Escape Halloween 2021: The Psycho Circus is Back
After two long years, we were finally able to return to the Devil’s playground at NOS Events Center to experience the madness that is Escape Halloween! The festivities spanned two days and yielded a weekend of much-needed revelry for all the souls who dared step foot on these ancient grounds.
Headliners traveled from near and far to take part in this ghastly observance of Halloween, and we were thrilled to see each and every one of them again. But don’t be afraid of the dark; the neon lights of the stages were there to guide us into eternal rave bliss. Check out our recap video below and read on to catch some of the festival highlights from this weekend.
Resurgent Grimm: The Return of Halloween
Escape Halloween made its comeback this past weekend with one of our favorite stage designs, the Resurgent Grimm, signifying the rejuvenation of the annual ghoulish All Hallow’s Eve celebration. The Grimm leered at its loyal rave subjects all weekend from the main stage, occasionally reaching out a bony claw in an attempt to snatch up members of the audience. Atop the Grimm’s altar, names like Eric Prydz, The Chainsmokers, DJ Snake, Benny Benassi, and Zedd graced the stage throughout the weekend, giving us an affair to remember and proving that Halloween celebrations are back in full force!
Psycho Circus: We’re All Mad Here
Psycho Circus, the madhouse where all lovers of bass could be found worshipping throughout the weekend, truly lived up to its name, bringing all the finest head-banging, face-melting vibrations we had to offer. Hosted by Bassrush on Day 1, disciples of the unholy Church of Bass gathered here to practice their dark, low-frequency rituals, accompanied by anthems from Noisia, Zomboy, Ganja White Night, Black Sun Empire, Lucii, and more. On Day 2, Audiotistic took over the stage, bringing us shriek-worthy sets from selects such as Jauz, Playboi Carti, Ekali, JSTJR, and Baauer.
Sewer District: Sounds from the Underground
Serving some of the nastiest house and techno all weekend long, Sewer District (hosted by Factory 93) gave the word “underground” a whole new meaning. The maze-like graffitied shipping container construction around the stage gave the sense of having just popped out of a manhole in the middle of downtown, ready to get dirty and demonic as the 4/4 beats wafted through the air. Demon dancers prowled along the edges of the stage, swaying as the bass bumped through the night. Green Velvet, Loco Dice B2B Nicole Moudaber, HI-LO (Oliver Heldens), Ida Engberg, Cirez D (Eric Prydz), and Drumcode label boss Adam Beyer mercilessly dished out beats over the weekend, entrancing all who dared stand before them.
Sanitarium: Dance Yourself Clean
The Sanitarium housed many of the most spine-tingling acts we brought this year for Escape Halloween. On Day 1, Basscon gave us a show that was just to die for, presenting a pestilent roster of names including Gammer HD, Lady Faith, DJ Isaac, Junkie Kid, and Mad Dog. On Day 2, we held Confession with Tchami and fell under the hypnotic spells of artists like Mark Knight, VNSSA, Lucati, and Sonny Fodera.
Crazy Town: Moonlit Metropolis
At the edge of Escape Halloween lies Crazy Town, a curious little place where Halloween debauchery of all sorts abounds. Grab a drink at the Crazy Town bar and watch the show at the flaming cathedral, sit for a spell at the gargoyle fountain, or dance on some graves over in the Raveyard while being treated to the silent disco. Beware of The Butcher, whose victims you will find crying for help amid a freezer full of hanging carcasses and dead human meat.
For a more psychedelic experience, visit the Poison Ivy Bar to feast your eyes upon a backdrop marred by neon paint and black lights. Like a scene from an alternate reality version of Jumanji, a voracious, neon green man-eating plant towers in the center of the room, giving off toxic fumes and distorting your vision… or is that the diffraction glasses? We’ll never tell.
At the bar you can find a host of hair-raising custom cocktails. Notable options include:
- The Power of the Blue Moon (vodka, rum, gin, 7-Up, sour mix, and Blue Curacao)
- The Butcher’s Blood (vodka, soda, lime, raspberry liqueur)
- Alchemist Alibi (rum, pineapple)
Psycho Circus Area: Freaks Come Out to Play
Adjacent to the Psycho Circus stage is the Psycho Circus-themed area, which offers a brief respite from the wicked atmosphere set by the music. The Psycho Circus contains creepy carnival attractions, including a Circus tent where talent and freak shows are performed all night long. Along the edges of Psycho Circus you can find tents inhabited by mystics performing tarot readings, palm readings, and fortune telling. You never know what you may learn about yourself along the way as you journey through this part of Escape.
VIP: A Supernatural Soirée
The VIP experience at Escape Halloween provided an array of spooktacular exclusive amenities. All the perks could be found in the VIP area at The Grimm, with VIP viewing areas set up at other stages as well. VIP Headliners could visit the Bewitched Beauty Bar to add some sparkle to their Halloween attire, get a drink at the dedicated bar, and refill at the VIP free water station. Headliners were treated to exclusive food trucks, and the area also featured haunted photo ops and other attractions, including the Rave Name Tree.
Thank You for Helping to Resurrect Escape Halloween!
After spending so long apart, it was a breath of fresh air to be able to experience our haunted Halloween gathering with you once again! The ritual shall live on, and we are looking forward to seeing you all again in 2022 for the next installment of our costumed October tradition.
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