Saturday, September 27, 2014

Halloween 2014 alternative events

Being an organizer of a Meetup, especially one that does lots of different events, means I have to be good at planning. I know which events we’re going to go to at least a month in advance. It also means I need to keep an eye out on the events coming up, and decide which ones I want us to go to. But then I only blog about the ones I’ve been to, which I think means a lot of things I know about are going to waste, and that it would be good to tell other people about them too. So I’m going to try (emphasis on try) to do more previews on here, we'll see how long I can keep it up!

So, first up – Halloween. Halloween in London gets bigger and bigger each year, with several Halloween stalwarts putting on more than one night to ensure their fans can go along. For example, Torture Garden this year has a whopping four events – the two ‘normal’ TGs on the 25th and 1st and then they have their Belle Epoque collab Dark Circus on the 25th and they’re doing a country retreat (how very Eyes Wide Shut) with Killing Kittens on the 1st.

Suzette Fielding’s A Curious Invitation (basically Last Tuesday Society's heir now that Viktor Wynd is concentrating on his museum) has two events on – Satan’s Rout on the Friday and Day of the Dead on the Saturday. These balls are always masked events, with music, DJS and a swing class if you’re early enough, plus a few extras – that might be food to be eaten off naked people, or a menagerie of creepy crawlies and reptiles. It’s a lot tamer than Torture Garden but does provide a frisson of kink if you’re kink-curious but not ready to go the whole ‘latex and dungeon’ hog.

Carousel, which is one of the nights I’m taking my Meetup to, is doing a double header on the Friday and Saturday at Crucifix Lane, on the theme of the Rocky Horror Show. They bill themselves (a bit like Rumpus) as an indoor festival – lots of stages, lots of acts, music ranges from electro swing to house and they have performers and immersive theatre going on throughout the night both on stage and off.

Backyard Cinema are also back for a run of several nights starting on the Friday. This is not just a movie, this is a ‘theatrical experience’ with zombie training, live actors, cocktails, burritos and an End of the World party after the movie. This is the other thing I’m taking my Meetup group to.

There’s also zombiefied shenanigans going down at The Vaults, starting on the Thursday with the Halloween Raveyard, in honour of the necropolis line that ran through here, taking dead bodies out to Surrey. Well, those dead bodies are back! And you’re one of them so dress accordingly. There’s cabaret, a zombie disco dance hall, and Dank Parish giving you your own funeral. Kansas Smitty (who are superb) are also making an appearance.!raveyard/c1vvr

For even more raving, FOUND are putting on two nights at the Troxy (an amazing venue) featuring the likes of Maya Jane Coles and George Fitzgerald.

White Mischief is another night that knows how to do Halloween right. They have recently been doing smaller, more intimate events at Bush Hall with dinner and cabaret but for Halloween they're throwing a big bash back at their old home of Scala in King's Cross. Dressing up isn't essential but people DO make an effort. Steampunk is the name of the game rather than goth and latex here. They have some fantastic cabaret and circus acts, plus the Roustabouts DJing.

If you fancy something quieter for your Halloween (but likely no less creepy) then head over to Are you Sitting Comfortably’s Halloween storytelling night. Expect chilling tales and some free chip butties.

And finally, if you want to keep your Halloween poppy and fun, then Videoke are back! The crew are on hand to recreate your favourite music videos, and of course encourage you to dance along, dress up as your favourite performer and generally have a great time.

So, it turns out the Last Tuesday Society are still putting on events every now and again, and they have a Halloween one on November 1st. These days they're all about the D.I.S.C.O and part of the proceeds go to the CRISIS charity. Dressing up encouraged but not compulsory because 'you can always come naked and cover yourself in glitter'!
The Last Tuesday Society

This one sounds interesting. The Dreamery are bringing a 'terrifying horror maze' complete with art installations, live performances and interactive games to the Old Hackney archives. And there's a Day of the Dead theme. This is part of the London Horror Festival and runs from October 28th - November 1st so you can bring a little Halloween into your week.

Lucha Britannia hold pretty regular events but they're also doing a Halloween special on All Hallow's Eve. As they say, it's not a wrestling show, it's a 'Cabaret Sinestre' although there is, in fact, lots of tongue-in-cheek wrestling. Be prepared to jeer the baddies and cheer your favourites, and because it's Halloween, dress up as well! Tickets for this always sell out so if you fancy some real life, up close wrestling with lots of silly characters, bag yours now.

Even more updates!

If I didn't already have plans then I reckon this is what I'd be doing. Bourne and Hollingsworth (also partialy responsible for the Dark Circus part) are hosting A Grimm Halloween Party on November 1st. You can expect their usual tasty cocktails and of course the whole event is inspired by the fairytales. There are live performances, a gingerbread house, glass coffin and even a 'Rumpelstiltskin lair' hosted by A Curious Invitation, who also feature on this list. And all taking place in the beautiful Grand Hall in St Pancras.

There's also a free - yes, free! - event on the 31st hosted by Cubanisto beer. It is the House of Masks final party, It's at a secret location, marked by a neon skull. It features immersive theatrical experiences and interactive puzzles. Sounds intriguing! London is seriously spoiled this year for events.

I'll add more gigs here if I hear of them! Or tell me, where are you going for Halloween?

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Please feel free to add your views, or maybe suggest somewhere I should put on my list!