About Us

Our History

The organizers behind the Nine Pillars Festival have been promoting underground and alternative hiphop in the Charlottesville area for over a decade. We are committed to raising the profile of hiphop and pushing values of activism, commnity, inclusiveness, and social justice to the forefront. We nurture the professionalism of the performers we work with and encourage them to maximize their potential, both as artists and as contributors to the local economy.

Past Projects

2012-2014: Verb and Vibes Open Mic: Charlottesville's longest running open mic event, welcoming all forms of artistic expression. Formerly known as Just Lyricz, the open mic transitioned to the management of the Nine Pillars team starting in 2012. In over two years and three different venues (Random Row Bookstore, Para Coffee, and The Bridge PAI), Verbs and Vibes was a featured evemt in the Virginia Festival of the Book for three years straight and has held special events at UVa and PVCC.

2013-2016: Rugged Arts Hiphop Showcase: Built by the Nine Pillars team from the ground up, has played host to the entire spectrum of regional talent. Rugged Arts, which occurs monthly at the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar, has been the subject of articles in the C-VILLE Weekly and the Cavalier Dailoy. The showcase has received sponsorships from a variety of local businesses, including Smoke Brake Vapes, AquaFloat Charlottesville, Telegraph Art and Comics, Clay Fitness, and Revolutionary Soup.

2014-2016:No Filter Rap Battle: In collaboration with the local activist collective OSE, B.E.A.T.S at UVa, and the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, the Nine Pillars team has organized a yearly battle rap event, pitting the vest lyricists in the city against each other for cash prizes, trophies, and bragging rights.