Fright for your right to party
Rock legends the Damned are among the highlights of our guide to this year's best Halloween gigs and parties
24 October, 2019 — By Róisín Gadelrab
The Damned play a special Halloween show at the Palladium on October 28
HAS Halloween lost its allure when it comes to our nightlife – or is it all about house parties these days?
In years gone by there were so many events that we had no room to fit them all on this page.
This year, there is still plenty for those who are looking for things that go bump in the night.
And there are some curious choices – from Halloween bingo to a Zombie Apocalypse, Highway to Hell to a big lesbian Halloween Fright Night, there is something for everyone.
And with Halloween falling on a Thursday, venues have managed to stretch out the parties across a whole week.
Here’s a selection of what is lurking out there:
OCTOBER 26 + NOVEMBER 2
Club De Fromage & Not Another Indie Disco produce two Halloween events this year – Zombie Apocalypse (Oct 26) and Highway To Hell (Nov 2) at Islington Academy. Slow Alfie and the gang have dug out their spookiest pop, indie, disco and dance tracks and put together a freaky stage show. Dress the part as the venue will be bedecked with coffins, cobwebs, gravestones, and other ghostly items. Air guitar kings Lucifer’s Grandmother have retired so John Merrick and the Elephant Girls have stepped in. Join the meat pie raffle if you dare, a horrible tasting session, apple bobbing and the Golden Alfie Award for best spooky fancy dress, giant balloons, plus confetti cannons, balloon drop, spooky sing-alongs on screen, hula-hooping, scary visuals, limbo and the Fromage Dance Competition.
Mint host Halloween Fright Night, FEST. Here’s a night for lesbian witches, cat-women, she-wolves, vampires, banshees and medusas. FEST, in Camden Stables Market, is opening its doors to 1,000 “women-loving-women” for its biggest Halloween spectacular yet – London’s ultimate women-run Haunted House. The ghoulishly-decorated Horse Hospital will have three different music rooms, and a fierce queer female DJ line-up. Plus scary, sexy stage performers and dancers taking over the outside stage. The line-up so far includes Charlez + Rocket + Misty B + Izzy Trixx + Liv Knight + King K + El Conchitas + M.O.N + Yvette Lindquist. Halloween dressing-up is encouraged.
Aptly named British rock band The Damned play a special show at London Palladium with An Evening Of A Thousand Vampires, the band’s biggest headline show this year. Expect an immersive theatrical experience, which promises not to be for the faint of heart. Melding the band’s love of horror with a classic rock show, The Damned will be teaming up with cult film production company Hammer House Of Horror for a night that promises shock, awe and gore! The Circus of Horrors will open.
For something a bit more cerebral (no brain-eating), try The Old Queen’s Head’s Musical Bingo: Halloween Edition. With DJs Rapture and Jonny Unknown. Plenty of fun and games along the way plus dance-offs, stage challenges, prizes, mystery boxes and more.
Aim for true metal at The Dublin Castle for One Eyed Toad Records’ Halloween Hellfest ft Morass Of Molasses and Juniper Grave. Find every kind of rock you can imagine and metal of the heaviest kind, with an emphasis on doom metal. Be afraid!
• ICMP Halloween Horror at the Fiddler’s Elbow, where ICMP current and alumni bands will be filling the venue with some original spine-chilling tunes from Coral Palms, The Kanz, Ruby Hive and Underjoy. Expect classic Halloween games. Fancy dress encouraged.
• Over at The Monarch for Halloween find Secret Headliner, Muck Spreader, Endless Digital Birthdays, Josef Kurtz and Modern Woman – a popular choice at this time of year.
• Switch it up with some hip-hop, R&B, grime and commercial tunes for Kandy’s epic Halloween Special at The Garage. Expect inflatables, confetti cannons and free candy. Halloween costumes welcome.
• Bomber Music’s Rockin’ Halloween Party takes over Nambucca for a ghoulish night of bone-shakin’ rock ‘n’ roll with The Dukes Of Bordello, Witchdoktors and The Blue Carpet Band. Dress up and dance till you’re dead.
• At Scala, there’s the Halloween Haunted House All-Nighter – house party games, free vodka bottle for best dressed, free treats and candy baskets. Main room: Deep House, EDM, spooky mash-ups and grimey trap, plus Room 2: deathly R&B & horror hip-hop. Halloween dress code.
• Back to Islington Academy for two Halloween events, the first from 6pm-10pm: Super Sonix Halloween Special, London’s biggest 16+ club event with an almighty Halloween special featuring Mr Traumatik and special guests. Nightmare in Islington follows from 10.30pm to 4am, a ghoulish party complete with professional scare actors and two rooms of horror-filled decorations.