NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The natural hair movement is on the rise, and next weekend, thousands of people will gather on Randalls Island for CURLFEST.

The event is a celebration of kinks, curls, coils and everything representing black beauty.

“CURLFEST is the world’s largest natural beauty festival. We were born to change the narrative in the beauty industry. We connect brands, whether corporations, small businesses, small vendors, talent and guests from around the world, and we are shifting mindsets and changing perceptions of what beauty is,” CURLFEST co-founder Charisse Higgins said.

“And in addition to that, it’s a celebration on the surface, right? You’re gonna come for the experience. You’re gonna experience our main stage. We have an empowerment stage. We have about 40 brands that are coming with really dynamic experiences for folks to get engaged with. But underneath the surface, at the core, it’s really a dynamic shift in the conversation around beauty. We’re impacting beauty economy and a broader economy at best, and, yeah. The conversation is large,” CURLFEST co-founder Gia Lowe said.

The event will feature panels, a Soul Train line, DJs, a marketplace and more.

“There are so many challenges that we face, being women of color, that it’s amazing to see spaces like CURLFEST and bills like the CROWN Act that are making it normal for us to feel beautiful and for us to be accepted. About time, right?” Higgins said.

The CROWN Act, which bans discrimination against black students and employees over their natural hairstyles, was recently passed in California. Gov. Andrew Cuomo also recently signed into law a bill amending the Human Rights Law and Dignity for All Students Act to ban discrimination against hairstyles or textures associated with race.

For more information about CURLFEST and to purchase tickets, visit


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