What We Learnt With Ashley: Rinse | Born & Bred Festival

What We Learnt With Ashley: Rinse | Born & Bred Festival

Music, booze, huaraches and septum rings. Ladies and gentlemen, this is your first instalment of ‘What We Learnt with Ashley’ a guide to what to expect when you’re doing whatever I’m doing. Today, we learn about Rinse x Found Born & Bred Festival 2016 in Haggerston Park.

I turned up to the Purple HQ at 11am bringing a litre of Rum which I purchased from a barbershop the day before, we necked it all in under an hour, had a beer for pudding, put on our best jogging bottoms and headed to the door in an absolute state.
On approaching the venue I was given a stern telling off for not looking sober by the also not sober editor; turns out it didn’t matter too much as security were too busy trying to turn away The Square even though they were due on stage in under 10 minutes.

Blind leading the blind, we all haphazardly stumbled into the festival.

The first call of the day was to top up my alcohol levels in fear that I might sober up at some point so I head to the bar but first I must swap my actual money for drink tokens… I queued up for about 3 winters to buy some. If you’ve ever bought Disney Dollars it’s the same concept; money that can only be used in this resort and they’re yellow to make them fun, except here they can’t be transferred back into real money (Disney have clearly missed a trick there). When buying booze, I often feel it softens the blow to hear a barman say “That’ll be 3 tokens please” instead of “That’ll be seven quid”; he feels unsure whether or not he’s ripping me off and I feel afraid to admit that I don’t understand this newfangled currency that we’ve now been forced to trade in. I hand over a fist full of Disney Dollars and we both part with wry smiles thinking we’ve conned each other.

Somewhere amongst that crowd are a million missing septum piercings (and possibly Grant Nelson) (Photo: Chazino Suban – Rinse FM)

A frequent occurrence which happens at these festivals, today being no exception, is that someone, absolutely smashed, will lecture me on the DJ’s intrinsic production skills and give a running commentary on how good the mixing is while I try to feign a mild interest with a milder tinnitus. Unperturbed I pressed on but although the line-up and performances of pretty much everyone had been great, the low volume level issue was somewhat annoying; seeing Jammer clearly shouting some of the hardest lyrics of his life and having it sound like he’s bellowing them out from inside a telephone box will frustrate anyone. Myself included.

One thing that I love observing at these cooler festivals is the fashion scene and Rinse Born & Bred provided some truly special moments; a particularly quaint one being loads of people with coke habits who had their septum piercings hanging on by a thread. Tracksuits were of course out in full force; a couple of which maybe shouldn’t have made it off the drawing board such as a houndstooth patterned one, the classic four stripe fake Adidas (This has always been a faux-pas) and so much camouflage it made me wish I could still fit into the Niff-Naff Jacket I wore when I was ten. It was like everyone typed ‘90s’ into Depop and bought everything… apart from the Bagleys crew: they had this clobber brand new first time around (and potentially sold both kidneys to pay for it)

You can always tell who turned up for the (phenomenally well curated) grime acts too as they’re almost exclusively dressed like they’re going to a funeral-come-PE lesson.

But ultimately these shindigs are all about the music so it was main stage first and to be honest it was a bit hit and miss. P. Money sounded really raspy with a simultaneously alive and dead flow, sort of like he was in an experiment to rebut Schrödinger’s Cat theory on quantum mechanics using only his voice. ILoveMakonnen was really going for it but nobody seemed to care too much, the Square were nuff energetic and D Double E’s delivery was (as always) on point.. but he was still smashing out 2002 lyrics like he was cryogenically frozen in a time when DejaVu FM were still doing Nasty Crew sets.

The tents away from the main stage offered a much more intimate vibe; seeing garage and dubstep DJs doing their thing in these little party rooms provided a great atmosphere throughout. Unfortunately (possibly due to token hustling) I missed DJ Spoony which would have been the absolute dream. Scott Garcia & Sticky were 100% on point for all the Bagley’s crew inside and overall the garage acts on offer were spotless. Where the Hell was Grant Nelson though? I can spot that man’s press shots from a mile away: He’s usually the one dressed as Laurence Fishburne’s stuntman in The Matrix, intensely pointing at the camera lens. They’re truly fantastic.

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P Money simultaneously cussing out Azaelia Banks and Erwin Schrödinger (Photo: Chazino Suban – Rinse FM)

Of course there is one man who can do absolutely no wrong: The don Slimzee. Turning up in his now trademark Slazenger joggers and a polo shirt like he’d come round to tile the roof and / or completely set the festival alight; His time away obviously hasn’t kept his finger off the pulse. Alongside dubplate classics there were endless fresh dubs we can only assume other DJs would murder for it was sheer class from start to finish. He was meant to be there with Wiley who funnily enough was nowhere to be seen… Well actually I decided not to stay all the way to the end to find out if he arrived for the last ten minutes like last year so I’ll just assume he was a no show.

I only did the Saturday as I had barbecue to go to on Sunday, it was so good; we played Velcro Bat & Ball, Ring Toss and my mate, Bacon, was DJing dropping big tunes from Wycleff, Sisqo, City High and an accappella version of ‘Many Men’ by 50 Cent. But that’s a What We Learnt for another day.


  • Though nobody wanted to see Azealia Banks, ILoveMakonnen looked even more out of place on the line-up and made you think Born & Bred was losing some of it’s “Born in London mentality”, luckily however Banks’ disgustingly homophobic tweets helped take us right back to grime music and East London’s roots.
  • Grime fans are starting to dress like first year poetry students at a Pilates bootcamp, but then again everyone loves grime.
  • P-Money was well good, or well tired; either way it worked a treat.
  • I’m certain Grant Nelson was there somewhere.
  • You can’t buy drugs with drink tokens.
  • Slimzee might be a roofer but either way he’ll take the roof off any dance around.
  • Lots of people wanted to sit down and discuss how amazing Jeremy Corbyn is and look at their phones instead of enjoying the festival.
  • One day historians will go through Haggerston Park with metal detectors and discover a sea of septum rings caked in cheap coke and use it to paint a picture of the 21st century Fuccboi.
  • It’s important to wear a t-shirt saying Rinse, FWD or Vice on it just in case people don’t think you actually work for them.

You can learn more from our man in the field Ashley by following him on Twitter right here: https://twitter.com/Only_ashley