Houston’s Day for Night Festival cuts ties with founder over sexual assault allegations

Two women have accused Omar Afra of sexual misconduct

The creditors of a Texas music and arts festival have cut ties with its founder following claims of sexual assault.

Day for Night Festival founder Omar Afra, who is also the publisher of Free Press Houston, has been accused of forcing himself on two women.

In a Facebook post shared on Sunday (August 12), Day for Night creditors passed on a message that they were “shocked and saddened” to hear the allegations and had decided to cut Afra from any ownership or involvement in the festival.

In a Facebook post shared yesterday (August 12), Afra announced that he would be stepping down from his positions at the festival and at Free Press Houston.

He wrote: “I have no choice but to fight back against allegations that are patently false.”

According to the Houston Chronicle and CultureMap Houston, two women, Veronica Ramos and Phoenix Hamilton, posted public allegations on Facebook that Afra sexually assaulted them.

Ramos, who said she had a professional relationship with Afra due to her photography work, claimed that Afra forcibly kissed and groped her at the Free Press office in October 2010 after she photographed a concert at Fitzgerald’s, a nightclub owned by Afra.

In her Facebook post Ramos wrote: “I was afraid, in shock and felt unsafe in my own city and creative community.

“I gave up on my passion for photography. My career and personal life completely changed. I moved across the world to Africa to get as far away as possible.”

Hamilton claimed that Afra forcibly kissed her after talking to him about a job opportunity at Day for Night. She said the incident happened in October 2017.

Day for Night launched in 2015 and has featured performances from Kendrick Lamar, Björk, Thom Yorke, Nine Inch Nails, and more.

The future of the festival is unclear.