Your Ultimate Guide to What’s on and Where at Birmingham’s B-Side Hip-hop Festival?

Your Ultimate Guide to What's on and Where at Birmingham's B-Side Hip-hop Festival?

The annual FREE Hip-Hop festival kicks off on Wed 9 May with tons to do in and around Birmingham Hippodrome and Southside until Sun 13 May.

There will be dance competitions, rap battles and family-friendly workshops, plus graffiti and street art – set to the sounds of the festival from live DJs and MCs. Now in its third year, the festival presents all things Hip-Hop from around the world with headline acts including Red Bull BC Champion, Menno Van Gorp, singer/songwriter, producer, Emmavie and world-famous popper Greenteck.

Take a look at the festival highlights…

Monday 7 May

B-Side labs will be running all week from Monday 7 May, taking place in the DanceXchange Studio. On this free development course, artists will get the opportunity to spend a week with award-winning creative director/choreographer, Mickael ‘Marso’ Riviére as he offers guidance to aspiring dancers.

Wednesday 9 May

The festival opens on Wednesday, with an evening with Dr Martin Glynn which includes a workshop and talk on the inspiration behind his powerful collages based on Hip-Hop culture. The criminologist, artist, author and theatre director will also present his new works and participants can create their own collages. Elsewhere in the Birmingham Hippodrome building, there will be a Zoo Nation master class, the first in a series of master classes on Hip-Hop dance styles for dancers aged 12 – 21.

Thursday 10 May

Thursday sees an in-depth talk with Brooklyn native, Link from Elite Force Crew. A dancer who featured in music videos for pop legends Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey. This is an opportunity to hear from a true dance pioneer, as he shares his career journey and experiences from initiating projects and creating opportunities to the importance of networking.

Friday 11 May

The Welcome Jam, takes place on Friday, as the official launch of the festival weekend. The first half features a one-off poetry special brought to you by Juice Aleem’s Afroflux and Apples and Snakes’ Hit The Ode. Expect poetry and music performances that explore the philosophy of Afrofuturism. Later in the evening, there will be a Hip-Hop themed game show similar to hit-show ‘A Question Of Sport’ created by MadFlow and DJ Psykhomantus. To round off the day Birmingham’s best Hip-Hop DJs will be spinning some Hip-Hop tunes.

Saturday 12 May

On Saturday we have the Break Mission x British Breaking League 2018 dance battles in the Patrick Studio with live DJs and MCs. We also have Flux-Con in the building, a mini comic convention celebrating comics, indie games, animation and speculative fiction.  Elsewhere there will be the KRE8 2v2 x Attention to Detail experimental dance battle, led by renowned choreographer Mickael ‘Marso’ Riviére, featuring a live band and Dj as well as an international line-up of dancers such as Drosha, Nao, Link Binks & returning champs Nathan Lafayette & Laura Vanhulle.

If crafts are more your thing, Birmingham Open Media fellow and TED speaker, Florence Okoye, will be leading a mask making workshop based on Afro-futuristic ideas. There will also be graffiti workshops with Posca Pens, and an outdoor International Graff Jam on both Saturday and Sunday.

Also, on the line-up for ladies who want to improve their music production skills, there’s a workshop with one of the UK’s finest musical artists, Emmavie. The female-only beginner’s music production workshop will give you the chance to produce your own Hip-Hop and future R’n’B track.

The evening ends with a Break Mission after party at Hawkers Yard with live music from Brooklyn legend Jeru Tha Damaja supported by Juice Aleem, Trademark Blud, Soloman & D7 and Hidden Agenda.

     Sunday 13 May

The grand finale takes place on Sunday with a full day of festival fun! There will be Sweat the Technique dance workshops led by Grennteck and Menno Van Gorp. The festival will also take over the theatre’s main stage for the dance battle finales. In the main foyers, there will be live drawing with Deka Hussein and lyric writing with pioneering Birmingham rapper Juice Aleem, a key figure in the Birmingham Hip-Hop scene. Outside the theatre in the Southside streets, participants will battle in the Bones to Stones dance competition. Come and get involved or watch the battles commence.

Graham Callister, Associate Director at Birmingham Hippodrome, commented: “We have a jam-packed line-up this year, full of special performances from pioneering artists and interactive workshops for all the family. This is the third festival we have worked on with B-SIDE festival partners and it really is the biggest and best one we have produced. We have such a diverse offering, whether you’re into breakdancing, spoken word, graffiti or just want a day out in the city with the family, there definitely will be something for everyone, with most of the activities completely free.”#

Festival Producer of B-SIDE Hip-Hop Festival, Shekayla Maragh, added: “We are proud to have pulled together this extensive programme of activities that explore all the different elements of Hip-Hop lifestyle. From the first festival, it has just grown and grown and we look forward to welcoming everyone to Birmingham Hippodrome for another great celebration of the culture.”

Birmingham Hippodrome partners with festival directors Break Mission, Juice Aleem, Mickael Riviére and to produce B-SIDE Hip-Hop Festival. The event is sponsored by POSCA.

Stay up-to-date with activities and join the conversation on  and Twitter using #BSIDE18

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