A 12-hour festival featuring hip-hop artists, breakdancers and graffiti art competitions has kicked off at Auckland's TelstraClear Events Centre today.

The Southside Arts Festival premiere event, Southside Gig, started at 9am.

"Today we will get to see the very best hip-hop, breakdance and graffiti art talent New Zealand has to offer,'' Festival coordinator Leisa Siteine said.

Top-level hip-hop, B-boy breakdance and graffiti-art competitions will run throughout the event, which finishes at 9pm.

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Event-goers will also have the opportunity to participate in hip-hop and breakdance workshops.

The event will feature a special guest performances by ReQuest Dance Crew and Parris Goebel.