and reapply throughout the day to prevent sunburn

I hope this guide sharing tips on attending CURLFEST NYC for the first time was a solid foundation for an amazing experience. Embrace the celebration of natural hair, beauty, and culture, and let the positive energy of the event uplift and empower you. Remember to stay hydrated, protect yourself from the sun, and support women-owned vendors. Most importantly, have fun, connect with fellow attendees, and embrace the joyous spirit of Curlfest.

Read More Natural Hair Tips and Reviews

CURLFEST 2017: Floral Romper + Fulani Braids

Wearing Crochet Braids as a Protective Style

Faux Bun with Pompadour on Natural Hair

A First-Timers Guide to Attending CURLFEST NYC

Any other tips for attending CURLFEST NYC for the first time?

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