FIRST ANNUAL HIP-HOP FESTIVAL COMING TO BIRMINGHAM
This autumn will see the launch of the city’s latest new festival – the B-SIDE Hip-Hop Festival, a three-day free celebration of all things hip-hop programmed by local hip hop artists and legends ‘Marso’ Riviere, Juice Aleem, Dance Nuvo and Break Mission, produced by Birmingham Hippodrome and The Old Rep.
This new initiative builds on a range of grassroots hip-hop events and projects with the principal aim of providing a platform for Birmingham and the wider region’s local talent to take part and perform. The festival takes place across the weekend of the 23 – 25 September and features a range of outdoor ‘pop-up’ performances, sci-fi film, spoken word, talks and graffiti artists alongside more explosive street dance crews and b-boys/b-girls battling it out for cash prizes.
The festival opens on Friday 23 September with a Hip-Hop Conversation and Q&A hosted at The Old Rep exploring Birmingham’s local to global hip hop stories and the journeys of its pioneers to the present day, supported by city-region DJs, emcees and performers including Rose One, BOM 5, Chief 69, Buddha Stretch and Focus.
On Saturday 24 September the festival comes to life with a day of youth-driven performances and workshops at The Old Rep, co-ordinated by Dance Nuvo who are hosting international artists Caramel and Steady from Flawless Dance Crew at The Old Rep, with an appearance from fresh new hip-hop legends Terra and Eddie.
Saturday evening sees the event move to Birmingham Hippodrome hosting one of Birmingham’s finest MCs, rapper and writer Juice Aleem’s ‘AFROFLUX’ – a series of talks, poetry and film inspired by black sci-fi and Afrofuturism, leading to a House Party which will close the Saturday programme.
Sunday 25 September is the main event, with all artists, judges, hosts and DJs taking over the Birmingham Hippodrome’s foyer spaces and Patrick Centre with the Break Mission x Just Jam International semis and finals and Dance Nuvo hosting an All-Style Youth Battle. The day will also include the notorious ‘Bones-to-the-Stones’ battle on concrete with more prizes to be won, and ‘7-to-Spoke’ a new rap/spoken word battle, following performances from Beatfreeks’ ‘Verbalise’ programme in partnership with YAY16, Birmingham’s Year of Arts and Young People. Birmingham Breakin’ crew MDK will celebrate its 10th anniversary over the weekend, and to top it off, some of the best graffiti artists will be creating works on the Hippodrome Piazza, led by local graff legend Panda / Flake.