Recapping the highlights London saw in September, the pioneering 11th annual StreetFest landed at the rooftop venue of Oval Space on Saturday 14 September.
StreetFest retained its crown as the capital’s leading platform for counterculture creatives. Showcasing an incredible array of the UK’s premier street dancers, hottest underground street dance crews, live street artists, DJs, spoken word performers, fashion traders and street food vendors, across one of the hottest days of the month.
Across the day, StreetFest created an immersive multi-media event, seeing B-boys and B-girls gather from all four corners of London and the South East to take part in a series of unforgettable, jaw-dropping battles.
Alongside the entertainment provided by on-stage performances, StreetFest offered children manga drawing workshops by Art House Project and hand sprayed graffiti workshops by Re-worked Vintage. For any aspiring street dancers, there was also an opportunity to take part and freestyle, which broke out and littered the multi-purpose arts space.
This year, StreetFest programmed with a focus on showcasing more female talent, seeing more female artists grace the stage than ever before. The ground-breaking festival was curated in part by b.supreme, the award-winning organisation dedicated to empowering women in Hip-Hop who have been in partnership with StreetFest for the past 7 years.
Led by host BGirl Sun Sun and b.supreme, the epic dancers cherry-picked and showcased the UK’s best female judges, including Mademoiselle Ginger and Tiago. A showstopping BGirl performance came from BGirl Terra the champion of the 2019 Red Bull BC One B-Girl UK Cypher, also the first-ever Solo B-Girl winner of the UK BBoy Championships and fresh from a BBC Proms performance at the Royal Albert Hall.
StreetFest’s female-heavy line-up also included DJ Chloëdees (NTS), iconic spoken word artist LyricL and legendary graffiti artists Artista and Apparan, who were all on board to represent and celebrate women in street culture.
Among the UK’s leading BGirls and BBoys were the dynamic and award-winning Soul Mavericks crew, who led the ‘Breaking Takeover’ during the Dance Battles segment, alongside DJ RBC at Wireless and Afropunk. They delighted the crowds as they threw down killer moves, styles and poses, while dance battle judges sat centre stage to determine the winners of the Waacking and Breaking Dance heats.
It was no surprise that by the end of the nail-biting Waacking Battle, the incredible underground BBoy master Shahin emerged victorious following an exhilarating performance.
The Breakin’ finale took place between BGirl Terra and BGirl Vanessa, with an elite offering of head slides, headspins and baby spins, windmills and jackhammer throwdowns. Both BGirls created an electric atmosphere, which ended with Breaking Championship awarded to BGirl Terra, who took the crown in the final round.
Elsewhere across the venue’s roof terraces, PaintFreaks curated a gallery of stunning live art and graf pieces, which emerged and evolved throughout the day from internationally celebrated street artists, illustrators and designers Nathan Bowen, Artista, Andy Seize, and Demograffix. Meanwhile, Music is Remedy, in collaboration with world-famous, and award-winning US publishers Trope, hosted a Speakers Corner for poets and spoken word artists, who had been shortlisted to tell a London tale and have their musings published in the Trope’s Spring 2020 edition.
StreetFest Liverpool will be the final event of the festival’s trilogy, taking place in the Spring of 2020, with dates and details to be announced.
Street Fest founder Bayo Alaba said: “We are hugely proud of what StreetFest has achieved this year. To bring together, collaborate and celebrate with the best talent across Leeds and London was a massive buzz. StreetFest London took it to the next level this year and it was a huge honour to see such a gathering of artists and creatives, especially with the focus we gave to the female talent this year. We’re extremely thankful to our brilliant media partners Verge Magazine, Music News, Made in Shoreditch, East London Radio and GUAP who’s support meant we were able to achieve a diverse cross-section of attendees at the festival.”