Risen 2023 event review

Risen returned to Hackney Wick on Saturday, April 1st to celebrate the divine feminine on nine dancefloors across five venues around Queens Yard. Mike Barnard was there.

The Yard Courtyard at Risen 2023

With a line-up that seeks to balance out the gender inequality seen all-too-often at clubs and festivals, Risen's dedication to putting feminine energy behind the decks resonated with those dancing in front of them (and sometimes behind). After picking up our wristbands at Hackney Bridge, we crossed the River Lee and headed to our first nest of dancefloors in Queens Yard.

At Old Street Brewery there was hardly space to get inside with Watcha at the decks dropping a remix of 'Township Funk', so craft beer in hand we opted for the heavy-hitting tunes of Lena Willikens representing B.L.O.O.M. in The Yard before surfacing for some air outside in The Yard Courtyard where Polyamoross was weaving between crunchy electro and jacking house to expert effect.

Next we headed through Crate Brewery to the sounds of 'Work It', and emerged canalside on its terrace which was popping off thanks to Team Woibey, aka Ell Murphy b2b FAE b2b Mixtress b2b ohmydais. Their blend of bassline, garage, and big beat kept us guessing as to what would come next, bringing big energy to the crowd. 

Lakuti and Tama Sumo at Risen 2023

We stuck our heads in at the Colour Factory to catch the tail end of Lakuti and Tama Sumo's set which had been a main attraction of the day judging by the queues to get in at the start of their set, and they looked delighted with their two hours judging by the smiles at the end. Jaye Ward stepped up next, but we decided to catch Aletha slamming down the tunes in the Colour Factory Garden before a final dance at the Crate Terrace with Common Ground's takeover.

Across every space there was a unique, inclusive vibe to Risen that speaks volumes about the warm, welcoming atmosphere so lacking at many dance music events and festivals. Although only two years old, Risen already feels like an essential event on the annual festival calendar.

Aletha at Risen 2023