MADE Birmingham: How it all went down

Food. Art. Music. Festival goers in Birmingham were spoiled for choice over the weekend as MADE descended on the Digbeth Triangle for the 3rd year!

Now I never really “got” the festival life, why would anyone want to go CAMPING in a MUDDY field in the middle of NOWHERE having to wear poncho over the AMAZING outfit you meticulously selected from Asos because it decided to rain??? Let’s be honest, the festival shopping cart can get quite expensive when you factor is tents, sleeping bags, travel, warm alcohol (optional), food, a change of clothes etc etc etc. So for many people, inner city festivals like MADE are an easier and more affordable option. Train tickets aren’t too bad if you pay in advance plus that student railcard saves you loads!


MADE (Metropolitan Arts and Dance Event) is hosted in what seems like an urban jungle about a 20 minute walk from Birmingham New Street. The two main stages are across two re-vamped car parks with amazing street art littered along the outside whilst the remaining 4 stages are hosted in smaller rooms and a rooftop garden.

Highlights on the MADE stage include Kano and of course headliner Rudimental who closed the event on Saturday night.


Thousands turned out hear Kano return with songs from his new album ‘Made in the Manor’ released earlier this year. The 31-year-old grime artist did well to invigorate the crowd performing with such charisma and smoothness that you’d probably forget the songs were from was his first album release for 6 years!


Rudimental were just as relaxed and poised off-stage as they were on stage. Bringing their drum and base  sounds to the Birmingham masses, nothing but good vibes flowed from the stage to the crowds. A key highlight was the addition of a live trumpet player during their rendition of Hit The Road Jack, what a class move!

Over in The Warehouse, Dusky took a similar approach! The house/electronic tunes performed so effortlessly by the London duo seemed to put listeners in a trance like state, the sound perfectly suited the thoroughly mellowed out dim warehouse. Definitely excited for what is to come on their new album ‘Outer’ coming out on 30th September!!


Whilst there was loads of different sounds to choose from over the weekend, the name on everyone’s lips was Stormzy. By far the most anticipated act of the night to grace the Heavy bass Champions stage and fans got exactly what they came for. Performing at 100% throughout the entire set, Stormzy is as much as an entertainer as he is a rapper. Even after the incredibly successful year he’s had there is nothing to suggest he’s running out of momentum and everything to suggest we should be very hyped for his new album due later this summer!



What sets MADE apart from other festivals are the incredible freelance artists you see working on pieces during the festival.


(Above) Steve Edwards

(Below) Ruth Porter





In my pre-festival review I spoke a little about the cheat days to be had at MADE. Yes, festival food is notoriously expensive but a fiver for a jerk chicken wrap from Esmie’s Caribbean & Seafood was completely worth it. (Besides, is it really a cheat day if there’s a bit of lettuce?)


At the peak times the queues really did speak for themselves!

Sooooo I can safely say that MADE is kind of like a triple-threat in the festival world, inviting some of the best to the West Midlands in a broad celebration of contemporary culture.

Check out our gallery of the day HERE

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