Whilst many of the big festivals were coping with mud over the weekend we were thankful that our Brummie feet were firmly on solid ground as we arrived for MADE. With a line up that boasts heavyweight names such as MK, Heidi, Claude Von Stroke, Julio Bashmore and David Rodigan, as well as prominent local acts Tom Shorterz and Adam Shelton, there was plenty for everyone in this urban playground.
MADE is a mini Metropolitan festival that brought ravers from all corners into the heart of Birmingham city. Now in its second year, the site had been expanded to include six stages set across the Digbeth triangle and the Rainbow complex. In keeping with the creative melting pot of the area, that ethos was very much evident in the site production from the epic wall mural by Newso & Gent48, live graffiti art and illustrative signage.
First up was veteran DJ and reggae selector David ‘Ram Jam’ Rodigan on the Heavyweight Bass Champion stage, a boxing ring with caliber of booming bass and DnB acts to match. 40 years in the business and David still knows how to rock a crowd. He invited all the ‘young tongue shooters to take a trip to Jamaica’ with him as he spun tunes from reggae, dance hall and DnB. He bounced around with the energy of a teenager, puffing out his chest and rewinding the decks, it was a pure joy to watch.
Next up was Norman Jay MBE playing from a fire exit high above the car park. The Bloc Party stage set up wasn’t a massive success and it was a shame to see Normal play to smaller numbers than expected. The VIP terrace above the Warehouse offered the best views over the main stage and revellers danced with the inflatables in the hazy afternoon sun. We stopped for some much needed respite with a delicious gourmet pizza from Baked-in Brick.
Back on the Heavyweight stage was beat-box extraordinaire Beardyman and friends for the ‘Bass Battle Off’. DJs Pete Graham, Marc Spence and Santero went back to back with only 7 minutes to impress the audience. We darted round the site, catching glimpses of sets from Korupt FM, Stanton Warriors, and Blonde who performed live as confetti cannons launched multi coloured flakes into the sky of the main arena. Julio Bashmore and Dusky were the stars of the Underground stage as they played to hyped punters in dark sweat-box of a room.
A packed out crowed gathered at the main stage anticipation for the headline act. It seemed as if most people had come to see MK (Marc Kinchen) as the other stages emptied out. As his first record dropped confetti cannons boomed, followed by smoke jets and fire streams lighting up the crowd. His set was bursting with techno and club classics including remixes of Rudimental’s ‘Powerless’, Bakermat’s ‘Teach me’, Dumont’s ‘The giver’ to the crowd pleasing anthemic sing-a-long moment ‘My head is a jungle’. MK dived into the crowd at the end of his set and was hoisted up on to shoulders for the fireworks finale whilst Low steppa took up the mantle.
We caught up with Pete Jordan festival organiser about the challenges of delivering 11,000 capacity inner-city festival. “Digbeth is a unbelievable place and we had the opportunity to go bigger. We have had a phenomenal amount of support from the council, police and emergency services.”
“Having the indoor and outdoor spaces created a different vibe and we tried to put a bit of personality into each individual stage. Delivering bass music in a conceptual form such as a boxing ring makes people experience the music in different way. To see some of these stages really come off makes me really proud.”
It was clear the festival was a big hit with the punters too. Carly Banks from Staffs said “I have literally had the best day/night of my life!!! so unexpected and so worth it!!!!!”
Despite the terrible weather on Sunday they still had good numbers through the door for Made by Day. The organisers worked quickly to relocate as much of it indoors at the rainbow complex. There was a great selection of food available from gourmet burgers, pizzas, Caribbean, North African, Thai from Digbeth Dining Club regulars, as well as comedy, music and retro gaming from Dead Pixels.
Made my day was a great success and provided thousands with the best in bass and dance to party through day and night. We’re already looking forward to what 2016 has to offer.
See the full image set here https://www.flickr.com/photos/summerfestivalguide/sets/72157656009069788