For people who love to party, there’s nothing more appreciated than being presented with the opportunity to ‘party for a purpose’ – to go to an event which in some way will benefit a well-deserving charitable cause, rather than into the hands of some money-making commercial promoter. This was the case on Wednesday 27th December for the LEVELZ gig at Mint Lounge.
People were encouraged to pay entry with 4 non- perishable items or pay £7 on the door, with all profits and food going to Trussell Trust (a food bank in Manchester). I was immediately warmed in the queue, by a guy in front of me telling the doormen to keep the change from his tenner. I was even more so encouraged by the huge mound of items which had already been donated.
When I arrived downstairs the night was just getting started, with the familiar ripples of laughs from Truthos Mufasa and Sparkz joking around on the mic, and Rich Reason grinning eagerly behind the decks overlooking his successful event. When we greeted he was genuinely excited by how much money and donations had already been collected, commenting on people’s generosity at this time of year. As the dance floor filled up and the skanking to LEVELZ’ unique sounds of grime/ hip hop/ disco/ garage/ all things eclectic, the atmosphere was palpably friendly and welcoming. Perhaps it was the festive time of year, perhaps it was the fact everyone was there for charity, but it was a noticeably affable crowd with plenty of nice chats in the smoking area and plenty of friendly faces on the dance floor.
The LEVELZ boys never fail to put on a good show and soon the stage was full of people dancing their hearts out, accompanied by the energetic hosts, watching girls who’ve never heard of the dutty wine, trying to dutty wine. This is what is special about LEVELZ gigs, it feels like (and it truly is) one massive group of mates all hanging out and partying on stage, in which you are an appreciated and welcoming participant, rather than an onlooker. There is an infectious feel-good atmosphere that transcends to the crowd, and the appreciation that each artist has for one other is genuine and heartwarming; halfway through his set Black Josh stopped the music to shout “I FUCKING LOVE YOU CHIMPO, THIS MAN IS A GENIUS”.
Despite being slightly ill and coming straight from work, I stayed dancing till the very end. As the crowd thinned out and we piled onto the pavement outside, the LEVELZ boys and fans alike mingled and reminisced about the night. There was still an authentic feeling of community and togetherness that you don’t get on many nights out – a tribute to the very real cause which deserves a heart at events like these.
Homelessness is a massive issue in Manchester, so hats off to the organisers and all those who played a part in raising awareness, money, and items for such a prevalent cause. The event raised around £500 and over a quarter of a tonne of food! As well as this, it was genuinely an incredible and inspiring event, so thank you to Funraising for giving me the excuse of writing this article to go party for a purpose.
Massive thanks again to Rich Reason for hosting the event, and the LEVELZ crew who we should hope to see lots of next year!
Big up the crew: Biome. Black Josh. Bricks. Chimpo. Chunky. Dub Phizix. Fox. Jonny Dub. Metrodome. Rich Reason. Skittles. Sparkz. Truthos Mufasa. T-Man.