Motorcycles and music come together for Pure & Crafted 2016

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The worlds of music and motorcycles collided for the second instalment of Pure & Crafted last weekend on the streets of Berlin. Where some of Germany’s top custom bike builders featured alongside internationally acclaimed bands such as Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds, it offered a rare chance to visit an event with both the bands of a top music festival and motorcycles that would leave you in awe.

It’s a unique event in that you don’t have to actually be a biker to really enjoy it. By bringing differing interests together with a common theme means that there is more to take from the festival. 


Custom heavyweights Hammer Kraftrad, Hanse Qustom and KRT Framework were but to name just a few of the builders who brought some stunning machinery along with them to the event.

Sponsored by BMW, it came as no surprise that a lot of the bikes were variations of the signature boxer engined icon, with extras coming in the form of the stunning concept Lac Rose that was unveiled at Wheels and Waves earlier this year, they also brought with them bikes such as Rough Craft’s Bavarian Fistfighter along with a host of other bikes and of course the new R nineT Scrambler.

With a sold out crowd of 8,000 people assembling at the Postbahnhof in the centre of the city, the venue is a disused railway station that offers a host of classically retro buildings that form the perfect stage for the ‘New Heritage’ theme of the event.

The €59 (£50) entry allowed access to the festival throughout the corse of the weekend and though it isn’t the typical festival you’d camp at all weekend, being right in the heart of the city means that reasonably priced Hotels are common.

Taking care of the headline slot was Noel Gallagher and his High Flying birds, who ran through their song list with a few extra Oasis covers. Brits Band of Skulls also kept people on their feet, followed after by Mando Diao, a Swedish band who are popular in Germany, ending the Main stage affair on the Friday evening while Trip Hop genius Tricky helped chill things out on Saturday afternoon. 

Punk-rap band The King Blues helped got the crowd pumped up on Friday night at the indoor Club stage before Punk Rock karaoke (with full backing band) led people into the wee hours. Things got a little rowdy on Saturday thanks to Frank Carter and his band The Rattlesnakes, who tore the place apart, from singing on top of one the shoulders of some chap in the middle of a mosh pit and commanding a circle pit the width of the venue.

Saturday saw a rideout of custom machinery that was swathed in so much cool that it made even the 26-degree heat feel a little chilly. As a lot of the exhibitors and their machines tore through the Streets of Berlin in what can only be described as mild-mannered anarchic fashion as traffic was stopped to allow the noise of too many custom pipes and boxer twins pass turning heads wherever they went.

It’s more than just a music or motorcycle event though, BMW have very cleverly found a way to help non-motorcyclists find a way of being interested in life on two wheels by combining the two and as such are thinking about the bigger picture, helping the wider community to fall in love with bikes again. With events like this, it could eventually help motorcycling move from a niche and back into the mainstream again as it once was. That can only be a good thing.

BMW weren’t sure if this event could even work last year, but with 7,000 tickets sold at its first event and a capacity sell out of 8,000 this year, Pure & Crafted has proven that motorcycles and music are a very good combination indeed with the Postbahnhof venue now becoming a limiting factor in the event’s growth. The interest it has generated has forced the organisers to start thinking about an even bigger venue for next year’s festival and are even aiming to make it a global affair at some point, making it even more accessible. Pure & Crafted in London in a few years? Yes please.

Photos: James Archibald


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James Archibald

By James Archibald

Former MCN Junior Web Producer