Whet Your Appetite for Houghton Festival 2023

Houghton festival returned last August after three years of cancellations, to critical acclaim. Located on the grounds of Houghton Hall in Norfolk, revellers quickly realised that the event was like no other. Thanks to a 24 hour music licence, music played non stop throughout the weekend. Such a licence is unique in the UK and the festival harnessed it by placing a key focus on their programming, stage curation, and incorporating their love for art and design through a range of sculptures. Curated by Fabric’s veteran resident DJ, Craig Richards, the festival’s lineup chooses quality over big names, with each artist booked given the seal of approval from the tastemaker. 

Now, from the 10th-14th August, Houghton festival returns with a lineup that features many favourites from previous editions, as well as over 60 artists making their debut. With 13 stages – including the beloved Terminus secret stage – as well as a sculpture garden and a wellness sanctuary, Houghton is an all-encompassing experience for festival-goers and it’s no wonder they’ve built such a loyal fanbase. Last year when I spoke to the festival organisers, they stated that it was the 2023 edition that they had their eyes on and where they could finally fulfil their vision after honouring last year’s lineup. 

So with expectations high, and with so many talented artists to catch over the four days, it can be a tad overwhelming to know who to see and when to sleep. We’re here to deliver our top 5 artists not to miss at Houghton Festival. We hope to see you dancing away in the forest! 

Helena Hauff

Every time Helena Hauff takes to the stage, she proves herself to be at the top of the techno and EBM scene. The Hamburg based DJ and producer is a rare force, harnessing the power of vinyl records throughout her sets. It’s an old school style that elevates her artistry, whilst also showcasing an immeasurable talent within her flawless mixing. Hauff has just released ‘Turn Your Sights Inward’ via Fabric records, which prequels her ‘Fabric Presents’ mix which is set to land in September. You catch the artist at Tantrum on Saturday. 

Kittin & The Hacker

The French duo of Kittin and The Hacker are legends of the electronic world. Their aptly titled first album was released in 2001 and another two have since followed. Kittin’s vocals have become instantly recognisable over the years and she’s become a sought after guest vocalist, contributing to the hits from the likes of Hot Since 82. Whilst The Hacker spear-headed their influential take on electro which is still in demand two decades later. The duo are set to perform an unmissable live set at Tantrum on Saturday night, right after Hauff. 

Donato Dozzy

Veteran Italian DJ Donato Dozzy, has been a touring artist since the 90s and has become a revolutionary figure in the techno scene. Known for his ambient and trippy take on the genre, the artist takes dancers on a methodical journey. His unique approach perhaps comes from his academic background, where he gained a Doctorate in politics. As a sign of just how highly regarded he is, he’s held a residency at the legendary club, Berghain for years. He’s another artist making their debut at the festival this year and you don’t want to miss his three hour set at Warehouse on Saturday night. 

Red Axes

The Israeli duo of Dori Sadovnik and Niv Arzi have gone from strength to strength under their Red Axes alias. Now finding a home at Erol Alkan’s Phantasy label, they continue to push boundaries within their productions. By merging sounds from post-punk, psychedelic rock and house, they’ve revolutionised the parameters of indie-dance over the years. Their DJ sets expand on this and delve into all corners of left-field dance music. They’re debuting at the festival this year, and thanks to the freedom that Houghton offers artists, this will make for a special set. 

Yu Su

Chinese DJ and producer, Yu Su, has seen her profile explode in recent years and now she’s one of dance music’s most sought after artists. I first saw her play at Love International last year and was blown away by the energy she transcends in her sets. Not only a killer DJ, she’s also a talented producer, with a growing back catalogue, releasing on Ninja Tune’s sister label, Technicolour and her own label bié. Yu Su performs at Outburst on Friday afternoon.

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Words: Jake Wright