IBE Preview: TyronePOSTED ON September 8th, 2009 BY Calvin
Photo by Murph
There’s a lot that can be said about Tyrone van der Meer.
He’s one of the masterminds behind the The Notorious IBE. He seems to be commonly recognized as one of the most influential individuals in the worldwide b-boy scene. And pretty much every b-boy and b-girl in the Netherlands seems to have some form of a story where Tyrone’s taught them something awesome.
But there’s one thing that you might not know: among some friends, he’s known simply as Google.
Ask Tyrone about it, and he’ll mainly laugh and play it off by saying that it wasn’t a name he chose for himself. Ask one of his friends, and they’ll tell you that Tyrone’s a walking encyclopedia who can speak a million languages, or something like that.
But even the man known as Google says he had no idea that The Notorious IBE would explode to be what it is today.
“Especially not after 2006, when the venue went bankrupt and closed itself,” Tyrone says. “We thought the festival was done. We never could have expected that the format would change from it all happening in one venue to eight venues this year.”
To be fair, IBE has always been a relatively large-scale operation. From the beginning, it was a three-day event that included all the elements of hip-hop. By showing the artistic and social values of the event, the event secured funding from the local government.
Since then, in light of a few hiccups, IBE has become one of the world’s premiere b-boy events with screenings, discussions and battles ranging from traditional to innovative.
The event’s widespread success, Tyrone says, was actually the result of limiting its target audience.
“We defined what b-boying should be for us and what we enjoyed the most,” he says. “That’s the power of the event. We have trouble appealing to a wider audience, but no problem appealing to the breakdance community.
“I think a lot of events fail because they try to look to be appealing to a greater audience. That always leads to controversies within their community. You can’t please everybody. The format we have is more easy to please a greater number of b-boys.”
The excitement of the b-boy appeal isn’t lost on Tyrone himself. He’s in a tizzy over the scheduled grudge match between poppers Salah and Bionic Man. Though the on-stage battle itself should be enough to dazzle any spectators, the real significance lies in the story behind the competition.
On September 11, 1999, the poppers met head on, helping to spark a now-legendary battle between their crews that continued into the cypher.
Almost exactly a decade later, the battle is now coming full circle.
“The parallel is great because IBE is still here,” Tyrone says. “We can say the event has been around for 10 years or more. Salah and Bionic Man are still some of the best. That’s what we want to celebrate.”
Which brings us back to this whole “Google” nickname. Though he may be reluctant to expound upon its relation to his own intellect, Tyrone admits that it’s appropriate for his vision for IBE.
Because dancers are not just people who dance, or battles are not just events, or maybe stances are not just poses, Tyrone says he likes to search for the stories behind it all – the way one might research a topic on Google. In turn, he hopes that people can leave IBE with relit passions that are the driving forces behind the dance.
“We do try to find a meaning in everything,” he says. “Every b-boy has a story. Every battle has a story. Every element has a background. Sometimes we forget about the fun and the reasons that we started it. This is bigger than me, bigger than my opinion. It’s so big that you can have learned a lot of things and still be amazed.
“I always tell people, ‘At least the other person showed up to battle you.’ Somebody might be coming all the way from Siberia and have to travel 25 hours. What can you say? You still wanna talk about ‘This guy’s wack,’ or see at what he’s about? I would be happy if people go home from IBE and they’re like, ‘Yeah man, this is the reason I’ve got to do this’ – something that reminds them of things you feel when you just get into the game.”
For more on IBE, click here.
To register to win free two-day passes to IBE, click here.
For more super-dope b-boy photography by Murph, click here.
CATEGORY: Interview, Notorious IBE