Beloved Brissy venue The Triffid has teamed up with stalwart label Elefant Traks to create Scenario, a free event to be held this weekend, boasting a line-up stacked with a diversity of ascendant hip hop acts from around the country.
Following in the footsteps of the venue's inaugural Newstead Roots Festival, which made its debut back in October 2016, Scenario will be held this Sunday, 30 April — Labour Day Eve — and is a 12-hour-long party featuring food, drinks and a smorgasbord of talent including (in alphabetical order) B Wise, Birdz, Coda Conduct, Jayteehazard, Kaylah Truth, Kudos and more.
According to Elefant Traks head honcho, event curator and respected rapper in his own right, Tim Levinson (aka Urthboy), Scenario is the first in what is planned to be an annual series at The Triffid. And, he told The Music, he thinks it's the perfect location in which to launch such a yearly affair.
"The Triffid has definitely become one of the best venues in Brisbane — one of the best venues in the country to play, I think, since it opened a few years ago," he says.
"They've already done a more blues-and-roots curated event, and this one's a hip hop one, so we want to build it and turn it into something that happens each year, and I would hope that it always looks really different," Levinson explains. "But this is the first one, and there are so many different hip hop acts out there that this could be very different every year.
"And the fact that it's at The Triffid and it's not in an open area — it's not trying to expand and become really huge — it means that it's always going to have that community feel to the event. It's not going to be something that is about trying to make the biggest of events."
Not that it has to be the biggest of events, or even necessarily wants to be; as Levinson explains, although hip hop festivals have been a fixture for a while now, "There's no rules any more".
"It doesn't need to be a big promoter who's putting something on; we can just create a kind of local hip hop festival, do something that's sort of … just interesting and different," he explains.
"So, yeah, it feels very much that this is the type of festival is a bit more interesting now. It's a free event, it's local, it's not a $150 ticket, you can go down to The Triffid and have a meal and watch a bunch of different acts play — and then it's a public holiday the next day!"
The line-up acts themselves are all personal favourites of Levinson's — "I wouldn't book anyone who I wasn't interested in on a personal level … I mean, I've been involved in music for 16, 18 years now, so I'm just allowed to be a bit selfish every now and again!" he laughs — and represent the breadth and depth of sounds, personalities and experiences that make up the ever-evolving national hip hop community.
"Well, it's always a case of trying to get a whole bunch of different people from different walks of life," he says of his curation process. "We wanted to make sure that we had a good cross-section of interstate and local artists … we wanted to have women on the bill, we wanted to have acts that represent different voices in Australia: we've got Birdz, who's on Bad Apples, Briggs' label; we've got B Wise, who's on Elefant Traks; we've got Coda Conduct, who are with Inertia; and, you know, Kaylah Truth, from Brissy, and also Kudos ... So, yeah, we have a good mixture of local and interstate acts who are making up the bill."
For those who are holding out hope for a cameo from the man himself, we have some good news: you can absolutely expect an appearance from Urthboy — but you'll need to get along early, as he'll be stepping out a little earlier than he usually does, choosing instead to give way to the up-and-comers and future main-eventers.
"I'm going to be a special guest and do a short set with Jayteehazard on the night; we haven't announced that yet," he allows. "I'm actually going to play early, so we'll see how that works. I'm used to playing a little later in the night, so I'm really happy to be actually warming up for acts like Coda Conduct and Birdz and B Wise."
Get along to The Triffid this Sunday to join the party.