The inaugural event took to Chelmsford's Hylands Park.
When the long-running V Festival bowed out last year, Essex needed a new festival and Rize stepped in to fill those shoes at the Hylands Park site in Chelmsford.
The two-day festival featured four main stages showcasing artists across genres, from pop, indie, urban, and dance, to upcoming talent. With a bill so jam-packed it was impossible to catch everyone but here are some of our highlights.
Styles to suit almost anybody
As the park isn’t ginormous, the stages aren’t far apart, which made moving between them a breeze. What was clear from moving around, or simply sticking to one stage, is that in terms of style no set was the same as the last. Rag ‘n’ Bone Man’s magnificent powerful voice was closely followed by Bastille, who are the perfect festival act and they got revellers into the party spirit with their well-known hits. Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears brought his glam pop to the second stage, showing his raunchy side stripping down to a leotard by the end of his set.
The perfect platform for a tribute or cover
At any festival you can expect a cover or two and Essex’s offering was no different. Miles Kane served up a rip-rollicking version of Donna Summer’s disco hit Hot Stuff, and James Bay’s cover of Simply The Best by Tina Turner was a standout moment. Liam Gallagher paid an emotional tribute to the late Aretha Franklin during his headline set, by dedicating Oasis classic, Live Forever to the soul icon.
Are you even at a festival if you’re not wearing glitter?
Along with the festival outfit staples of denim shorts, crop tops and wellies, glitter is now the star feature. The stalls dotted around the grounds offered to glitter up faces and hair bunches, and every type of clothing item imaginable was adorned with sequins. We would have challenged anyone to do a 360 turn and not spot a fleck of sparkle.
It’s a family affair
The festival revamp has attracted a wider audience, and it’s really turned into a family event with plenty of parents bringing along their kids. Around the main stage, the mini-festival goers jumped and danced to Rita Ora and Bastille, having as much fun as the adults.
The rave is alive in the dance tent
If you were in need of a party the dance tent was the place to be. Disciples wrapped up Friday’s proceedings with a full live band. Then on Saturday evening Radio DJ Mista Jam played the biggest anthems while the crowd leapt whacking inflatable balls above their heads. Closing act Example & DJ Wire know how to put on the ultimate rave with their massive bangers, and they sent the crowd into a frenzy of bouncing and mosh pits.
Keep your eyes on Ticketmaster.co.uk to find out more about RiZE Festival.
Words by Adel Hanily
Photos by Sara Emerson