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A Magazine for Sheffield
Live / stage review

"Ravers are friendly": Hope Works celebrates ten years of parties

Hamish Yewdall reviews a suitably big-name celebration for a warehouse venue with a decade of great nights under its belt. 

2 December 2022 at
Hope works

"You have to come!”

“Hamish, I’m up at 7am to go Whitby.”

“That’s fine. Hope Works closes at 6am.”

I recognize Lydz’s smile. We've been housemates a long time. It says, 'I’m humoring you, Hamish, but you're not changing my mind.'

“Is there no-one else you can go with?”

“Nope! The person I was going with couldn’t make it. Every other raver I know is either ill or busy.”

“Why are you going then?”

I shrug. “I have to write a review for Now Then.”

So I went to the rave alone.

Tonight is Hope Works' tenth birthday. Even though I’ve been in Sheffield for three years, I’ve never been before. But I’d heard talk. Everyone who’s been smiles when you mention it and each has a story to tell. After a decade, the warehouse venue has earned its reputation as one of the best places in Sheffield to go to for a party.

I turn off the ring road and walk through the old warehouses by the canal, smoke trailing along the skyline. Worries creep in. Am I too old, too sober, too alone to be going to a night like this?

I arrive at the old World War One ammunition factory, nervously give my name to the bouncers and tip toe inside. I smile. Steevio and Suzybee have just started their set. It’s chilled, very ambient. People are chatting.

Before midnight I’ve been hugged. By 12:30am, I’m giving directions. My jumper is getting all the compliments and I have been invited to another party. Ravers are friendly.

As the crowd builds so does the music of Steevio and Suzybee, the beats slowly beginning. We are clearly in safe hands.

At 1:30am someone tells me, “You would like STI.” They see my bemused expression and explain, “Sheffield Techno Institute – they play wild techno and are on in the Shed in 15 minutes.”

On nights like this, you have to follow recommendations. So I wander over to the Shed – and it’s popping. STI play a filthy remix of Mr Vegas’ 'Heads High' and for the first time I start dancing. I promise myself, 'I will find this remix tomorrow,' but the search is in vain. Some tunes only belong at nights like this.

As much as I’m enjoying the STI DJs, I return to the main room to see Tasha. Her mixes online range from drum and bass to electro, so I’m excited to see what she does tonight. But as I watch I’m aware that every room has great music in it, and I’m terrible at decision making. So by 2am I’m doing circuit laps, trying to see it all. One room is particularly warm, so I go there to defrost. (No one told me to bring a coat.)

At 2:30am, the crowd gathers to welcome Motor City legend DJ Bone to the Steel City. Note to editor: Is 'intenser' a word? Because it was intense, but now it’s gone up a level. The deserted factory is shaking to a new beat, Bone effortlessly weaving styles and sounds together. I start to understand why electro and disused factories are a match made in heaven.

As I leave I can hear basslines rumbling through old factories, out along the canal. Or maybe it’s just my ears ringing. That was good. I should go to a rave by myself again sometime.

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