Arts and Entertainment

Newly Launched 5X Festival and Conference Creates a Home for Global South Asian Culture

A block party, street bhangra battles, art nights, workshops and talks, the Metro Vancouver-based 5X Festival celebrates the evolution of global South Asian culture from June 13-17 2018. Headliners include Punjabi music superstars Sharry Mann and Jasmine Sandlas, international influencers and YouTube stars like KayRay and Manpreet Toor, and incredible local artists like Khanvict, Desi Sub Culture, and more.

VANCOUVER – 5X is a world-class festival and conference showcasing contemporary desi culture from around the globe. Think SXSW meets Afropunk, right here in Metro Vancouver. After 13 years celebrating bhangra in downtown Vancouver, VIBC is replacing the City of Bhangra festival with 5X, something entirely new for both the organization and the world. With a block party, bhangra battles, art nights, workshops and artist talks taking place across Vancouver and Surrey from June 13 – 17, 5X is the coalescence of the cultural transformation moving South Asians to the forefront of modern pop culture across music, film, television, and visual art -around the world.

As the South Asian community has become a hybrid of diasporic communities across India, Canada, the United States, Australia, and the UK, unique pockets of culture and identity have emerged, interacted, and developed into a new, globally-distributed identity. 5X is a recognition of this transformation. “Technology has revolutionized the way we make and share art,” says Tarun Nayar, Artistic Director of 5X, who also fronts the trailblazing band Delhi 2 Dublin. “South Asian artists worldwide have embraced these changes, leading to artists like Rupi Kaur, Hasan Minhaj, and Lilly Singh occupying previously unavailable spaces in mainstream North American culture.”

The flagship 5X event, a massive block party in Surrey’s Central City from 4-10pm on Saturday, June 16th 2018 brings together headliners like Punjabi music superstars Sharry Mann, Jasmine Sandlas, Indian artists Navv Inder and DIVINE with support from Decibel Entertainment A bhangra competition, #2V2BC, takes the traditional art of bhangra and merges it with the street dance battles of urban North America, with online submissions and in-person auditions. In collaboration with Vancity Bhangra, 2-person dance teams compete for the top spot in front of celebrity judges and YouTube sensation Manpreet Toor.

Visual artists like Anumation, DontDoze, Nicholas Singh Kainth, Shmeer and others round out an art night at The Annex in Vancouver, and even more artists including trailblazing Ontario-based filmmakers KayRay and MsMutta, and Vancouver podcaster Abubakar Khan bring deeper insights into their creative processes to connect, inspire and accelerate the next generation of creators at 5X Fanfest on June 17th Surrey. “We’re exploring how South Asian creatives are transforming,” adds Nayar. “What new opportunities have emerged? What new challenges are posed? What is the interplay between the tech revolution and political radicalization around the globe? How are we responding?”

5X Festival - Launch Video - Where the Movement Happens

Welcome to 5X, a world-class festival and conference for contemporary desi culture from around the globe. This one’s for us. This is where the movement happens. #5xfest

Posted by VIBC on Wednesday, April 18, 2018



Sharry Mann | Jasmine Sandlas | Manpreet Toor | KayRay | DIVINE | Navv Inder | Khanvict | Desi Sub Culture | Ms Mutta | The Chosen Khan | more

With art by:
@dontdoze, @rated_rajan, @anumation, @3rins, @_nskainth, @shmeerliveshere, @ruchi_pasricha


May 1 - June 1: Online 2V2 Bhangra Competition Auditions #2V2BC

This is bhangra for the streets. 5X’s #2v2BC is the world’s first 2-on-2 bhangra challenge. Challengers submit their best-ever two-person bhangra dance routines to Instagram with the hashtag #2v2BC, with the top 32 teams will be invited to compete in front of judge Manpreet Toor in Surrey, Canada on June 15-16, 2018. The winning team gets $1000 plus a dance class and video with Manpreet herself.

Fri, June 1: 5X Pre-Party Celebrities Nightclub

in collaboration with Snakes and Ladders & Blueprint Events

The 5X pre-party the first-ever South Asian-themed night at the best venue in town, featuring artists Khanvict, Desi Sub Culture, and more.

Weds, June 13: 5X Art Party A Visual Art Experience with local artists + creatives, @ The Annex, Vancouver

in collaboration with DONTDOZE

Visual art trailblazers DONTDOZE curate visual and sonic art by a crew of young, brown, and talented artists for a blast of where South Asian culture is and is going. We’ll explore the evolution of VIBC from a competition to a celebration to the new 5X experience. Come celebrate our history, embrace our future, and get to know our new digital property Bhangra.Me.

Fri, June 15: 2V2 Bhangra Competition Trials - #2V2BC Surrey City Centre

in collaboration with Vancity Bhangra

BC’s lower mainland is home to one of the most vibrant dance scenes on the planet. We’re returning to our roots and celebrating local talent in a big, new way: 2v2 dance battles. This is bhangra for the streets. The top 16 entries in the global #2V2BC Instagram challenge come together on the evening of Friday, June 15th and the morning of June 16th to compete in front of celebrity judge Manpreet Toor.for the chance to win $1000, a dance class, and a video with Manpreet herself.

Sat, June 16: 2V2 Bhangra Competition Semi Finals 12-4pm Central City, Surrey

in collaboration with Vancity Bhangra

This is it. The top four teams from the #2V2BC Instagram challenge battle it to see who takes the bhangra crown, the $1000 prize and the video feature with Manpreet Toor.

Sat, June 16: 5X Block Party 4-10pm Central City, Surrey Artists: Sharry Mann, Jasmine Sandlas, Navv Inder, KayRay, DIVINE

in collaboration with Decibel Entertainment

The big one. A giant outdoor party to celebrate global South Asian culture right in the heart of the brand-new Civic Plaza in downtown Surrey.

Sat, June 16: 5X Official Afterparty 10pm - late In Surrey Artists: DJ Rekha, DJ Apogee

in collaboration with A-Town Presents

Another legendary A-Town desi afterparty. Join 5X and special guests to let loose and celebrate, success, yourself, and the best that the BC desi community has to offer.

Sun, June 17: 5X Fanfest 2pm-6pm Surrey City Hall

Artists: Jasmine Sandlas, KayRay, Manpreet Toor, Ms Mutta, The Chosen Khan, DIVINE

YouTubers, musicians, actors, creatives—the young desi movers and shakers all come together to talk about what inspires them, what they’re up to, and to plan the future of the cultural renaissance. Featuring panels, Q+A sessions, selfie booths, conversations, live music, great food, and more.

Daman Beatty
The creator of, Daman Beatty (AKA 'Beatler') is originally from Sackville, New Brunswick. A longtime media producer, visual designer, marketing and communications specialist, Daman loves travel, technology and being a Daddy.