After 13 years it looks like Scribble Jam’s run may have come to an unfortunate end. Other hip hop festivals may have taken the shine, and attendees, from Scribble Jam over the past few years, but it is doubtful that any will play as important role or have as much impact as Scribble Jam had during its prime. Hopefully when the recession is over Scribble Jam can make a comeback.
Scribble Jam 1996-2008
First off, let me just say thank you to everyone who has been reaching out about Scribble ’09. Sorry for putting you on hold, but we had a lot of things to consider. This letter explains it all. Sorry it’s a bit long but I wanted to really try to capture the full situation. If you just want the details without the theatrics, skip to the last two paragraphs.
It’s hard to believe that we’ve been doing this for 13 years! I still have vivid memories of pulling into the parking lot of Annie’s in the Summer of ’96 on a blind mission and it just so happened that event (Scribble Magazine Premiere release party) was what become the first official Scribble Jam later that summer. Before I got out of the car I recognized that I was surrounded by Graf artists painting everywhere, DJs rocking on 4 turntables (1200 Hobos), MCs freestyling on the mic and breakers getting down on a sheet of linoleum. I instantly said to myself, “Whatever this is, I want to be a part of it”.
I think that is what most Hip Hop fans felt as the word about Scribble Jam traveled and the event grew from an Ohio thing to a Midwest thing to an International Phenomenon.
There is an extensive list of artists who got their start at Scribble Jam or had their careers take off or enhanced because of it. Scribble Jam is viewed around the world as having some of the most competitive, entertaining, and famous battles of all time. The MC battles at Scribble long ago become the quality standard for what an MC battle should be.
The people involved in making this event (myself included) have always gone about this event as fans that are passionate about Hip Hop Culture. The goal has been to throw an event that could bring the diverse Culture together to experience Hip Hop of all styles, eras, backgrounds and represent for all of the various “Elements” of the culture. That’s something I’m proud to say we achieved from our performing artists, Graf exhibitions, our various battles (DJ, MC, B-boy/girl, Human Beat Box, Popping/Locking) & touring schedule.
I think it is safe to say that Scribble Jam helped redefine the standard of what a Hip Hop festival could be. Although many Hip Hop festivals may have existed before us and even more have sprung up since our start, you would be hard-pressed (dare I say unable) to find one that has successful incorporated all of those elements and remain as consistent as Scribble Jam….13 years.
With all that said, we have been thinking very long and hard about this year. The requests for performances, tour dates, battle contestants, vendors, and so on have been pouring in and all wanting to know when Scribble will be this year. The answer, unfortunately, is that there will not be a Scribble Jam this year. This was by no means an easy decision. There are several reasons why we made this choice but ultimately it all comes down to basic economics…the money just isn’t there.
I think I speak for the rest of the Scribble Family when I say we weren’t doing this to get rich from it…sure the thought of that potentially happening crossed our minds…ha, but if that was what we were waiting on we probably would have quit a long time ago. We all spent countless hours putting together Scribble every year. I don’t even know how I could explain what goes in to making it happen. Personally it had become a year round commitment for me and I was fine with that because I love doing the event and the feedback from the fans and the artists is inspirational and vastly appreciated. However, with the current status of the economy, which effects everything from people being able to afford an event like this to the lack of corporate sponsorships, we feel it’s best for us to take some time to regroup, refocus and reassess the future of Scribble Jam.
I want to thank everyone who has ever supported the event in any way; the fans, competitors, artists, vendors, sponsors, DVD buyers, and so on. You are the reason why this incredible event could last for 13 years!!!
We’ll keep you posted on our website and myspace page with any updates for our future plans as well as the 2008 DVD. Definitely hit up either of those with your comments, suggestions, feedback, and all that. Peace
— Kevin Beacham 3-31-09