From finding infamous monarchs underneath car parks to winning the Premier League, the city of Leicester has proved itself to be full of surprises. But in April it scored the hat trick with the most representative music and arts festival the UK has seen all year. Handmade Festival 2017.
Over the past few years the nation has begun to appreciate what nearly 40,000 university students have known for quite some time. That Leicester is a truly remarkable city, the heart of which is home to a cultural quarter bubbling with creative energy.
That is precisely where Handmade Festival kicked off on April 28th 2017.
Day one saw a short programme taking advantage of the cities many, many, live music venues. The
likes of Husky Loops and The Dead Pretties set the tone for the weekend with their respective own brands of unaltered, raw British rock music.
For the rest of the weekend Leicester’s O2 Academy became home, with a relentless line-up of acts spanning an inspiring amount of demographics, across not one, not two, not even three but FOUR stages.
UK music festivals have always been the best place to find your new favourite band and appreciate upcoming talent, but Handmade Festival 2017 made it easier than ever. The BBC Music Introducing stage has never looked more promising or at home.
Graced by the likes of Happy Accidents, Yr Poetry, Miriam Franklin, Royal Arcade and Alligatr it was
strikingly obvious how much of a benefit Handmade has been to the local music scene in the East Midlands.
The fact that the benefit ricocheted to the main stage, is even more remarkable. Bands such as Ash
Mammal and Kermes, both of whom call Leicester home, showed why the cities creative ability is not to be ignored.
Even more significantly, both Ash Mammal, Kermes and many others on the bill took to their respective stages with a purpose.
They each delivered a message and took this opportunity to open discussions about equality, representation and societal
abuse. Each in their own way, and each with their own point to make.
Within that culture of spreading both poignant messages and acceptance is where the truly remarkable nature of Handmade Festival lived.
Never before have I seen a more diverse line up. Across three days Handmade showcased bands of different sizes, genre
s and styles made from a truly varied pool of talented musicians.
Whilst this statement will only scratch the surface of the multiplicity of Handmade Festival 2017, let it be known that I was struck by the amount of female mu
sicians I had the pleasure of listening to, and that it made me proud.
With all of that the bigger names on the line up served as a reminder that the British music scene has long been a force to be reckoned with. Dead!, Pulled Apart By Horses, Fizzy Blood and Twin Atlantic were prime examples of where faith, conviction and talent can take you in this country’s industry.
Handmade Festival 2017 created a legacy this year by setting an example for the rest of the industry. Representation is key, perhaps more today than ever, and Handmade are one of the torch bearers.
Roll on Handmade Festival 2018.
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