Halloween’s spookiest club night production, the Living Dead Festival, descended on Leeds University Union on the 31st of October, ready to flip the Leeds student favourite of Fruity on its head, placing its own unique spin on the well-known space of the union with its plethora of chart music gems and VK’s.
Stylus was transformed into a Halloween wonderland, complete with spider-webs dangling from the ceiling and dancers covered in blood and gore up on stage. The non-intentional but altogether seasonal abundance of toxic blue and witchy green VK’s clutched in the hands of every intoxicated person in the crowd added to the spooky vibes. In addition to the usual hordes of sexy cats, zoo animals and zombie cheerleaders was a range of costumes from Pennywise in the recent It adaptation, Greek mythology’s favourite stony-eyed gorgon Medusa, and even a group of boys channelling the members of Kiss, complete with monochrome face makeup and lengthy black capes.
The Living Dead Halloween Festival had promised to be the most fun, affordable and all-round best event on Halloween night in Leeds for students, and it delivered.
Compared to the pricier alternatives of Beaverwork’s cult night Flux and fancier establishments in town, the Living Dead Festival promised to be a night of good-hearted hedonism at the union, not too far to travel and a guarantee of a messy night, fuelled by Satan’s own liquor of choice (VK’s, obviously) and resulting in either a) cheesy chips from Flames, b) waking up not in your own bed, or c) falling down Royal Park Road at 4:30am and waking up the day after with no recollection of how you achieved that sprained ankle. The latter may be an extreme, but the night promised to be a sure-fire route to fun and it was.
The music was eclectic, ranging from the cheesy tracks revered at Fruity and Mischief on display in Stylus, to Terrace featuring all the best house & disco vibes courtesy of P.A.R.T.Y. The R&B and hip-hop classics on offer at Pyramid served as the perfect foil to what you wanted your night to be, and what it actually ended up being. Dancing like Beyoncé was your spirit animal to ‘Bodak Yellow’ in a Little Dead Riding Hood costume might have appeared in your drunken consciousness as the best idea ever, definitely sexy, never embarrassing, but the morning after you’ll remember all this and realise you looked more like an escapee from a Victorian asylum as depicted in a Dickens novel.
That’s the fun in Halloween; costumes and face paint make you feel like you’re someone new, just for a night, and because of this your whole experience is altered for the better. You dance harder, drink more, and eat two burgers on the way instead of one. It promotes the extreme. If you want a Halloween night this good in 2018, I have just one piece of advice: forget the pretentious events and buy a ticket for the Living Dead Festival, you won’t regret it.
Image credits: Leeds University Union