After a long summer of blazing heat, it was certainly a surprise to find the rumbling of thunder and showery spells that covered MADE festival. However, this didn’t seem to have any impact on the fantastic turn out. Girls arrived in an array of summer wear/ bikinis and guys showed up in their shorts and funky shirt combos. No one seemed that phased by the change in weather. In fact, if anything, it pushed the crowds into the music tents and got everyone moving on a day that focused on celebrating the UK’s extensive mesh of DJ beats. MADE attracts a line-up of over 100 DJs and live acts, all of whom perform in six tent-based arenas. The music is pumping as soon as you enter and the whole place revolves around the rhythms and ‘the sesh’. To put it lightly, this is not one to miss for any of you modern-day ravers.
From the offset, despite the early start, people were most definitely, ready to party. The crowd was predominantly under 25 and there was a sense of that youthful swing in the atmosphere. Nathan Dawe really kicked things off on the main stage (which was luckily moved inside due to the bad weather). His set was incredibly versatile, and he took us all on a journey from the sounds of hip hop and techno through to genres of grime and rap. He experimented with the crowd and focused on what drew in the greatest interaction and adulation. He was hot off the plane from some other party paradise but had made it back in order to send all of our city slicker minds into holiday central. It was the sounds of summer that were emanating from his booth.
The next to take to the stage was Yxng Bane. From his humble origins in the East of London, Bane has punctured the UK music scene in some unbelievable ways. His performance at MADE tells us why. The crowd roared at his long list of catchy tunes like ‘Vroom’ and ’Bestie’, to the more soothing notes of ‘Rihanna’. You can tell that Bane doesn’t want himself caged into a genre. He, much like Nathan Dawe, focuses on energy, expression and diversity. His remix of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’, seemed to dictate this most clearly. Here at MADE, people don’t seem to fear diversity like it is so often proclaimed in the media. Everyone sang together and danced together in a celebration of mixing cultures and what this enables Britain to bring to the stage. Bane is definitely not scared of entering and mixing with genres that he isn’t associated with. He takes risks, and they pay off, especially in the setting of this festival. With such a varied crowd you have to shake things up a little bit and Bane delivered. British rap culture oozed in this performance and, in fact, it was delivered in abundance throughout the day.
Kurupt FM was by far one of the most anticipated acts of the day. It was very clear that their set was looming as it suddenly became much harder to move and breathe in the tent. The smell of anticipation hung in the air. The reason being? Everyone knew this was going to be good. The biggest group to set themselves on the stage so far. Asim Chaudhry, A.K.A Chabuddy G, opened the act and set the pace for an innovative, humorous and fast-paced performance. Every character was there, including the self-proclaimed “best emcee in the galaxy” and having them all on stage at once created an upbeat and fanatic performance which got the whole crowd involved. Their beats are actually incredible and with all the joking around you can see they are very talented group who want to do things a little differently. Growing from their usual spot on the BBC Three programme ‘People Just Do Nothing’, this was a whole new Kurupt experience. It was refreshing and really showcased the variety of the festival. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to see these guys in action.
The real question to ask of these events is what makes them special? MADE answered this loud and clear. No artist was afraid to display the full extent of their personability, vulgarity or humour. They connected with the audience in a way that isn’t that often available in the culture of festivals today. Not3s, to give but one example, literally jumped down into the crowd to perform his well-loved single ‘Sit Back Down’ which was met by many squeals of delight and a flow of people pressing towards centre stage. His openness towards his fans and their desire to fully express themselves is refreshing and new. These are big name artists who perform all over the world and yet they seem to feel that they owe the UK, and in many cases Birmingham itself, a performance for everyone to remember. It is their home and it was their time to shine. This festival was all about the young generation, our generation, and the effect we have had upon the music industry. It might be very different to what our parents enjoyed, but we scream just as loud to the beats as they did to the Beatles.
Photography by Sophie Harbinson
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