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PFTP's Big Spooky Halloween Heads-Up

20 October 2016


"Something wicked this way comes", wrote William Shakespeare one day in the early 17th century, as he sat down at his laptop to bash out the Facebook event description for his three-room Halloween tear-up. These immortal words are testament to how engrained the spookiest weekend of the year is in the party calendar, with clubs and promoters splashing out to assemble line-ups usually only reserved for bank holidays and the New Year. This time round is no different, and with a wealth of proper spooky, proper wicked Halloween happenings taking place across the country, we've picked out a selection of some that look particularly bewitching...

Friday 28th October

Fiesta Bombarda's Day of the Dead Carnival - Bristol (Thekla)

The Fiesta crew commandeer Bristol's favourite party boat on the Friday night, turning it into an undead tropical paradise with the help of the Owiny Sigoma Sound System, "electropical" pair The Busy Twist and a whole host of local dub, reggae and funky talent. There'll also be frightening Fiesta facepaints, devious decor and interactive stalls to send further shivers of excitement down your spine. Tickets

Pressure Halloween 2016 - Glasgow (SWG3)

A monstrous line-up for this year's edition of Pressure's annual Halloween party sees local legends Slam joined by enduring techno figurehead Surgeon (performing a live hardware set), as well as Ostgut Ton favourite Marcel Fengler, George Fitzgerald, DJ Sneak and more. This one is sure to rattle a few walls. Tickets

John Carpenter - Liverpool (The Olympia)

What more fitting a headliner for this year's Liverpool Music Week than the master of the horror soundtrack, performing some of his iconic scores live. Taking place just a few days before Halloween - after which his 1978 slasher classic is named - this will be a rare chance to see Carpenter live in the UK, as he nears the end of his debut world tour. Tickets

John Carpenter Live

DBA presents Be Very Afraid (Halloween Label Showcase) - Manchester (The Whiskey Jar)

Consistently excellent London label Don't Be Afraid throw caution to their own name at The Whiskey Jar on the Friday, when they enlist friends and family including rRoxymore, Samrai and future DBA debutant Jason Wynters for a ghoulish glimpse into house and techno's future. Tickets

Test Card 1st Birthday Party - Manchester (Texture)

The Test Card team toast 12 months of intimate audiovisual outings in suitable fashion, with Smallville's Moomin heading proceedings with a live set supported by Test Card VJs throughout the night. Tickets

Wigflex 10th Birthday Halloween Special - Nottingham (The Brickworks)

Wigflex have now been at the forefront of Nottingham's party scene for a whole decade, and they'll be celebrating hitting double figures in appropriate style on Halloween Friday with special guests Midland, Peverelist, Kowton and Rival Consoles. Tickets (sold out)

TNK's Halloween Special - Sheffield (The Night Kitchen)

It's a no-nonsense affair at Sheffield's converted cutlery factory on the Friday night, with Space Dimension Controller and Ghostly International's Matrixxman joined by one of the most in-demand DJs of the moment, Helena Hauff, for a multi-room house, techno and electro explosion. Tickets

Wigflex 9th Birthday Halloween, 2015 (photo: Tom Com Photo)

Saturday 29th October

Babyfather, Gaika and Mica Levi (DJ set) - Bristol (The Black Swan)

Three of the country's most innovative electronic artists assemble in The Black Swan, bringing their various brands of warped, hazy music to the notorious rave pub's souped-up sound system. Tickets

Cymbalize x Earthrax x Semi Peppered - Bristol (The White Harte)

Just like the Three Witches in Macbeth, this trio of DIY Bristol promoters meet at The White Harte on the Saturday night to conjure up twisted prophecies - sorry, conjure up a programme of dark electronics and beats headed up by a live set from local sound artist Sophie Loizou. Tickets

Brotherhood Halloween Warehouse Party - Leeds (Freedom Mills)

Brotherhood Sound System head to one of Leeds' newest venues, Freedom Mills, for their Halloween party this year, which sees Space Dimension Controller beam down for the night to guide revellers through a cosmic voyage through disco, house, techno, and maybe even some trance. Tickets (sold out)

DJ Harvey

RBMA presents: Discopolis - Leeds (Canal Mills)

His UK appearances are still few and far between enough that it's always worth sitting up and taking notice when DJ Harvey's in town, and the revered DJ is joined at Canal Mills by an impeccable supporting cast featuring Leon Vynehall, Job Jobse and Palms Trax. Tickets

Liverpool Disco Festival - Liverpool (Various venues, The Baltic Triangle)

Probably the most eye-poppingly bulging line-up of the weekend takes place across various venues in Liverpool's Baltic Triangle, as the city's inaugural Disco Festival wipes down the glitterballs for a day and night spectacular. Odyssey (live), Louie Vega, Dimitri From Paris, Rahaan and John Morales are just some of the huge names touching down on Merseyside for the occasion. Tickets

Family Tree presents: Stranger Things - London (The Flying Dutchman)

For their Halloween edition, not-for-profit party crew Family Tree channel the spirit of this year's spookiest Netflix smash hit, Stranger Things. They'll be heading into the basement of The Flying Dutchman in Camberwell for an intimate and friendly affair, hopefully free of unwanted descents into the Upside Down. All profits donated to Carney's Community, a Battersea-based charity that helps to get disadvantaged and excluded young people off the streets. Tickets (sold out)

Boogie Nights' Le Freak Show - Manchester (1 Primrose Street)

Boogie Nights turn 1 Primrose Street into a Mancunian horror story as they encourage revellers to dress in their scariest fineries (there will be treats on offer for the weirdest costume), with slick disco, funk and boogie provided by guests Kon and Marcel Vogel. Tickets

Inside Out x Amigos' Day of the Dead Carnival - Manchester (Xolo)

Having been responsible for some of the city's best intimate house and disco bashes over the past year and a bit, Inside Out team up with Amigos Tequila Beer to host a free entry, four-hour back-to-back from two of the country's best selectors: Eglo Records boss Alexander Nut and Rinse FM's Josey Rebelle. Tickets

Cosmic Disco's Halloween at The Old Woolworths - Sheffield (Moor Theatre Delicatessen)

The Cosmic Disco crew carve up another giant disco pumpkin for this year's venture into Sheffield's abandoned Woolworths, where they'll be joined by two legendary special guests - disco edit master John Morales and the aptly named Nightmares On Wax. Tickets

Gett Off's Day of the Dead Carnival - Sheffield (Hope Works)

Sheffield grime and bass fanatics Gett Off have also teamed up with Amigos for the Sheffield leg of their Día de los Muertos celebrations, and they'll be bringing a scarily big line-up to the warehouse surroundings of Hope Works on the Saturday night - Novelist, The Bug, Fabio & Grooverider, DJ Die, Riz La Teef, Nightwave and more will be on hand to rattle some ribcages with a wall of bass. Tickets


Cosmic Disco's giant pumpkin (photo: Liam Taylor)