They come from every corner of the world, from America to Japan. For two days a year, Basel is the mecca of the world’s best beatboxer.
Basel – When Claudio Rudin performed the first « Grand Beatbox Battle » (GBBB) in the barracks ten years ago, he probably would not have expected the magnitude of this event. Within ten years, the small show – with only Swiss participation – became an event for people from all over the world. « In the first year we had around 30 beatboxers from Switzerland, in the second there were already some Europeans, » says Rudin. Today the Swiss participation is missing; the bar is now too high. « Unfortunately, the Swiss scene does not produce anyone who can compete at this level. » Beatboxing has become much more than simply producing simple drum sounds with one’s mouth. The participants partly present entire pieces of music,that’s what it looked like in the first year.
Replacement for the World Cup
Meanwhile, the GBBB is like a replacement for the absence of Beatbox World Cup, because it takes place only every three years. « Through a good friend on the Board of the BScene I had the opportunity to organize this event as part of the club festival. Actually, we chose the name « Grand Beatbox Battle » just for fun and extra fat. We did not know how that would develop … »
Every year, the world’s best beatboxers are invited to Basel to compete against each other. In addition, even unknown people have the chance to qualify with an application video. Around 450 videos have been submitted for this year’s edition. « We’ll be sitting in front of the computer 24 hours a day to review the submissions and then evaluate who really deserves a seat at the contest. » A victory in Basel can make a big difference in career planning for these, mostly young, participants. « One of these unknowns won with us and was able to move to Los Angeles and today lives from beat boxing. Of course, that’s not always the case, but it’s a great success story, « says Claudio Rudin. There are very few in the world that can turn this hobby into a profession.
A lot of care for the international guests
On Monday, the first participants, including Entourage, have already arrived in the Rheinstadt. Part of the arrival is no picnic, as Rudin says: « It is very much care work. Especially in advance, when all visas need to be organized. But since I am doing this now for the tenth time, luckily I am already practiced in it. « The travel and accommodation are financed by the GBBB. Part of this is taken over by the BScene, as ticket sales alone are not enough. And that can become a problem already from next year.
After the tenth edition, the Grand Beatbox Battle will isolate itself from the club festival. « That’s why it’s still a bit in the air, whether there will be an issue again next year, » says Rudin. For this new sponsors and supporters have to be found. However, if you think about the success story and the worldwide significance of this real Basel event, that should not be too difficult.