Rinse | Born & Bred Kicked Off An Excitable June
The run up to Rinse | Born & Bred Festival was just about as controversial as it gets. The dropping of Azealia Banks as headliner after her foul mouthed racist tirade against Zayn Malik raised eyebrows, but probably did nothing to hinder ticket sales and, in fact, brought a considerable degree of publicity to this celebration of bass music. Come the 4th of June, the sun was shining, the booze suitably extortionate and the attendees excitable, an unusually high proportion in Nike Air Max ’95’s (definitely the shoe of the day).
First, the site, which although small was well laid out and provided for with ample food stalls and portaloos galore. The variety and quality of staging was slightly lacking. The main stage was fairly impressive and suitably powered, as you’d expect from a Rinse FM set up, but the other three on offer were less well equipped, particularly the Lord of the Mics/Exit x Dispatch tent. It was disappointing too that following the withdrawal of the Swamp 81 stage, Sunday’s ticket holders had only two venues, as opposed to Saturday’s four.
The organisers would rightly claim that the music, not the site was the really important issue, and here there were many positives. A very impressive line-up was extensively chopped and changed. This created some frustration, but also brought some fantastic performances to the main stage, including Hodge and Laurel Halo’s b2b, which would have otherwise potentially taken place in a half-empty marquee. Most disappointing was Wiley’s no-show for his near-headline slot with Slimzee. Whilst P Money, wearing a very popular ‘F**K Azaelia Banks’ t-shirt, and brother Cadell filled in suitably, the Godfather of Grime’s absence was still the elephant in the room. It was a particularly inexplicable move since the festival took place so near Wiley’s home town of Bow, and after he had already performed with Slimzee on Rinse FM in February, a show that wet many appetites.
There was, though, plenty enough grime for even the most hard-core fans. Novelist will take the plaudits for his Sunday evening set, but the Square brought their own energy and style to his hit ‘Pengaleng’ the day before. Mr Mitch united hard grime beats, including a ‘Ps and Qs’ instrumental, with softer classics, finishing on the Destiny’s Child’s chart topper ‘Say My Name’. AJ Tracey and Big Zuu’s joint set was probably the pick of the Lord of the Mics stage; another feather in the snapback of AJ in particular, as the lad from Ladbroke Grove seems to have proved he deserves a spot amongst grime’s elite.
Crazy Cousinz seemed to enjoy their spike in popularity following Drake’s sample of their UK funky classic ‘Do You Mind’, which easily had the best reception of any song on the day. They followed this up with a host of garage and funky singalong classics, which, in the evening sun, really won over the crowd. The festival’s diversity is apparent when you compare this encounter to Kahn & Neek’s 2pm main stage set, which blasted Sir Spyro’s ‘Top a Top’ and Kahn’s ‘Abattoir VIP’ to bass and grime junkies across London.
There was certainly room for improvement. A more creative use of the space, including theming that festivals like Boomtown have put so much effort into, and which undoubtedly improve ambience, would be a welcome addition. Moreover, despite selling fairly well (weekend tickets sold out) the site was strangely empty until around 5 or 6pm. Although the festival has little control over when its guests arrived, it seems sensible for day festivals to introduce a substantially earlier last entry policy in the name of atmosphere.
All in all though, Rinse | Born and Bred was an extremely enjoyable and musically diverse start to the 2016’s festival season. We would definitely return.
Site Setup 6/10
Festival Communication 6/10
Attention to Detail 10/10
Creative Content 8/10
Value for Money 7/10
Photos – Chazino Suban