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Unik Ernest’s Culturin Afterparty Series Celebrates Culture Across the Globe

Unik Ernest Photo Credit: Rachid Bellak

Written By: Jahleah Santiago

Global business strategist and cultural architect Unik Ernest is shaking up the Cannes Lions event circuit this month with his Culturin Afterparty Series, a bold melding of talent and monumental figures across industries. Unik has dedicated time and care to building global bridges from a place of mutual understanding and respect and now he has yet another project to give back to the community. By blending cultural diplomacy with vibrant nightlife, Unik is redefining how diverse talents and entertainment intersect at these high-profile gatherings.

With his finger on the pulse of the industry for over two decades, Unik Ernest has earned a reputation for innovation, curating an impressive array of show stopping events for iconic brands like Nike and NBC Universal. Now, he’s bringing together an eclectic mix of talent, from numerous industries, with notable figures like NBA stars Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, music executive Kevin Liles and designer Jason Rembert expected to attend his events. “If you look at all of the activations going on at Cannes Lions, it’s the same setup with big brands, marketers, and streaming platforms,” Unik Ernest explains. “I wanted to create something unique, offering more than just a DJ and tables filled with celebrities. We’re creating a space that lets attendees experience something different, from innovative music concepts, to unexpected cultural moments.” The Culturin Afterparty Series seeks to redefine socializing, becoming an experiential event to offer a richness that only visionaries from numerous professions can provide in person.

A pivotal figure in shaping New York City’s nightlife scene, Unik’s experiences, which include ascending to own the iconic venues Merkato 55, Bijoux, and PM Lounge, in addition to  founding his own hospitality group has fueled his almost instinctive understanding of event processes and customer service. He swiftly transformed Manhattan’s Meatpacking District into the epicenter for nightlife, solidifying his status as an expert in branding, entrepreneurship, and hospitality. Notably, Unik catapulted the Serafina Restaurant group into a global brand. 

Ernest’s commitment to cultural diplomacy and hospitality shines through at each event, with The Culturin Afterparty Series serving as a platform to strategically showcase something new and modern and celebrate African music, particularly AfroBeats and Amapiano, which often lacks visibility at Cannes Lions. Through interactive presentations, unique venue décor, and team engagement with attendees, the series brings these cultural insights to life in an immersive and inspiring manner.

Unik Ernest has a remarkable ability to navigate the delicate intricacies of international relations to cultivate genuine relationships with global leaders across various industries. With experience in producing events for the Cannes Film Festival and the United Nations General Assembly, Ernest’s expertise spans the globe. “We see culture as the glue between business, media, sports, and entertainment,” he notes. “This event series represents a way to bring together diverse voices and amplify local cultures on a global stage.”

As a true example of work hard, play hard, Ernest’s drive to foster community and bridge the global gaps of art and music led him to start The Edeyo Foundation.  The Edeyo Foundation plays a significant role in the mission to give back where it counts. Alongside co-founder Michael and his mother, he has helped build two schools in Haiti, providing free education to more than 300 children. His company Lokee Worldwide Productions, LLC has collaborated in cities, towns, and communities all over the world, bringing people together to promote positive outcomes. Some of his acclaimed production credits include activations at or around Cannes Lions, Monaco Grand Prix, The MTV Music Awards, The Grammys and World Cup.

As the forefront of Ernest’s work most recently, The Culturin Afterparty Series aims to set a new standard for cultural celebration at events like Cannes Lions, creating immersive and culturally rich environments that foster genuine connections among attendees. Ernest’s blend of hospitality and cultural diplomacy creates a dynamic atmosphere where culture takes center stage and encourages deeper understanding across diverse perspectives, giving attendees a chance to leave the event with a new appreciation for the arts, and the world beyond their everyday lives. 

The Culturin Afterparty Series will take place at Elva Cannes. There, Unik will curate five all-star events starting with a special Cannes Lions Welcome Party on June 17th hosted by UnitedMasters CEO Steve Stoute.  A Hip Hop throwback party with 300 Entertainment CEO Kevin Liles and a special guest DJ will take place on June 18th. Designer and celebrity stylist Jason Rembert will host an Afrobeat/Amapiano Experience on June 19th, and as the sun sets over the Mediterranean on June 20th The Culturin Afterparty will host their first annual Rose Day, a quintessential Cannes experience. The Annual Fête de la Musique and a special birthday celebration for Unik Ernest will close out this one-of-a-kind nightly series on June 21st.   

Social Life Magazine