History of "Battle Of The Year"
The big breakdance hype in Germany was gone in the end of the 1980s. Only a few b-boys still trained without the public eye and started to build up a national network. In 1989 the hip hop community Jay Force Posse organized a festival, where 400 people attended - also Battle Squad with Swift and Swipe (aka Storm) and Sonny T from Hamburg. Driven by the success of the festival the Jay Force Posse decided to organize a pure b-boy competition the following year. This time they wanted to unite b-boys across the borders and invited crews from Switzerland, England and the GDR. On June 9th, 1990 the first Battle of the Year took place in Hannover. At that time the event was called “International Breakdance Cup“, one year later “The Battle“ and in 1992 the name “Battle of the Year“ was coined. The first BOTY in 1990 was a big success. Over 500 spectators visited the event. The most important crews were TDB, Five City Rockers, Fresh Force Crew, Breakdance Collection Leipzig, Crazy Force Crew and Second to None. The competition simply consisted of one show without battles. In 1990 a union of the crews TDB from Berlin and Second to None from Bournemouth won the competition. Already one year later the audience of the BOTY increased to a number of 2000 people and crews like Enemy Squad from Hungary and the famous Battle Squad from Italy and Germany attended. After the the breakup of the Jay Force Posse the hanoverian crew Burning Moves around Thomas Hergenröther continued the organization of the BOTY with changing places. The event took place in Celle and Hannover until 1997, where the BOTY came to Offenbach near Frankfurt. In the meantime Akim Walta with his company MZEE joined the organization team and the BOTY became a steady annual institution. At this point some typical BOTY characteristics were set with Trix and Spax as hosts for the event and Mode 2 responsible for the graphic design. Hip Hop became more and more popular in the mid of the 1990s and the BOTY felt the effects - in 1997 nearly 4000 people attended the BOTY and with Style Elements a crew from the US won the competition for the first time. But with the growing popularity the dark side of hip hop manifested. In 1996 the BOTY was disturbed by so-called “Hip-Hop-Hooligans“ with their destructible manner. They bombed the city with graffitis, robbed gas stations and stole the event cash box. Furthermore, internal tensions led to a breakup in 1999 of MZEE and Thomas Hergenröther, but Thomas went on determined by his vision of the BOTY. In 2000 the EXPO in Hannover became co-operation partner of the event. On october 14th, 2000 the biggest event in history of BOTY took place in Hannover with over 10.0000 spectators. Crews from all over the world participated, but the winner of this evening were Flying Steps from Berlin. In 2001 Thomas Hergenröther met with Storm and Mode 2 in Paris to discuss the future of the BOTY, knowing that they can´t keep the quantity of people. The plan was to return to the roots of the event with a familial atmosphere, but simultaneously take responsibility as an established event with showing new perspectives to young b-boys. From now on the BOTY logo was decorated by the subtitle „A change of direction“ and the event found at the Volkswagen Halle in Brunswick a new home. By now BOTY had preliminaries all over the world - the event increased from a small underground party to an international format with a continuous quantity of spectators. BOTY also grew with regards to content. With workshops, exhibitions, warm-up parties, b-girl battles or one on one battles the BOTY became a full week major event. After 20 years of Battle of the Year in Germany the organisation team decided to move the Battle of the Year to Montpellier-France in 2010 and 2011. For the German organisation team the decision to leave Germany was not easy to make. The German b-boy scene and the constant audience is really important to the team., but after 20 years it is time for the Battle of the Year to move forward and to start something new. This is also an opportunity to open up the BOTY to another audience and give more people the chance to be part of the event. The choice of France for the new location of the BOTY International 2010 and the decision to work with our French partner came naturally when the decision to make evolve the BOTY International location for 2010. The French B-Boy and Hip Hop scene has always been one of the most active and innovative in the world. Our BOTY France partner - Attitude , City of Montpellier and Languedoc-Roussillon Region also brought their 10th years experience in organisation of BOTY France, a convenient and adapted location (The brand new Montpellier's Arena offers more than 10.000 seats) and a support that will allow the event to evolve and propose an even more complete program in 2010 and 2011.