IBE 2013 – Hip Hop Festival getting more social than ever [REVIEW].

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Show - IBE 2013[dropcap2]T[/dropcap2]raveling through Europe is one of my favorite thing. Especially when I visit Netherlands and other Western European countries. Purpose of my trip is almost always the same – observing cultural events and be part of it as a filmmaker, dancer or just as a social human being.

This year again I was part of filmmaking crew during incredible Hip Hop Festival – The Notorious IBE which take place in Heerlen City. Formula of the event has been changed since last year from commercial to more social event. This was foundational reason for creating IBE back in 1998 – to connect and socialize people no matter what color, nationality and religion they represent.

From observer to participator.

Many comments appeared after last year’s event. One general summary emerged: people wants to participate more than ever. Its not about competition, it was more about social relations, sharing the same emotions, and most of all – knowledge. IBE promoters did great respond for numerous requests. They changed program to more open for wider audience. Now everyone can participate on the stage, in the cypher for pre-rounds, as well as jamming in the free dance spots including various dance styles: house, hip hop, bboys, bgirls, poppers, lockers and many more. Djs play the music, people get in social vibe what create unusual link between them.

Different individuals, different reactions.

Three categories of people visited this years event:

  • Dancers – general core of the Festival
  • Djs, musicians, performers, hosts – without them event would no exist.
  • Audience – crowd who gives a force and motivate two earlier mentioned categories.
mosquito - IBE 2013In this particular case I must admit there is correlation between all of them. Let’s say dancers dance during the Dj play the song and the crowd is watching.
From dancers point of view: he or she see the stage, cypher, opponents, judges, lights, crowd, floor – they are in the middle of action.
Djs can observe bit different: from the top main angle they see all the place at once so they got bigger picture as well as they lead everybody to certain reactions through music.
Crowd got other point of view: they mainly focused on the main floor, dancers. But they got real power in their hands. This power is totally different from two other examples. If they scream, react on what they see they can cause specific type of reactions.

I saw great picture: in the crowd was one couple (age about 60 years old). They’ve been holding each others hand, sitting on the chairs watching young people jamming in the house dance cypher. This was priceless: seeing much older observers getting so much fun from just watching dance cypher. Maybe they were ex-dancers, I don’t know…


The thing is, IBE has changed formula for more social event, rather than only “all star” dancers in one spot. Before they were untouchable almost like a VIP’s who came down to do their thing for special invitation. Now all participants are able to speak, to jam and even to battle with invited guests. This form is what people demanded from last year’s event. It’s like a back to the roots, back to the origins of the festival and this is the key to successful social event.


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