My annual hip-hop pilgrimage took me to two locations this year. Previously the event has taken place at the same venue with the full contests being split over the two days. This year the organisers tried making things a bit different using the first day as the qualifiers for the finals on the Sunday. Saturday would take place in Hackney and the Sunday at it's usual home of Brixton Academy.
Day 1 was actually pretty good, the only downside was that the event was split over a number of rooms so there was no way to see everything. I chose to spend most of my time in the main room, which was holding the solo and popping qualifiers. The smaller rooms were holding toprock, beatbox battles etc. The advantage of seeing the qualifiers is that you get to see more people who are good but not that good to be seen on the main day including some French guy called Sebastian who had amazing upper body strength, but that's all he had hah!
I've found a couple of clips that show highlights of day 1 here and here. Sebastian is the freaky looking guy in the oversized shirt at the end of the clip.
Day 2 was great and the atmosphere had moved from the smaller classic feel to the large event.
In the popping battle it was great to see Salah finally win. He's been a people's favourite every time he's taken part in the contest but has always become runner up I can only assume because he avoids the fundamentals that the judges are looking for. The locking was won by a Japanese duo. The solos were won by a Dutch guy called Menno and in the finale, the team battles were won by Korea, in a great battle (here and here) with the Russians.
As ever a great weekend and only now after the last 12 years is the event starting to get the coverage and publicity it deserves. CNN were there this year, and that can be seen on the event's website here.