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After its inaugural event last year, the one-day live art and urban culture Streetfest returns to east London for a bank holiday smashing line-up of music, art, dance and attitude.

Birthed last summer to bring together the diverse communities of street art, sport and performance, Streetfest kicks off in Shoreditch with live art demonstrations, including the audience-voted Secret Walls 90-minute graffiti comp, alongside a digital art tournament, pop-up photo and nail design booths and top audience-involving workshops, too. 

The Hackney-based street dance company Nemesis, female-focused Dare2Dance and rollerskate dance troupe High Rollaz will deliver explosive routines. And choreographer Yami ‘Rowdy’ Lofvenberg, who won the World Lockin’ title at the Hip Hop Championships in 2010, will be running three dance workshops specialising in Eighties dance moves including The Backslide (the moonwalk to you).

British BMX star and Red Bull pro Kye Forte and his Mobile Sports Events team will take centre stage, heading up the urban sports demos.

“We’ll be performing all kinds of 360 variations, flips and flairs on the new HP [half pipe],” says Forte, who won 2005’s World BMX freestyle title. 

“The whole MBE team are looking forward to the shows. Working on a jump or line all winter then riding it for the first time in the spring is an amazing feeling.”

Sports won’t be limited to two wheels, though. There will be inline skate and unicycle demonstrations even, with skateboarding workshops and demos, too. The world-renowned Game of S.K.A.T.E. battle will be putting the pros’ talents to the test, and a Red Bull mini-ramp jump competition will pit 20 professional skaters against each other. 

Alongside the shape-throwers and sports, there’s also a star-studded line-up of DJs and rappers to keep the party going long after the sun’s set, including Washington DC-based Oddisee, St Petersburg-born, London-based DJ Vadim, and south London’s Dot Rotten, who featured in the BBC Sound Of 2012 poll and has a debut album, Voices In My Head, ready to hit this June. 


Rapper Dot Rotten hits the main stage

Urban culture need not be exclusive, though, and is a far cry from what you might expect from a festival geared around moves, tricks and MCs. Stu Smith, founder of north London-based skate company Love ‘n’ Skate, one of SF’s co-curators, tells us skating is often misunderstood.  

“The biggest misconception is that skateboarding is all ‘shaka-brah’ and rap metal, that LA stereotype – it’s not,” he insists. “Skating is a bunch of individuals into a whole bunch of different things and who each bring something different. Most of us aren’t throwing gang signs at each other all the time!”

So forget what you thought you knew and see the stars at London’s premier live art fest take to the air, shake their thing, and conjure new artworks before your eyes. There’s no better place to be this weekend! 

Streetfest. May 5. 1pm-11pm. £10-15.  
Hearn Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3LS  
Tube | Liverpool Street  
streetfest.net 

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Streetfest in Shoreditch: Celebrating urban culture, graffiti, skating, b-boys and more this bank holiday weekend
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