IBE 2013 was going to be a surprise for all of us. No All Battles All anymore, instead more focus on participation, cyphers and parties. Though many people were disappointed about the disappearance of the All Battles All, Rain was excited about the program and packed their bags to show Heerlen some London Flavour.
Kofi had already been in Holland for a few days to train with the Dutch crews Head2Toe and Trashcan Heroes. On Thursday Clint and Italipino arrived, just in time for an IBE pre-battle: Summervibes. Though there weren’t any battles going on and there weren’t that many people, it was a nice jam session with a free BBQ. Yes, free, so no need to complain here. After some nice burgers and BBQ chicken off to bed to rest up for three more days of non-stop dancing.
IBE Friday consisted of the three B’s : Battle, BBQ, Blockparty. The weather was great, the food smelled tasty, and the Bboys/Bgirls/Housers/Poppers/Lockers were hungry to dance! There where Cyphers everywhere, with people from all over the world sharing their passion for dance. With Neguin and Salah doing some capoeira in one cypher, and bboys fighting hard for a spot in the concrete battle in another. After a hard cypher battle between Gravity and Hat Solo, Gravity (Dynamic Rockers/5 Crew Dynasty) was declared winner of the IBE 2013 Concrete Battle. And that was the start of one of the best parties IBE has ever had, the crowd was hype! Unfortunately we were then told this wasn’t where the afterparty was at, and were “kindly” asked to leave and move the party to Cafe “De Beerkompanie”, however this killed the vibe a bit and we were left reminiscing the good time we had at the blockparty. Time to go home!
A busy day loaded with Battles, Cyphers, Talkshows and Workshops. The day started off with the biggest battle of IBE 2013: UK Bboy Championships Qualifier. Rain crew had been fighting against injuries for some time now, and did not feel like they were going to do well. They battled against an unknown crew, and though they did okay they left feeling like they could have done so much better. While Rain was battling, Kofi did the Hiphop Battle Preselection, where he left quite the impression and qualified for the next round. Unfortunately this meant he could not participate in the preselection crew battle. In the first round Kofi was up against Joey of the Dutch Pop’Arazzi crew, and yes..he killed the beat like only Kofi can.
In the next round Kofi suffered from some wardrobe malfunctions and lost in the semifinals. But the rain was definitely brought,. Big time. While all of this was going on, Pick Up (Kosher Flava/EXG) and Issei (Found Nation) were Battling in the finals of the Super Solo Bboy Battle which was eventually won by Issei. After all this Bboy Violence, we went on to the Top Rock Session, which was basically just a two hour long party with people rocking, topping and having fun to the beats of Skeme Richards. It was sweaty and smelly, and after this we had to recuperate by going to our secret pizza place. That’s right, I said secret. While we were pizza-ing it up, the popping preselection was going on, where Dutch Finest: Yordana, and UK Golden Boy Brooke ended up in the final that would take place the next day on the main stage. Bboy Gravity was still on a roll and also won the Seven2Smoke, Hm that boy good! Clint rushed off to the footwork battle, which started exactly on time… In other words, we were too late. Manny (Soul Mavericks) made it to the final, but Wing Zero brought another victory home for Found Nation Crew. In the meantime the trickbattle was won by Can after a sick battle against B-Yog. Enough battles for one day, it was time to enjoy The Ruggeds, and boy do they know how to put up a show. Together with Drosha, Gil ‘Arazzi, Salah, Neguin and the ladies from Zamounda they gave a hell of a show. We were about to go to the afterparty, and then we heard Rain made it through to the semifinals of UK Bboy champs qualifier. After about half an hour of `Are you sure?` and `Really?!` we went to the second afterparty. We danced until we could dance no more, then crawled home.
Rain Crew trained in the Hotel Lobby for the UK Champs Qualifier, and in the mean time I was doing my preselection for the Bgirl Battle together with Joey. We didn’t get to battle but we had fun. After that it was time for the crew battle, unfortunately about half the crew was injured. And Italipino woke up from his beautysleep just in time for the battle. I had the honour to fill in and battle with them which was kinda terrifying but exhilarating at the same time. Rain was up against the French crew Total Feeling starring Rains own bboy VO. It was a good battle, and Rain got a good response from the crowd. Unfortunately Total Feeling went through, but Rain was proud nevertheless. Kofi’s set was actually featured in Strife’s Best sets video. Rain Crew left their mark! After Battling in the semifinals Clint, Kofi, Hakim, and Haseeb decided to enter the House Battle. Why not? The judges were feeling them, not in a dirty way, but nobody went on to the next round.
Time for another trip to our secret pizza place. We came back just in time to see Issei win the Seven2Smoke Winners edition in a victorious way! He gave nobody else a chance and won every single round, making it a very short but sick Seven2Smoke. Up next: Popping final Yordana vs Brooke. Brooke took it home for the UK, but Yordana got a ticket to go to UK Champs since Brooke already qualified! The three crews that won a spot at UK Bboy Champs in Birmingham this September were 5 Crew Dynasty, The Ruggeds and Nine Styles Connection.
I personally did not miss the all battles all, it felt like everybody was part of a tight community. We danced together, trained, battled and partied. What else can you ask for? IBE left me tired, satisfied and motivated. I might have left out some battles, and forgotten to mention the names of some winners, but there were sooo many battles, give me a break will you! But I guess…overall you could say that Gravity and Issei won IBE 2013…
Okay, I did forget some things, well done to Momentum Crew for winning the generation battle, shout out to Frankwa for winning the House Battle and props to Shay for winning the Locking Battle. All clips of Rain crew can be found on the Rain Crew facebook page, and almost every other battle can be found on the youtubechannel ProDanceTV!
This was Maren Ellermann reporting for Rain Crew 😉