When we think of festivals, we think of warm sun rays stroking our roasting shoulders while we stand wedged between the sticky, sizzling throes of a well-moshed crowd.
Still, why should music festivals be limited to such blazing summer seasons? Well, the good news is that they aren’t! In fact, some of the most exciting US festivals of all take place in the deep and dark depths of fall—namely over the Halloween period.
Today, SongLyrics takes a look ahead to the five most exciting festivals set to take place across the States this Halloween. So, readers, prepare to light up those Jack-o’-lanterns and dress as the wickedest witch of them all. From rock-inclined events to huge dance-raves, you are guaranteed to find the perfect festival for you this coming All Hallows’ Eve!
Moogfest is an annual 3-day event, held in remembrance of Robert Moog, electronic music pioneer and inventor of the now legendary Moog synthesizer. This visionary festival takes place across a number of venues in Asheville, North Carolina—the place Moog called home for the final thirty years of his life.
This year, Moogfest will take place between October 28th – 30th. Headlining the event includes the ever-sparkly Flaming Lips (who have been busy releasing music via gummy fetuses of late), dance legend, Moby, instrumental rock band, STS9, and Massachusetts electro-poppers, Passion Pit. Other ace artists appearing across the weekend include Devo, MGMT, TV On The Radio, Panda Bear, Hot Chip, Four Tet, Big Boi, Jonsi and Caribou.
Moogfest continues to showcase new sounds this year, with musical-youngsters Twin Shadow, Warm Ghost, Little Dragon, John Maus and Active Child—whose debut album, You Are All I See, has been labelled “one of the best records of 2011″ by Consequence of Sound—amongst the sterling roster.
In addition to the music, Moogfest will also offer audiences the chance to take part in workshops, panel discussions and Q&As with their favorite artists. Film screenings and art installations will also be available, including special guest Brian Eno’s “visual music” installation, ‘77 Million Paintings’.
Prepare to get your freak on full-throttle this Halloween, as the fourth-annual HARD Haunted Mansion returns to Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles between October 28th – 29th.
Curated by Gary Richards’ ace events company, HARD, Haunted Mansion annually aims to deliver audiences with the best talent in electronica, dubstep, house and dance music. 2011 does not fail, either, with Fatboy Slim, Soulwax/2manydjs, Rusko, Laidback Luke and Skrillex (who is currently causing a stir in the blogosphere with his video for ‘First of the Year (Equinox)’, taken from EP, More Monsters and Sprites) all set to appear at the gargantuan Halloween rave-up.
Alongside more acclaimed artists, Haunted Mansion is also set to showcase exciting newcomers in EDM, including Betacure, The Knocks and SBTRKT (whose successful self-titled debut LP, released back in June, lead the BBC to label him “this decade’s Timbaland”).
Packed out with enthusiastic (and ever-costumed!) music fans, HARD Haunted Mansion looks set to be one of the biggest raves to hit the States this Halloween.
VOODOO Experience is one the hugest rock events to take place during the coming Halloween weekend. Held at City Park in New Orleans between October 28th – 30th, this festival will particularly appeal to those of you mélomanes seeking to spend the holiday weekend in the presence of some colossal music names.
Topping 2011′s almighty VOODOO are Soundgarden, The Raconteurs, Snoop Dogg and Blink 182 (who, on September 27th, return after an eight year musical-hiatus with Neighborhoods) while Fatboy Slim and Girl Talk also headline in order to satisfy electronica-fans’ appetites. Other jumbo names due to hit New Orleans for this spooky spectacular include My Chemical Romance, Band of Horses, Odd Future, TV On The Radio, Ray Davies and Mastodon (whose must-hear new album, The Hunter, was recently reviewed track-by-track over at MusicRadar).
Beyond the music, attendees will also have access to a plethora of interactive installations due to be scattered throughout City Park. Curated by architect, Stefan Beese and VOODOO founder, Stephen Rehage, the riveting exhibition will feature pieces from a wide-range of local and international artists, all of whom hope to evoke a “comprehensive, multi-sensory ‘experience’ that elicits both physical and emotional responses from festival-goers”.
Insomniac Events are due to present the first ever Escape From Wonderland at National Orange Show Events Centre in San Bernardino on October 29th.
This brand new event is psyched to bring the greatest artists in EDM to Southern California this Halloween. While line up details are sketchy at time of writing, pioneering producer, Afrojack (who recently went down a storm at Lollapalooza), has been confirmed as headliner for the cutting-edge one-day festival.
Music-aside, Escape From Wonderland is set to be a thrilling holiday experience this All Saints Eve’. Ticket-holders have been told to expect “state-of-the-art lighting and design, interactive performances and art installations” set amongst NOS - the venue which Insomniac Events are due to transform into the ultimate Halloween fantasy, complete with haunted hayrides, corn mazes, and pumpkin patches. Wow!
The legendary Monster Massive—hailed as America’s largest and most premier spookfest—returns for its incredible fourteenth year this Halloween!
Confirmed to appear at Orange County’s Oak Canyon Park on October 29th thus far is pioneering Dutch DJ, Armin Van Bruuen, who will be bringing his mind blowing 9-hour ‘Armin Only: Mirage’ show to the US for the first (and rumored, only) time (check out a wonderful review of the Beirut show, here).
Audiences can expect Susana, Christian Burns, Nadia Ali and Eller van Buuren among the superstars set to feature amid the all-night ‘Mirage’ spectacular, and of course, Armin, who will be relentlessly working the decks for “9 hours of pure energy, musical fury and memorable moments.”
With sonics set to plummet across several stages right up to 3am, organizers have told fans to expect the hugest Monster Massive yet.