Two weeks until B-Side Hip-Hop Festival

Celebrating forty years of hip-hop in Birmingham.

There are two weeks to go until B-Side Hip-Hop Festival is back for its ninth year, running from Thursday 6th-Sunday 9 thJune across Birmingham Hippodrome, Southside and Bullring & Grand Central.

Produced by Birmingham Hippodrome with Break Mission, Queer-Side, Afroflux, and High Vis Festival, this year’s event celebrates 40 years of Hip-Hop in Birmingham with highlights including dance battles, an exhibition by Rob Bailey Hands up for Handsworth and the premiere of a new film directed by Juice Aleem telling the story of how Hip-Hop started in Birmingham.

With dance workshops, a block party, graffiti jam, basketball and dance battles, the weekend culminates in Break Mission Worldwide and Queer-Side Dance Championships, a chance to see breakers, some of whom are preparing for the Paris 2024 Olympics, as well as other dance styles, Hip-Hop, Krump and Waacking.

Juice Aleem of Afroflux said: “Hip-Hop celebrated a big anniversary and the scene in the Midlands has been here for most of that time. Come and join us as we look at the different layers of the culture, a few of the players and how they overlap in the Birmingham Hip-Hop timepiece.”

Chris Sudworth, Creative Director, Birmingham Hippodrome said: “B-Side Hip-Hop Festival is free and aimed at the whole family, it is a chance to come and get involved and showcase your art or your skills and find out about Birmingham’s Hip-Hop history. It’s a chance to be part of a Block Party, see Breakin’ and Hip-Hop dancers who are at the top of their game internationally and new graffiti artworks as they are created in Southside.”

The festival kicks off on Thursday 6th June with a Young Community Takeover event, which focuses on unlocking young people’s creativity through Hip-Hop workshops, as well as a showing of Gerel Falconer’s Edinburgh Fringe hit Hip-Hop theatre show, TONES in the Patrick Studio. Friday 7th June also sees the Premiere of 40 Times Out of 50: A Birmingham Hip-Hop Story, the new film directed by Juice Aleem that tells the story of how Hip-Hop started in Birmingham.

On Friday 7th June, join in with intermediate and professional dance masterclasses led by international guest artists alongside judges from the Break Mission and Queer-Side championships. Photographer Rob Bailey’s Hands Up for Handsworth exhibition will be open from Friday to Sunday with guided tours with on Saturday 8th June.

On Saturday 8th June the festival explodes onto the streets of Southside and inside Birmingham Hippodrome with dance competition qualifiers, a music block party hosted by pioneering record label Street Sounds, Graffiti Jam taking inspiration from the iconic Subway Art book celebrating 40 years since its release, Afroflux mini-convention, workshops, and a community basketball hangout hosted by Kings Heath Clangers.

Sunday 9th June starts with a dance battle from Break Mission Art of Raw in Central Street at Bullring. Break Mission Worldwide and Queer-Side Dance Championships culminate on Sunday 9th June with the Finals taking place in the Bullring & Grand Central, featuring some of the very best contemporary Hip-Hop talents from across the UK and internationally as they get set for Paris 2024 Olympics including all styles, Breakin’, Hip-Hop, Krump and Waacking. And if you can’t make it in person the finals will be livestreamed online internationally via a link on the B-SIDE website on the day of the event.

B-SIDE Hip-Hop Festival has an increased access offer throughout the weekend, with an Access Hub at Birmingham Hippodrome on Saturday 8th June and Bullring & Grand Central on Sunday 9th June where you can find out more about the festival, borrow ear defenders and fidget toys. BSL interpretation and audio description will be available throughout the festival, check via the Access Hub which events and activities are included and Access Hosts will be on hand to advise about accessible viewing points.

Find the full programme here.