I am so excited to spend the next two days at Epic Fest. If you are a lover of Hip Hop you should most certainly be in attendance for a honestly Epic festival. Come out and support local business and local artist.
Rap music performances happen often in Richmond, but most of them are restricted to a few hours. However, this year’s Epic Fest — a hip-hop concert series that began in 2011 — will take place at Kingdom RVA this Friday and Saturday.
The show was planned by performers and co-organizers Cain McCoy and Octavaion Xcellence of Slapdash, and, at the time this was published, the two-day bill features 52 acts. The first Epic Fest took place at The Camel last year but Xcellence said that a venue change was necessary to accommodate the number of acts involved this time.
“We wanted to make it a lot bigger to attract more artists from outside of the region as well,” Xcellence said. “We have so many acts from Virginia Beach and from D.C. that we appreciate and we wanted to bring them to RVA.”
“Well, Epic Fest is our Superbowl and our Wrestlemania,” McCoy added. “We decided to get a venue that could accommodate the space we needed, and Kingdom is a bigger venue.”
Although the pair has been organizing rap music shows throughout the central Virginia region since 2010, Xcellence said that they drew inspiration from the famed South by Southwest Music Festival that takes place each spring in Austin, Texas. Both McCoy and Xcellence performed at the concert last March.
“We had previously done South by Southwest, [which is] one of the biggest festivals, with around 200,000 people, that happens in Texas,” Xcellence said. “At South by Southwest, there are 15 or 20 acts on each bill.”
“Any act that’s hot in music goes there every single year. We wanted to create that environment, and we wanted to see if we could create the same kind of unity here between people and their favorite independent acts.”
In fact, Xcellence said that he and McCoy stayed a few days longer to study how South by Southwest worked before they returned to Richmond.
“For Epic Fest, we took tips from South by Southwest and the other venues that we frequented,” Xcellence said. “We appeared on March 12, but we stayed until March 15 to watch other showcases, and we watched and took notes about stage dress.”
McCoy and Xcellence agreed that it was Xcellence’s decision to attempt a two-day hip-hop festival in Richmond, and he convinced Kingdom RVA that a lengthier Epic Fest could indeed work. According to Xcellence, So Illa, another artist who will perform on Friday evening’s bill, helped to secure the partnership between Slapdash and Kingdom RVA that made the revised Epic Fest a reality.
Apparently, the idea has legs, as evidenced by promotional support from local sponsors such as Kulture, Rumors Boutique, RVA Mag and West Coast Kix. McCoy also said that the show won’t have much downtime, either, since there will be an auction, foam props for participants and beach balls that will bounce around in the crowd.
At the end of the day, though, Epic Fest is all about the music. Therefore, it will be a prime opportunity for show goers to see their favorite independent performers in person.
“Epic Fest is for the music lover, it’s for the art lover, it’s for the lover of culture,” McCoy said. “It’s about seeing these people perform right before they become super-famous, and they’re all coming together, so there’s going to be a lot of love in the building.”
“What I would say is, at the end of the day, they need to come see the new Richmond scene,” Xcellence said. “We’ve helped to nurture it as a community and as a culture, so if someone isn’t familiar with Richmond, they’ll get a good idea about what we have offer by coming to Epic Fest.”
Epic Fest will take place at Kingdom RVA at 10 Walnut Alley in Richmond on Friday, June 29 at 6 p.m. and on Saturday, June 30 at 6 p.m. Single-day tickets are $10 in advance and $20 at the door and a two-day pass is available for $15 in advance.
article borrowed by By: | Richmond.com
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