Halloween – the one night of the year it’s socially acceptable to leave the house looking like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards. It’s also one of the biggest, most fun party weekends of the year and, as such, there’s always a ton of can’t-miss gigs, club nights, film screenings and parties to douse yourself in fake blood for. We’ve rounded up some of the best things to do across the country this All Hallow’s Eve. Now all you need is a killer costume.
Victoria Warehouse, Manchester, Oct 31
You might have seen some of Vevo’s original videos over the past few months, capturing interviews, sessions and gigs from some of the hottest bands and artists around. For Halloween, they’ve rounded up a whole host of those acts and booked them to play in a massive warehouse in Salford Quays. Get down in your finest fancy dress if you want to see Wolf Alice, Years & Years, James Bay, Little Simz and Nothing But Thieves play the most ridiculously on-point bill of the year.
Club NME Halloween Ball
KOKO, London, Oct 30
Our long-running Friday night party gets in the spirit of the weekend with a special Halloween Ball. Leeds newcomers Vitamin will bring their massive synth-pop hooks to Camden as they headline the event, while LA’s Transviolet and soulful solo artist James Cherry provide support on this spookiest of weekends. The party goes on til 4am so there’s heaps of time to get into the mood too.
Halloween Horror Night
QMU, Glasgow, Oct 30
You’ll be spoilt for choice at this special bash as there’s so much going on throughout the night. Settle down with a cushion to hide behind for some indie horror movie screenings, check out a drag show and take part in a Halloween themed pub quiz. There’ll also be live music, a raffle and prizes for the best costumes on the night. Oh, and it’s free entry all night. Fang-tastic.
Halloween Film Festival
Picture House, Hebden Bridge, Oct 31
What better day than Halloween to hide away in the shadows of a darkened room and indulge in some of cinema’s creepiest masterpieces? Head to Hebden Bridge Picture House for an all-day film festival featuring five flicks that’ll have you jumping out of your skin – The Evil Dead, Santa Sangre, The Shining, Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue and The Wicker Man.
Slacker, The Victoria, London, Oct 31
Head down to east London and the freshly done up Victoria pub for a huge line-up in intimate surroundings. Brighton newbies Yonaka will bring spooky atmosphere to the night, before grime hero Big Narstie will properly get things going. There’ll also be DJ sets from Tunbridge Wells punks Slaves and BBC Radio 1’s Phil Taggart (also the night’s host), and the whole thing will be headlined by Essex indie rapper Rat Boy, who’ll undoubtedly cause the same level of carnage he does at venues much bigger than this. Might be an idea to wear some padding under your costume…
OPEN, Norwich, Oct 31
OPEN are promising a full-on immersion into Halloween, with the venue going all out on the decorations for one night only. Of course, the main pull here is a DJ set from former The Streets mastermind Mike Skinner, who’ll no doubt lace his set with some ghoulish bangers. Again, there’s prizes for the best costumes, and you can even visit the Horror Enhancement Station to max up your chances of winning or get your face painted between pulling shapes that would horrify your dad.
Oasis Centre, Swindon, Oct 30
Halloween is Alice Cooper’s favourite holiday – fitting for the undisputed king of shock-rock. He’s been making the trip to the UK for a chilling All Hallow’s Eve tour for a few years now and this year’s no different. Get down to Swindon for a night of “blood, guts and gore”, as well classics like ‘Welcome To My Nightmare’, ‘Poison’ and ‘Teenage Frankenstein’.
Ultimate Power Presents Bat Out Of Helloween 2015
The Ritz, Manchester, Oct 30 / Komedia, Brighton, Oct 30 / The Forum, London, Oct 31 / Moon Club, Cardiff, Oct 31
Imagine a club night focused purely on power ballads. Ultimate Power is just that and operates all over the country having grown from just one pub in London. Belt out a host of Halloween power ballads with your mates and a room full of like-minded soft-rock aficionados and don’t be afraid to pull out your air guitar or invisible drum kit – in fact, those moves are actively encouraged at Ultimate Power nights.
Found: Horror Series – Born & Bred Halloween
Building Six, London, Oct 31
If you’re looking for something a little bit cooler to hit up on All Hallow’s Eve, try this all night rave at Building Six, in between the chain restaurants and cinemas of the O2. Dance music fans will have the night to end all nights as the likes of Maya Jane Coles, Mount Kimbie, Happa, Damien Lazarus and more keep the beats pumping right through to 6am, when everyone will emerge into the morning light, squinting like house-loving vampires.
And if you’ve still not had enough of Halloween…
Wahaca Day Of The Dead Festival 2015
Tobacco Dock, London, Nov 7
The spooky thrills don’t have to stop just because Halloween’s over. If you’re in London next weekend, make your way to Tobacco Dock for this special Day Of The Dead all-dayer. The Horrors, Savages, Crystal Fighters will all play, as will Mexrissey, a seven-piece band who tackle the songs of Morrissey in a Latin American style. There’ll also be DJs, film, street art, food and more.