Building Stronger Communities Through the Influence of Urban Culture and Music.
Beats n Bars mission is to build stronger community through the influence of urban culture and music. In just its second year, Beats n Bars has become North Carolina’s platform dedicated to cultivate the founding influences of hip-hop culture. The art of MCing, Breakdancing, DJing, Graffiti and Knowledge all are integral components that are culturally represented in our community. Beats n Bars is committed to sustaining the hip-hop sensibilities here in Durham.
In aligning with our mission, Beats n Bars Festival is committed to providing educational opportunities to the general public through The Fresh Effect Panel. The panels are just one of many ways we link directly with individuals that are part of the hip-hop community who are seeking an opportunity to hone in on set skills. Examples of those skills range from production and beat making to social media and marketing.
With craft and love of the culture, the Beats n Bars experience includes art display fixtures, panel discussions on culture relations and community impact, exposure to real hip-hop music, and an introduction to break out artists.
Meet Your Curators
Over the last 5 years, the UGC has been dedicated to creating a safe and healthy foundation of hip-hop music for its followers. This platform was created to make a space for people who didn’t have a safe space to express themselves artistically whether it was through visuals, MCing, dancing, DJing, etc. Because hip-hop makes us feel unified and stronger together, no matter the walk of life you come from. Providing a space for creatives, influencers and lovers of the hip-hop culture has been the passionate goal for us. Noticing how the culture of hip-hop music has taken a shift, we’ve stayed true to the original pillars that shaped the culture since the 70’s. We are now proud to be known as the platform that fills any void of hip-hop culture in NC by providing beat battles for producers, MC showcases, art inspired events, and more, that all speak to the mission of hip-hop culture.
Crystal Taylor started The Underground Collective (UGC) in 2012 to build community for hip-hop creatives and influencers, artists and producers that needed a platform to share their work to their peers. What started as one monthly event is now a series 7 novel events throughout the year.
This year Beats n Bars Festival is upping the anty partnering with the DURM Hip-Hop Summit. Now with the help of John Laww, former CEO of the DURM Summit, BnB Fest is able to become NC's Urban Culture and Music Festival experience.
Why Durham, North Carolina
Durham is a forward thinking city. It is innovative, unique, groundbreaking and trendsetting. An eclectic melting pot of originators. DURHAM is one of the last strongholds where originality isn’t only valued but expected.
Durham is growing into something huge, and already being brought up in national conversation. With festivals like Art of Cool, Bimbe, Moog, Full Frame, Centerfest and many more, people are already coming in scaling numbers to see what Durham has to offer. What makes Beats n Bars different is that it's solely based and rooted around the urban and hip-hop cultural aspect and its original foundations. We want to ensure that the cultural balance doesn't tip in one direction and that we stay Durham: Community Driven, Locally Grown and Diverse!
North Carolina is in the sweet spot as well. Located directly between DC and ATL where other hip-hop festivals are held. Beats n Bars is providing NC and the surrounding states a closer and affordable alternative cultural music experience.
What Happened to the Hip-Hop Culture in Durham?
From the days after NC hip-hop group, Little Brother until 2011, Durham was seriously lacking in the realm of Hip Hop. It had a real bad reputation in regards to any hip-hop event that would come to downtown. The association of hip-hop and violence created a reluctance among people to actually engage within the community and support local music and events.
That had to change.
With Crystal and Laww's initiative and determination, along with a few other like minded individuals in the community, the mission to bring Hip-Hop culture back to the forefront of Durham was the main focus. Respectively, with Crystal's 7 different platforms ranging from educational panels, beat battles and showcases, plus the local success from Laww and Toon's DURM Hip-Hop Summit, n the pieces were falling into place. It wasn't until January 2017 that Crystal and Laww decided to bring their events and brain power together to create something bigger than both of them. The stigma that was given to hip-hop in Durham was changing. It was appreciated again.
Shot by Taylor D. Adams of Scrapt Productions
Shot by James Huang of Madenew
What Can I Expect?
So unlike most local festivals that have you venue-hoping, we want to give you one central location; a Hip-Hop fairground. There you can see popular touring artists, fan-favorite local artists, break dancers, graffiti, art, cyphers, as well as a live DJ spinoffs, producer and emcee battles.
Art of Cool Festival has amazing late night jazz sessions where great artists collaborate on new ways. What's the hip hop equivalent of that? Well, that's what we're building. A spot where Zen So Fly can enter her first beat battle, and end up on stage at Moogfest in 2 years. A place where Made of Oak of Sylvan Esso enters in a beat battle to compete with music off his 2015 album Penumbra, before it was released. A spot where people can meet and hang out with all these artists they follow on twitter, and where those artists can start the kind of collaborations that are going to make sure that our scene keeps building at all levels. What happens on the main stage is vital and awesome, and we want you to see that. But we also want you to help us create the kinds of events where artists are in the community, and spectators become participants, and we make sure that our city builds the arts at all levels. And a BONUS: We've got tickets priced at an affordable rate that are within reach of people from OUR community.
VIP Venue: There will be a VIP experience for this festival which will include access to “secret” areas on the festival footprint.
BnB Festival Conference: These discussions and workshops will focus around the hip-hop culture, topics to inspire community and initiate change. We've invited notable hip-hop and community leaders to be on the panel.
Panelist Kevin Suber of The Suber Group
What is the Money Going Towards?
Throwing a 2-day festival is a pretty penny! We cannot produce a world class level event without your help. Our expenses include (but not limited to): accounting & legal fees, audio-visual and stage rentals, performance fees, insurance, licenses & permits, marketing & advertising, security, venue rentals, signage, ticketing fees, taxes, and much more. All funds received will go directly festival production costs.
Creating this festival has been one of the most self inspiring things we've had the pleasure of challenging ourselves to do. We never thought we'd be doing this, we never thought we could do something like this. It's been amazing working with people to create dynamic, inspiring platforms all influenced by the music we love. It's pretty incredible to have met all the people we have, hear their stories, and why this platform is so important to them and others. Never did we think an awesome vision that we wanted to breathe life into would be something so sought after by many more. With that said, we're excited to have shared this dream with you, in hopes that you see what we see: inspiration.
"It always seems impossible, until it's done." - Nelson Mandela
Thank you for all your support!
Risks and challenges
1. Raising enough seed money to launch and sustain the festival given the level of talent and scale of the festival.
2. Spreading the word about the festival given that the Triangle is spread out into multiple cities.
In addition to the upstart challenges, after-funding we face the following risks and challenges:
1. Hosting a festival in an area which has numerous live entertainment events each year is risky because there is a possibility that the performers and headliners we choose could be performing at other locations accessible to our audience.
2. We could over estimate the number of final tickets we sell for the event once we open it to the public.
3. As some of our programming for the festival will be outdoors, which presents the best opportunity to reach a maximum number of people, poor weather poses a potential challenge for this aspect of our festival.
4. City permitting and restrictions falling through might also prevent a challenge for us.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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