Music & Nightlife

Breakin’ Convention pops, locks and paints its way into uptown for its third year

“Breakin’ Convention,” which pops into Knight Theater for three performances this weekend, isn’t your average tour. For one thing, the festival of hip-hop culture isn’t relegated to the theater walls. In the spirit of hip-hop’s beginnings, the festival takes to the streets of center city during what’s become its annual residency – a highlight of the fall season that theater goers and hip-hop heads have come to look forward to over the past three years.

The Pre Pre-Show

Maybe you’ve caught one of the musical performances during lunchtime at Levine Center for the Arts – there’s another one Friday at 11:45 a.m. with jazz trombonist Buff Dillard & Friends. Food trucks are on site, so you can easily grab lunch and a listen.


The fun begins at 5 p.m. outside Knight Theater Friday and Saturday at Levine Avenue for the Arts, with free pre-show performances featuring graffiti artists, DJs, dancers and others sharing their talents live.

The Show

This year’s performance features dance crews from around the globe, including South Africa’s Soweto Skeleton Movers, France’s Salah and Yeah Yellow, Protocol from the U.K., and the U.S.’s Femme Fatale featuring French dancer Marie Poppins. Charlotte graffiti artists have once again painted the interior columns of Knight Theater (430 S. Tryon St.) with custom artwork for the festival. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets for the main event are $19.50-$39.50.

The Finale

The hip-hop immersive weekend ends Sunday at Spirit Square (345 N. College St.) with a free Street Jam featuring dance cyphers, live deejays and dance workshops for children and adults. The family-friendly fun begins at noon.