The Warehouse Project on Friday the 7th of October, sponsored by Relentless Energy, was an experience unlike any other, with many interesting differences that set it apart from other festivals that I have visited in the past. The venue was very unique, with the event being held underground, directly beneath Piccadilly station in Manchester. This produced a very intense atmosphere and the containment of sound in the venue was a fantastic aspect. There were benefits to this choice of destination, in terms of how intimate it felt regarding the proximity of the acts on stage to the crowd, (especially during the sets of some of the Grime MC’s due to the raised platform in front of the DJ booth) however there were also some negative aspects to this choice. It was sometimes difficult to focus on the music of one act, as the speakers from other stages could be heard clearly from many positions.
Lethal Bizzle and Andy C headlined the night, with performances also from AJ Tracey, Yungen and a variety of other Grime artists. Lethal Bizzle produced some absolutely incredible sounds and even debuted a couple of new remixed tracks that went down very well with the crowd. Andy C, who was given a notably warm reception from the crowd, was also incredible. Though Tracey and Yungen’s sets were fairly short (only lasting about 20 minutes each) they were very memorable and Yungen especially got the crowd going when performing both his Oopsy Daisy Riddim (a diss track from his beef with fellow London MC Chip earlier this year) and his new track Everything I Do I Do It Right.
Something that stuck out to me, was that the festival really accentuated the growth of the Grime scene in the last few years and is something that could definitely be seen and felt from the sheer amount of people present at the sets put on by all the different artists that night and it was refreshing to see just how many people had come purely to see these acts (myself included). Whilst speaking with a few of the people present at some of these sets, many articulated just how new they were to the scene, which was a personal highlight for me as watching the genre reach out to more and more people is incredibly exciting. These people who I spoke to agreed with me in terms of the venue and were also torn as to what kind of impact it had on the overall experience. Though I’ve been to only summer festivals such as Leeds, Glastonbury and Latitude in the past, the Warehouse Project was overall a fantastic night that was not faltered entirely by the choice of venue, or by the sheer amount of people who were squeezed into it. What was perhaps the most enthralling thing was seeing just how much the movement of Grime music is beginning to take centre stage in British hip/hop culture and how it’s presence on mainstream platforms is continuously growing.