As a first time attendee of USC Event’s Halloween festival, Freaknight, I was going into this with high expectations. Freaknight has forever claimed the title for most hype Halloween party in the PNW and I gotta say… it definitely lived up to its reputation. This rave was seriously a beast of an event, and I wouldn’t have wanted to celebrate the spooky season anywhere else!
Photo Credit: Turk Photos
Before entering the freakshow, I needed to pick up my ticket from will call, go through security, and do that whole process. Being the derp I am when it comes to directions, I had my driver drop me off at the wrong side of the venue, leaving me with a brief walk to the box office. I was alone, cold, and wearing the tiniest outfit when I stopped a guy wearing a Guest Services tee to ask for directions to will call. He was so kind and more than happy to stop what he was doing and walk me all the way to the box office so I didn’t have to be alone. Once I got there and picked up my ticket, I ended up chatting with more members of the Guest Services team and they assisted me through the entire entry process. Attending an event alone can be intimidating, so I am so appreciative of USC’s crew for being so accommodating, helpful, and overall kind! It was PLUR vibes to the max and I am so grateful to know that USC Event’s hires employees that are not only committed to their job, but their guest’s experience too.
When I finally got inside, my jaw literally dropped-- it was a freakin’ FREAKSHOW! Games, rides, stages, lasers, this place had the whole 9 yards. I just remember thinking to myself, ‘holy crap, I don’t know how I’m going to get a chance to interact with every aspect of this place, but I refuse to leave until I do.’ I got there early enough to explore the venue before my must-see sets, so of course, I hit the rides first. There were three different amusement rides located right next the main stage, so everyone was headbanging on the rides while trying not to puke...or maybe that was just me? These rides were the crème de la crème of spinny rides. At first, I was worried about the lines taking forever, but surprisingly they went by pretty fast.
After finally getting myself to feel like I wasn’t spinning anymore, I noticed all the photo-opp structures and made sure to hit those next. Of course on theme, there were well-lit art installations scattered throughout the venue. When I ran into one of my good friends, I not only made sure to get a picture with him, but had him be my personal photographer for a bit as well.
After I had an entire photoshoot, I rushed over to the silent disco where one of my best friends, Yung Wub, was DJing. Silent disco’s have always had my heart; not only do you get to rage between three different DJs, but it’s also funny AF when you take off your headphones and see everyone crazy dancing in what seems like silence. During my time here, I ran into the iHeartRaves Unicorn crew looking bomb.com in their Halloween fits.
At this point, I had explored all they had to offer and it was time to indulge in the music. I was able to catch half of Brohug and, holy sh!t, those guys throw down. It took me just two seconds to get sucked into their set. Right after Brohug came K?D, and he did not disappoint. His set was both artistic and rowdy as usual, so it was a good call for USC Events to put him on the main stage. Speaking of the main stage, AKA the Twisted Big Top, no matter where you were standing, you had the best seat in the house; due to the venue’s openness, I seriously always had a great view. Whether I was on the floor in the crowd or up the stairs at the VIP bar, the stage production was overall top-notch.
Later on, I decided to wander to the other stages, and the only way to get to the Midway Mayhem stage was through Vendor Village. Not only did they have the usual booths selling psychedelic clothing and light-up gear, but there were psychic readings too! I didn’t have the chance to stop for this because I heard Rabbit in the Moon playing and couldn’t help but book it there, but the psychic readings were definitely a nice touch I appreciated and would definitely take the time to engage with next year.
To close off the night, I made sure to catch Black Tiger Sex Machine and Porter Robinson. These are some of my favorite artists and they did not disappoint. BTSM was a headbang and a half for sure, and they drew in a pretty large crowd. The Bass Asylum stage, where BTSM played, was a little hard to find a good view, so I just hung out in the bar area parallel to the stage. After BTSM ended, I rushed over to the main stage, found a nice little spot near the back of the crowd, and sat in awe of Porter Robinson. At this point in my raving career, I have had the opportunity to see Porter more times than I can count on one hand, and this guy delivers every single show he plays. This was the best way I could have imagined closing out Freaknight.
Overall, Freaknight 2019 went beyond what I had expected and I finally understand what all the hype is. Seattle one of those cities that truly embraces PLUR, and it is a community of ravers that I am proud to be a part of. Big shoutout to USC Events for going full send for Halloween year after year.