The bank holiday weekend has arrived and it is a double treat for the locals in Leicester as it hosts the Handmade Festival once again for the 6th year.
The independent musical arts festival has been running for 6 years and with each new year, it gets bigger and better. With humble beginnings as small local musical festival, it has grown into something bigger and deeper, unwittingly taking the form of something that is revolutionising art and music locally and nationally with the amazing talent it produces and the discourse the artists disseminate. Independent thoughts, music and art are what it strives for and is what it achieves.
From the first day the strong community feeling is evident as the locals and many from afar have gathered at the LCB depot to pick up their tickets and begin unwinding from their slogging week. There are no distinctive types of guest here as people from all range of backgrounds have come to enjoy themselves. The atmosphere is welcoming with an exciting buzz and there is a food canteen offering a range of cuisines from many different countries, fuelling the energy for the weekend.
Just a few short walks away are the venues hosting the bands set to perform this evening. With each one so close to each other it’s not difficult to whiz between them after each new set. With an appetising line up of Her name is Calla, Grace Petre, Haiku Salut and Dead Pretties – it’s a must do.
The headliners for Friday night are the trending crossdressers HMLTD at Firebug and their performance is something not to be missed.
Saturday and Sunday are the main days of fun and the spring, cloudy but sunny weather adds more smiles to people’s faces.
As expected, over the weekend the student crowd appeared in mass numbers, but it doesn’t’ overshadow the older folk who have a strong presence too. It’s great to see that the music of this generation connects to all generations past and present, which is a testament to their originality and appeal.
Rising England talents Miriam Franklin and Alligatr on the BBC introducing stage captivated watchers and are notable highlights over the weekend.
Then came the long awaited headliners Twin Atlantic and Freightened Rabbit who were the icing on the cake and gave guests value for their money with lively engaging performances.
The three-day event is a must for anyone who just likes to listen to good music and explore new bands. There are so many talented artists and the set times and locations meant that if participants stopped for a second to grab some food, chat, make the inevitable trip to the toilet or something or the other than chances are something decent would be missed.
It’s been a sweet and wonderful weekend. Handmade festival has a distinctive and understandably different atmosphere to the larger mainstream events throughout the year, but it is exactly why it is a treasure. Everyone can enjoy new and good music without the dread of possibly having to stand out in the rain as all the venues are comfortably indoors making the experience an easy pleasure.
Handmade got it right with it’s selection of music and there is no doubt that next years will be just as unique, if not better. It is a musical oyster within the realms of the vast musical sea and will no doubt keep the locals smiling for the rest of the week.
And as the revolution continues, lets hope this festival continues to play it’s part in it.