Beats n Bars Festival launches Kickstarter, floods Bull City with pop-ups

A drone sits during the Beats n Bars Kickstarter event at Cocoa Cinnamon. Photo by Leon Grodski Barrera.

Legend has it hip-hop was born in the Bronx at a birthday party. Dedicated to breaking down Bull City founding influences of hip-hop culture, Beats n Bars Festival is North Carolina’s platform for riddling us the art of emceeing, B-Boying, DJing, graffiti and more — all integral parts of hip-hop culture in our community — and in so doing, serving its mission to “build stronger community through the influence of urban culture and music.”

Founder Crystal Taylor and Managing Partner John Laww (aka The Real Laww) teamed up and are ready to give the community all the elements of hip-hop.

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“With craft and love of the culture, the Beats n Bars experience includes exposure to all five elements, dope MC’s plus an introduction to break out artists, both mainstream and local,” says Laww, former CEO of the DURM Hip-hop Summit.

Consistent with last year’s launch, the fest will stage four mainstream headliners, with myriad North Carolina artists to boot. The festival is listed to have over 30 artists perform across two days. “Nick Grant, representing South Carolina; and Nitty Scott, who is straight out of Brooklyn, N.Y., are two of the four headliners, and have both worked with industry heavy-hitters such as Kendrick Lamar and Ab-Soul,” Laww says. “Notable North Carolina artists that are slated to perform are G Yamazawa, OC from NC, [myself] and Kaze, along with many more.”

Now in the second year of programming, the fest (Sept. 22-23) has launched a Kickstarter and has partnered with a host Durham hot spots to flood the Bull City with a slew of pop-ups scheduled throughout the city to encourage support:


June 16 – Third Friday at the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau, 6 to 9 p.m.
June 17 – Five Points, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
June 24 – King’s Sandwich Shop, TBA
June 24 – Social Games and Brews  (8 p.m. to 2 a.m.), FREE dance party

All events are free to the public.

The Kickstarter — launched with (most of) the artist lineup for this year’s fest — is to attain community-enhancement goals through urban culture and music (plus production fees and costs), seeking to raise a kind $25K.

Tickets: For Festival tickets & FMI, please visit


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