A3C Festival/Conference Kicks Off in Atlanta

Atlanta is going to be the center of the hip-hop universe for the rest of the week.

The 10th annual A3C (All Three Coasts) Festival kicks off Wednesday and runs through Sunday.

More than 500 artists will be performing at dozens of venues throughout downtown Atlanta, the Old Fourth Ward, Little Five Points and East Atlanta Village.

They include: 2 Chainz, B. o. B., Jay Electronica, Twista and Young Dro.

An audio version of this story.

“To some people, it’s an annual spring break or gathering of friends.  To some people, you know, it’s the largest networking in the hip-hop community.  To some people, it’s the best shows they see every year,” says Michael Walbert, the general manager of the A3C .

In addition to the music, the event also includes film screenings and academic panels.

Jermaine Dupri and Scarface are among the scheduled keynote speakers.

Walbert, 29, says he’s been a life-long fan of hip-hop and believes it has staying power.

“It engulfs and takes in other popular music, so hip-hop has elements of what’s popular.  And that’s why I think it’s become the largest purchased genre in the United States.”

More than 30,000 people are expected to attend the conference.