Forget Glastonbury, T-in the Park or any of the other Summer festivals this year and make your way to the Midlands for the ultimate explosion of music, art and culture at the BASS Festival. Throughout the month of June, venues across Birmingham, Leicester, Derby and Nottingham will play host to over 50 events that form the basis of the BASS (British Art and Street Sounds) Festival.
Under the banner of ‘The Elements of Hip Hop’, this year’s event brings together over 100 artists from across the UK, Europe, the US and South Africa to celebrate Hip Hop culture through a series of interactive master-classes, workshops, performances, exhibitions and installations that will open the doors to the general public and break down the misconceptions and myths that surround Hip Hop.
Celebrating the four elements of Hip Hop – MCing, DJing, B-Boying and Graffiti are at the heart of the Festival, and the organisers have taken each genre and brought together icons from across the world as well as new talent, to give inspiration but to also ensure that the history and heritage of Hip Hop is understood, respected and taken forward.
Line up for the festival includes a foray of international Hip Hop stalwarts including New York based producer Lord Finesse of DITC, lead MC of Philadelphia-based Hip Hop group The Roots – Black Thought, DC born electronic and experimental Hip Hop musician DJ Spooky, one of the best known exponents of South African Hip Hop – Tumi, veteran rapper Ben Sharpa, London-based poet, producer and DJ Charlie Dark, and UK Hip Hop artists Ty, and Stig of the Dump.
The driving force behind BASS, Ammo Talwar says of the event: “The past three years have seen such a phenomenal growth in support and interest for BASS. This year is the most exciting to date, with artists from the UK, the US and even South Africa coming to celebrate The Elements. I love the fact that BASS breaks down preconceptions and allows us to demystify Hip Hop Culture for the masses. It’s not just the music, it’s a way of life that includes art, dance, drama and language”.
The range of work and artists that are featured across the month long festival is truly indicative of the global impact and influence that Hip Hop has and shows the variety of disciplines that are included within the framework of Hip Hop. Talwar continues: “We’ve been exceptionally lucky with the artists that are taking part this year. We wanted to show the impact and reach of Hip Hop – from the streets of Harlem to the theatres of Birmingham, from the shanty towns of South Africa to the galleries of Nottingham – this festival is going to break new ground, showcase British Art and Street Sounds for what it really is – a unique and exciting mode of expression”.
The festival, which takes place over 30 days across 40 venues, will also feature performance poet Ursula Rucker, South African playwright and actress Napo Masheane, leading UK graffiti artist Temper and the innovative and inspiring female graffiti artist from South Africa, Faith 47.
The full line-up is available on: