It’s that time of year when Columbia’s social calendar is chock full of things to do. And judging by the buzz, you’re going to want to push Love, Peace & Hip-Hop to the top of your list. It’s a homegrown, multi-day celebration of music, culture and art that’s firmly rooted in community and a passion for hip-hop. Follow our guide and see why this festival lives up to its hype.
ALL HAIL THE QUEENS
Love, Peace & Hip-Hop has made a serious mark on Columbia since its inception five years ago. It’s a festival centered on bringing together folks of all ages and cultures, locals and visitors alike, for an inspiring weekend. The largest event of the weekend, World Famous Hip-Hop Family Day, has pulled in artists like KRS-One and Kid ‘N’ Play in recent years, steadily increasing the festival’s attendees to over 15,000. The festival boasts a family-friendly atmosphere, focusing on the positive impact that hip-hop can have through top-notch DJs, dance crews, craft & fashion vendors, and of course the headliners. This year’s theme, “All Hail the Queens” has everyone swooning and anticipating a dynamite all-female lineup.
World Famous Hip-Hop Family Day
Saturday, April 14, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The empowering females taking the stage include the legendary MC Lyte, DJ Cocoa Chanelle, Honey Rockwell, LaLisa, Katera, Litty, and Selah the Poet. Among many firsts, MC Lyte was the first solo female rapper ever nominated for a Grammy, first ever to perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and the first female to perform hip-hop in the White House – just to name a few. Take in the sounds and electrifying performances with your squad (kids included!) for free at the corner of Main & Laurel Streets. Beyond the headlining stage, stroll down Main Street and check out art vendors like airbrush body art, food vendors like Carolina Cookin’, and educational vendors like Allen University, Serve and Connect, and EdVenture. Pro tip—plan ahead using this handy festival map.
Friday, April 13, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Raised in Columbia, the three members of The Sequence are returning to their hometown to be honored by their counterparts in the hip-hop industry + their long-standing fans at Tapp’s Art Center. Previously recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as the first female hip-hop group, the trio is considered to have pioneered the way for women in the genre. If you’ve never heard their first smash hit, “Funk You Up” take a listen and try to hide your foot tapping at the office. Tickets for this unique celebration are $20 and are available online now.
Love, Grits, & Hip-Hop
Thursday, April 12, 7 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Kick off the weekend a day early with the opening night, Love, Grits, & Hip-Hop. It fuses Love, Peace & Hip-Hop with another popular Columbia festival, Indie Grits. It’s an epicenter for indie rock, dance pop, electronic, and hip-hop music, covering three rooms in the Tapp’s Arts Center. Think performers like Deniro Farrar, Zack Mexico, and ET Anderson. Get your tickets in advance for $10, or at the door for $12. Bonus—one ticket gives you access to all three rooms.
Wednesday, April 11, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Looking for some mid-week fun for the fam? Get to EdVenture for music and literacy by award-winning musician and storyteller, L. Kobie Da Wiz. This free event is filled with DJs, dancing, and lots of bouncing. By the time you get back to the hotel room or your home, the kiddos will be ready for some rest, giving you some time to relax yourself (no guarantees, though). If you’re coming in from out-of-town for the weekend’s festivities and can’t make it mid-week, don’t fret. EdVenture is one of the largest children’s museums in the South and will be open for education & fun all weekend. Make a pit stop while you’re here and the kids will be singing your praises.
Sunday Dinner – Block Party with Amythyst Kiah and Dom Flemons
Sunday, April 15, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Located on Monticello Road, next to Hyatt Park, this free event is fueled by the sounds of blues artist, Amythyst Kiah + Grammy Award-winning folk star, Dom Flemons + jazz/hip-hop group, The Beast. Dig into bites from local food vendors, swap stories from the weekend’s events with friends & strangers and soak up the positive vibes. Sunday doesn’t get much better than this.
Feeling extra passionate about the cause behind Love, Peach & Hip-Hop? Jump in and join the family of volunteers that make this a party + a safe environment for everyone. With opportunities available for each event at varying times, you can choose what works best for you and spend the rest of your time dancing, singing, and smiling your way through the celebrations.
There will be no shortage of things to do on this particular weekend in Columbia SC -- Love, Peace & Hip-Hop, Indie Grits, River Rocks, Quarry Crusher Run, Columbia International Festival, Soiree on State, Columbia Food and Wine Festival… shall we go on? Not to mention the world-class attractions, theater shows, weekly market, and restaurant & bar options. Suffice it to say, you’ve got some planning to do.