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 more.

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?”

Festival details including event dates and featured artist information are available now at

www.5xfest.com