Birmingham’s MADE Festival is One to Watch

Aug 2 2017 BY bespokemag

Another sell out year for MADE Birmingham; who’d have thought it? Everyone within a 15-mile radius apparently. The festival continues to show its unrelenting growth in popularity after selling 10,000 tickets, upping its total from 9000 the previous year. Being a Birmingham-native, there was no way I could miss out this year and I must say, after attending this weekend with the experience I had, I can now put my right hand on my heart and left hand in the air and safely admit: MADE Festival is the one.

Held in The Digbeth Triangle ( the heart of Birmingham), the area is effectively closed off to all traffic and non-ticket holding citizens, providing ravers with a 12-hour dance marathon spanning across nine stages (yes, NINE), all with live acts and talented DJs. Energy reserves need not be stored for the extra couple of days a typical festival consists of, granting ravers the freedom to dance and vibe to their heart’s content.

The stages are made up of urban indoor and outdoor spaces within a few seconds proximity of one another, where real props have to be given to the set builders in their creativity to turn the bricks walls, car parks and garages of Digbeth into something that exudes an admirably different – but real – festival feel.


Credit: © Photography by Krishan Chauhan for Here & Now (

The urban music festival provided a variety of acts to suit diverse music palettes from the ever growing grime to the head banging drum & bass and from the shape cutting house to the well-accustomed rap and R&B. Local talents such as JayKae, Dapz on the Map, GOLDIE were all a part of the line-up on the main MADE stage accompanied by less local, more marquee talents coming from the south of the Island: Giggs, Charlie Sloth and DJ Target.

Selfishly, I was most intrigued to see how Birmingham-based grime artist, JayKae, would perform. To his credit, as soon as he took command of the mic and started with his hard-fire, gritty MC style, he immediately grabbed the attention of the crowd pulling in more viewers whilst performing his top tracks ‘Toothache’ and ‘Pull Up’. The reception he received from the people of Birmingham really represented the work he has been putting in recently. He also brought out up and coming Birmingham-based talents Lotto Boyz where they performed their new anthem ‘Birmingham’ which also features JayKae.


Credit: © Photography by Krishan Chauhan for Here & Now (

London DJs, Target and Charlie Sloth came through with the hits as they always do. DJ Target surprised the crowd by bringing out Lotto Boyz once again to perform their club banger ‘No Don’ which got the crowd extremely hyped. And no matter your sentiments towards Charlie Sloth, it’s undeniable he will always provide banger after banger during his sets which are exactly what he did at MADE too. Unfortunately, Steff London was a no-show which I was extremely disappointed by as she has been putting in work this year too.

The standout headline act: Giggs aka The Landlord! The guy was just guaranteed to put on a wavey show even during his rain-soaked set. Performing his bread and butter ‘Talkin The Hardest’ and ‘Look What The Cat Dragged In’ to his more recent ‘Lock Doh’ and feature tracks ‘KMT’ and ‘Man Don’t Care’. The set was short and sweet but it certainly topped off my evening.


Credit: © Photography by Krishan Chauhan for Here & Now (

And finally, by the end of MADE, if you’re not huffing and puffing out of exhaustion, there is ‘MADE.. My Night’, which is a continuation of MADE Festival into the early hours in a club setting, where more DJs are booked in to deliver quality sets.

If you consider yourself a real festivalgoer, be sure to keep the end of your July next year free to see the hype that is MADE Birmingham.

By Tez Ajeigbe