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.   

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 4-10 p.m. on Saturday,  June 16, 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