BET Awards: Guide to This Weekend's Festivities

Kyleen James
Janelle Monae will perform as part of this year's BET Experience.

The annual music festival will feature a series of concerts and activities leading up to the 15th annual BET Awards on Sunday.

This year's BET Experience is not holding back. From panels with Kobe Bryant and Floyd Mayweather to performances by Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg, BET is filling the weekend with endless activities and surprises in celebration of their annual awards show on Sunday. The third annual festival aims to bring back the more than 100,000 attendees who checked out last year's even. Kevin Hart and Nicki Minaj kicked off the festivities earlier in the week, each bringing their current tours to the Staples Center. Here are some key events going down this weekend at the L.A. Live plaza.


Grammy-nominated artist Janelle Monae will bring her Wondaland Records artists to Fan Fest at the Los Angeles Convention center while Ice Cube, Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg are headlining Hip-Hop night on Saturday. Also on Saturday night, The Roots, Erykah Badu and other special guests will bring a dose of R&B and rap to Club Nokia.

Genius Talks Presented by AT&T

Mayweather, Badu, Kelly Rowland and more are set to dish about the challenges in their fields of sports and music during a series of panels on Saturday afternoon. Bryant will sit down with ESPN’s Jemele Hill for a one-on-one to discuss what plans he has in store after his retirement. All panels are a part of BET’s Free Fan Fest, which is open to the public.

Celebrity Basketball Game

Tyrese and 2 Chainz will coach celebrity teams composed of Chris Brown, Snoop Dogg, Terrell Owens, Mayweather, Washington Wizards point guard John Wall, Tyga, Soulja Boy and French Montana.

BET Awards

The 15th annual ceremony, hosted by Black-ish co-stars Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson, will take place at the Los Angeles Microsoft Theater on Sunday at 8 p.m. with performances by Robin Thicke, Brown, Lamar, Alicia Keys and the cast of Empire. Janet Jackson will be honored with BET’s first Ultimate Icon: Music Dance Visual Award along with a special dance tribute from Jason Derulo, Ciara and others. Beyonce and Minaj lead the pack with six nominations each while Lil Wayne and Sam Smith trail behind with four and two nominations. respectively.

Carnivals, slam dunk contests, a sneaker convention and a Nickelodeon Worldwide Day of Play are also sprinkled throughout the rest of the weekend. Click here for the full list of the weekend festivities.