The second annual 4Elements HipHop Festival went down on Saturday 19th March at the Bankstown Arts Centre and was a huge success for the organisers and public alike with over 1,000 people flocking to celebrate Harmony Day. This was a definitive celebration of the four elements of HipHop through dance, graffiti, emceeing and djing, utilising the skill sets of the powerful Sydney HipHop scene to put forth a day of music, inspiration, diversity and a sense of community from start to finish.
Vyvienne Abla of Vyva Entertainment with the support of Bankstown Youth Development Service and Bankstown City Council hosted a line up consisting of 100 local artists from over 40 different cultural backgrounds as well as international special guest Freedom Williams of C+C Music Factory who came down to enjoy the event and speak on the industry panel held on the day.
With a fluidity of an arts centre that brought the outside in, Bankstown Arts Centre was transformed into a HipHop oasis where people could chill, dance, mingle through an impromptu art gallery and get involved in 70 meters of huge blank canvas alongside graffiti heavy hitters Mistery, Peque, Days, Jesta and Unique along with many other writers and with crates of vinyl, allowing people to try their hand at some graffiti. Kids playing and being inspired by the sounds of artists, both seasoned and newbies to the stage, entertaining everybody through song, rap or spoken word was a beautiful thing to witness. On the outside of the centre were cars, DJ decks set up and incredible dance crews breaking it down for the crowd and sharing their talent for popping and locking for the public to witness and get involved in.
Drawing on extensive industry expertise from mentors such as L-FRESH The LION, Dancekool, Zig Parker, Mistery, Mirrah and DJ MK-1 to head up the 6 week workshops run prior to the festival, participants were given encouragement and support to unearth their various talents to the public on festival day. Performances on the day included DJ sets from DJ’s Dee, Krystel Diola, Crazy Caz, N Fluence and many more with live shows from local artists Brothablack, Mirrah, Jah Tung, Sarah Connor and many more. On display in the main entrance and gallery sections of the festival showcased incredible works from a variety of visual art creatives, including the incredible HipHop portraiture of Sophieaye and Eiman and the mind blowing vinyl artworks of Dan Hu Artistry, there was something on display to suit and delight everyone. Guest hosting by K-Sera and The Dirty Dozen team from The Edge 96.1FM brought new flavour to the day and a special visit from the Bankstown Council Mayor Khal Asford elevated the reach this festival is gaining in the community.
The 4Elements HipHop Festival is fast becoming a necessary fixture in the Sydney HipHop calendar and is proving to be the event that brings together the HipHop industry and community in a safe, inspiring and honest space celebrating the strength of HipHop and social cohesion.