Breakin’, Battles and Hip-Hop Beats at B-SIDE

Earlier this month (May 3rd-12th), a jam-packed Hip-Hop Festival hit Birmingham City Centre. Hosted by Birmingham Hippodrome, the festival attracted over 14,000 visitors, including international dance competitors.

Festival-goers enjoyed a 10-day spectacle of events, including eye-catching live graffiti, performances by the likes of S Maverick and epic international dance battles, courtesy of community interest company, Break Mission.

The festival kicked off with Inua Ellams’ ‘The RAP Party’ before a two day take-over of the Bullring & Grand Central. Visitors were entertained with live dance battles, rappers and beatboxers as part of the event.

Simon Hadley Photography.

City artists took to Southside to witness Gent 48’s new commission at The Forum, and visitors enjoyed the district’s first ever artist-led ‘Graff Trail, which started at the Hippodrome.

Anita Jerkovic, Director at PATRIZIA AG, said: “The Forum is in the heart of Southside and one of the reasons we invested in the area was the festival and event culture that makes this area so vibrant… we are thrilled that Birmingham will be our first street art collaboration in the UK, helping to encourage creativity and engagement within our community.”

Southside also saw a host of other events throughout the festival, which included BMX, Skateboarding and Free Running demonstrations. Audiences were given the chance to have their shot at wheelchair basketball, courtesy of City of Birmingham Rockets.

The festival premiered an array of exciting Hip-hop theatre, commissioned by Dance Hub Birmingham. Artists such as Jamaal O’Driscoll and Key Infinity featured at the event, B-Side Scratch Night, which was held at the Patrick Studio.

The event of the festival, Break Mission’s International Dance Championship, took place on the final weekend and saw victories for Japanese dancer, Shigekix and Birmingham’s very own Kashmir Leese.

Graham Callister, Director of Festivals at Birmingham Hippodrome, commented: “B-SIDE Hip-Hop Festival is now firmly established as a key event in the international hip-hop calendar and the biggest of it’s genre in the UK.  From the thrilling performances and dance battles that took over the city, to mixed-ability workshops, we invited hip-hop fans and new audiences alike to discover something new that is truly dynamic and genuinely exciting.”

To find out more about the event, visit: www.birminghamhippodrome.com/bside
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