Preview: The B-Side Hip-Hop Festival 2017 | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Preview: The B-Side Hip-Hop Festival 2017

Culture Editor Olivia Boyce previews the action-packed B-Side Hip-Hop festival, taking place May 19th to 21st in and around the Hippodrome.

After last year saw its inaugural run, the B-Side Hip-Hop Festival returns this weekend with an expanded and ambitious line-up, celebrating hip-hop, dance, rap and spoken word talent from Birmingham and beyond. Taking place May 19th -21st in and around the Birmingham Hippodrome, the action-packed festival comprises of a busy programme of performances, competitions and events from all aspects of the Hip-Hop world.

' B-Side Hip-Hop Festival returns... with an ambitious line-up, celebrating hip-hop, dance, rap and spoken word talent from Birmingham and beyond...'

As with the Hippodrome’s Summer on Southside festival, the programme contains a vast array of free activities and performances throughout the weekend, with the last B-Side festival attracting over 5000 visitors. Friday 19th sees the arrival of the B-Side Welcome Jam in the Patrick Centre at the Hippodrome, a free launch event hosted by MC and rap artist Juice Aleem. Present will be just some of the inventive rappers, graffiti artists and b-boy/girls performing in the festival, including Prit, Nucleo and T Kid. It promises to be an evening of conversation and Q&A’s that will explore just some of Birmingham’s varied and exciting contributions to the world of hip-hop. More information on the Welcome Jam can be found here

Last year’s B-Side festival hosted dancers from all over the world, and this year’s festival is similarly packed with dance showcases. One event, the Break Mission x Just Jam Intl 2017, is a series of break, hip-hop and body-popping dance competitions and exhibitions taking place during the festival at the Hippodrome. Prizes are awarded to successful performers, and rather wonderfully, the price of entry is a donation of clothes or non-perishable foods, which will be donated to help those in need in and around the Birmingham area. Another event, the KRE8! Experimental dance battle, is a dance contest posed as a 2vs2 Bonnie and Clyde (Male+Female) format, taking place on the Saturday evening.

There are several workshops over the course of the weekend, with everything from graffiti to spoken word and dance available for visitors to take part in. The 20th and 21st sees Graff Jam, a weekend of indoor and outdoor live Graffiti art and workshops, take over Hurst Street and the Hippodrome foyer, and the event will feature some of the art form’s finest, including the legendary T – kid from New York plus others and are proud to be sponsored by POSCA. More information on workshops can be found here

The festival culminates in a finale afternoon on Sunday 21st, with finals for several dance competitions and other performances taking place on the Hippodrome’s main stage. Competitions including the Bonnie & Clyde 2v2 and Dirty 30s will culminate in a final battle off, followed by the main event – the final of the Midlands Ultimate Street Dance Crew Competition. There will also be performances from Lady Sanity, a rising star on the Birmingham scene who showcases a dazzlingly wide ranged vocal display of powerful music, and Strange U, whose unique sound, with stream of consciousness flows delivered over black whole deep baselines and synths, promises to be a spectacular experience.

So, whether you are an ardent fan of the Hip-Hop scene, or are looking for some free entertainment this weekend – head over to the Hippodrome for the B-Side festival, a sure-fire source of entertainment! For updates on events, visit the Hippodrome website, or the official B-Side facebook page

Third year English Literature student. Print Editor for Redbrick Culture. Appreciator of all things literary or stagey. Often found singing musical theatre tunes when I think no-one is watching. (@liv_boyce)


18th May 2017 at 12:28 pm

Last Updated

18th May 2017 at 1:51 pm

Images from

Birmingham Hippodrome


B-Side Festival