A decade of Grand Beatbox Battle: Basel attracts the world
They come from all over the world, from America to Japan. Over the weekend Basel is set to become a Mecca for the world's best beatboxers.
Ten years ago, Claudio Rudin launched the first «Grand Beatbox Battle» (GBBB) as part of the BScene festival in the Kaserne. At the time, he could not have imagined how big the event would become. The small show, with exclusively Swiss participants, became an event which attracts people from all around the world. «In the first year we had 30 beatboxers from Switzerland, the second year we had some other Europeans as well,» said Mr Rudin.
Today there are no more Swiss participants taking part; the benchmark is simply too high. «Unfortunately there is nobody from the Swiss scene who can keep up at this level.» Beatboxing today is far more than producing drum sounds with your mouth. Participants present entire pieces of music, exclusively produced by the human voice.
Replacement of the world championship
Meanwhile GBBB has become a replacement for the absent beatbox world championship which only takes place every three years. «A good friend in the BScene organisational board gave me the opportunity to organise this event within the framework of the club-festival. Actually we chose the title ‘Grand Beatbox Battle’ only as a joke and to be extra bold. We didn't know that it would develop like this…»
Every year the world's best beatboxers are invited to come to Basel to compete. Unknown performers also have a chance to qualify with a video application. Around 450 videos were submitted this year. «We sat in front of the computer for 24 hours to view the applications and to evaluate who really deserves a place in the contest.» A win in Basel can make a big difference in the career planning of these mostly young participants.
«One of these unknown performers won in Basel and moved to Los Angeles where he earns his living with beatboxing. Of course this is not always the case, but it's a great success-story,» Claudio Rudin said. There are only a few in the world who can live from this hobby. Mr Rudin himself did this as well for a few years but he does not earn his living from it any longer.
A lot of support service for international guests
The first participants, together with their supporters, arrived at the Rhine city on Monday. Sometimes the journey is not easy, according to Mr Rudin: «There is a lot of support work to do. Especially in the run-up when visas have to be organised. But since I've been doing this for ten years now I am experienced enough,» he said. The cost of journeys and accommodation are covered by the participants themselves. BScene takes over a part of it since the ticket sales are not enough by far to cover everything. And this can become a problem next year.
After the tenth year, the Grand Beatbox Battle will separate from the club festival. «Therefore it is a bit unsure whether there will be an event next year at all,» Mr Rudin said. Sponsors and supporters must be found. Thinking however of the success story and the worldwide significance of this genuine Basel event, this can’t be too difficult.
The Grand Beatbox Battle takes place at Volkshaus Basel 2nd and 3rd of March. The tickets for the event are already sold out but those who have a BScene ticket can still get in.
Family concerts in the Markthalle Basel
Concerts for families and children will take place this weekend at Markthalle Basel.
A group of 17 musicians of the Basel Sinfonietta and the Mädchenkantorei Basel (conducted by Marina Niedel) will present the musical results of their mutual two-years education project «Meine Musik – Deine Musik» on Saturday, 3rd March from 2–4pm. Scheduled is a self-penned composition called «Safaloss!», the first performance of the composition «Hinaus» by the Dutch-French composer Camille van Lunen as well as songs from the collection «Friday Afternoons» by Benjamin Britten.
On Sunday, 11th March at 10am, 11.30am and 2.30pm, clarinet player Mariella Bachmann and the accordion player Stefanie Mirwald will play their programme «a thousand and one nights» on the children’s concert «for sound-foxes». Together with sound-fox «Foxi» the audience is invited to step on a flying carpet which takes them on an adventurous journey to the east where magic sounds can be heard and a distracted bespectacled cobra awaits.
«Fähri-Läädeli» – Ferry Tales opened yesterday
A unique Basler shop, the «Ferry Tales» replaced the «Condomeria» at Rheinsprung and opened yesterday.
Model ferry kits, magnets, games and jigsaws, as well as other ferry souvenirs and tickets are on sale. «I sell everything which you need for a few cosy hours at the Rhine,» Maria Taubic, the 29-year-old ferry woman in-training said. Now she is owner and operator at the same time.
Ms Taubic collected the capital of 25,000 francs needed to open the shop through crowdfunding.