Reviewed: MADE Festival
Set in the industrial heart of Birmingham, Digbeth took centre stage for its annual hosting of MADE Festival 2017. With over 80 acts split across eight different stages, there was something for everyone to enjoy throughout a solid 12 hours of raving. Legends such as Goldie and Chase and Status headlined the day along with one of the godfathers of grime Giggs. The diverse lineup combined with the incredibly unique location had expectations at an all time high for the day.
You didn’t have to take many steps into the festival before realising what was in store. Street art dominated the landscape, the bass was bouncing from brick to brick and the sight of thousands of ravers circulating the tunnels going from stage to stage created a proper buzz in the air. We kicked off the day over at Gorgon City’s Kingdom stage with Klose One who was on the decks providing the tech house vibes to get everyone grooving in the sunshine. The London based tastemaker was exactly what was needed to kick start the day as he proved exactly why he is so respected behind the decks with a wide selection of tracks and dub plates effortlessly mixed to get the energy pumping through the crowd.
With the vibe for the day set it was time to shoot off over to the Bass Mentality Warehouse as ex-frontman of The Streets, Mike Skinner, took to the wheels to show everyone what he was made of. A wide selection of bass filled heavy hitters mixed with some true classics had the warehouse popping in true Birmingham spirit. After an intense bass heavy hour in a dingy warehouse, there wouldn’t have been anyone better to follow up than the drum and bass professor High Contrast who brought his live show to the gritty tunnels of Digbeth for an hour of fast paced, good spirited drum and bass. Proving why he is one of the most respected drum and bass DJs in the game, High Contrast had the crowd moving in real festival loving fashion with some of his classics such as ‘If We Ever’ and ‘The Agony And The Ecstasy’.
With the sun now completely set, the clock struck 9pm which marked the start of a set that anyone who loves bass music had been waiting for. Chris Lorenzo b2b Cause & Affect. The much anticipated set marked the return of Chris Lorenzo back behind the decks side by side with Cause & Affect for two truly special hours. Kicking off the set with an array of unheard VIPs and dub plates that people can only dream of being released, the warehouse was jam packed and shaking as the thuds of the drums boomed through the steel structured barn. Bass jams such as Stanton Warriors – ‘Cut Me Up’ (Cause & Affect Remix) and the new festival smasher DJ Zinc & Chris Lorenzo – ‘Gammy Elbow’ really blew the roof off the warehouse exceeding all expectations.
As the night came close to the end an unannounced surprise had the whole warehouse in complete awe as My Nu Leng jumped onto the decks alongside Lorenzo, Cause & Affect and Holy Goof for thirty straight minutes of pure madness. Drum and bass, bass house, bassline and jungle all effortlessly mixed together by some true masters of the scene. This truly special b2b was the perfect way to top off the festival and raise the bar from last year.
If you haven’t had a chance to experience the tunnels of Digbeth, I would highly recommend it, in a heartbeat, to anyone who is after an experience you won’t forget about in a hurry!
Photography by Daisy Denham and Hannah Metcalfe for Here & Now