9 Halloween Parties for the California Artist

Finally, it’s October. That means leaves are changing colors, school is kicking into second gear and, of course, Halloween is at last upon us. Whether it’s Dia de los Muertos or All Hallows Eve, the history of this day is steeped in mysterious magic, spooky wonders and tales of things that go bump in the night. The parties across the great state of California are appealing more than any other time of year as well, because along with venues taking on life anew as haunted houses, participants in proper halloween attire will also saunter the streets of our cities as the archetypes of dreams… or the dark stuff of nightmares.

Where Werewolves, witches and goblins once ruled this hallowed season, today Halloween remains one of the last great vestiges of expression on the calendar for true creatives. Artists that celebrate the festivities of Halloween often find an outlet for their creative energy in outlandish costumes, other-worldly installations and immersive experiences complete with over the top set designs and fully interactive characters.   

Whether you’ve been an artist for ages or there’s something about this peculiar holiday that brings the seldom seen artist out in you, take a moment to sink your teeth into these events happening across California and seize a chance to taste the cornucopia of curiosities that await.  


Photo Credit: Get Tiny / Juliana Bernstein

Abundance: Neverland Halloween

Location: Los Angeles

For anyone who has spent a lot of time perfecting their halloween garb this is a place where magic is ripe and the runways are ready. Think Robot Heart goes to Ferngully and you’ll probably be close to the experience that awaits you at the glitter frenzy that is A-bun-dance Neverland Halloween. Revelers in attendance can expect gifts, laughs and excitement from interactive art experiences at each turn. Make no mistake, with nine live painters, an airbrushing specialist and about forty other live performers the visual sugar at this party might give your eyes a sweet-tooth.

Ghost Ship Halloween: Atlantis 

Location: Bay Area

If you’re a Bay Area resident and the already killer lineup at Ghost Ship hasn’t put a blip on your radar yet, than you may want to consider getting out of the house a bit more. Bassy heavyweights from Dirtybird, Space Cowboys and Death Guild makes this a performance not to miss, but the art game here is off the charts too. By packing the premier in local installations with a sustainable lean, Ghost Ship offers a hard shot of inspiration with adventure as the chaser. You might even say: Friends don’t let friends miss Ghost Ship.


Photo Credit: Cameron Jordan

The Little Giant Acorn Foundation for the Arts Presents: The First Annual Pumpkin Ball 

Location: Los Angeles

Acorns Unite! Henry Pope, Sammy Bliss, EVeryman, Fort Knox Five and Lobo Man (just to name a few) are combining forces to bring bounce to the holiday. The newly formed Little Giant Acorn Foundation for the Arts has announced plans to host a yearly Halloween fundraiser in honor of the late and dearly missed Nicholas “Pumpkin” Alvarado. The aptly titled “First Annual Pumpkin Ball” will offer silkscreen printing of Pumpkin memorabilia, scintillating fire and circus performances and Acorn Tattoos by creative sorceress, Samantha Ceora. The best part: all the proceeds will go towards “helping children to attain an education in arts and music.”

Desert Hearts Presents: Haunted Hearts 

Location: Bay Area

The fearsome fivesome returned last weekend with fresh new music and more heart than ever. During the Summer, the Desert Hearts crew sent out a note to fans to let them know that the fall edition of Desert Hearts would be cancelled this year so that the house music dream team could focus on their label and release some new beats. Several lucious soundcloud links later, we’re stoked to see they’re back to shaking up the underground with their signature brand of love and community.


Photo Credit: Get Tiny / Juliana Bernstein

Terrakroma Presents: Bumpin’ the Night 

Location: North East of San Diego

The spirit of Desert Hearts is also present in their festival home at the end of the month. Hosted in the mysterious and loved La Jolla Indian Campgounds, courtesy of the Terrakroma brothers, Bumpin’ the Night is a two-evening event that will marshall the musical energies of more than twenty-five deejays. Symbiotic Creations, the guys who build the stage at Desert Hearts, will be decorating the landscape with their signature rope on lumber style too.

Raindance Presents: 21st Annual Freakers Ball 

Location: Santa Cruz

As one of the longest running event producers in the west coast festival scene Raindance turns the festivities on their head, as you become the art. Since this event is a masquerade, Freakers at the Freakers Ball don masks and take on forms typiclly reserved for the deeper dives into the depths of imagination. So much effort is poured into the sculpture of these hand-crafted costumes, that having the chance to gawk at the over-the-top feats of fashion descending on the Catalyst Club in Santa Cruz is reason enough to attend.


Photo Credit: Daniel Zetterstrom

The Cruz Coalition, Steampunk Saloon & Opulent Temple Present: Dark Karnival 

Location: Los Angeles

When the Cruz Coalition, Steampunk Saloon and Opulent Temple combine forces to create a single event let’s just say it’s okay to fall out of your chair. Each of these fiercely committed burner crews brings an eclectic, bouncy sound but with a few hot gems from Camp Charlie and our very own Jessie Wright along for the ride you can expect a heavenly night of top shelf house music.

Minimal Effort: Halloween 2016 

Location: Los Angeles

With Tiga, Kidnap Kid, Pete Tong, Jonas Rathsman, Patricio, Thugfucker and TEED (just to name a few), this is one lineup that is conjuring a bit of fear for halloween – fear of missing out. For something especially unique about this one, the grandiose LA Center Studio, is expected use a skyline as an architectural highlight that will provide a backdrop and shape the listening experience for attendees downtown. Don’t be fooled by the ironic name. It’s almost as if they’re called “Minimal Effort” because they make this look easy.


Photo Credit: Get Tiny / Juliana Bernstein

Noise Revolt Presents: Ghost Town 

Location: Los Angeles

When the Noise Revolt team puts together a party you can pretty much bet that it will be loaded with an array of music, alien dancing and enough art to leave you spellbound. Anyone who experienced the Revo Lounge at Woogie Weekend this year will agree, when these guys come to an event, they really show up! Their latest Halloween event, Ghost Town, promises to be something especially unique with several live painters and a “prayerformance” demonstration of assorted flow arts.

Salvage Sundays: Halloween Edition

Location: Los Angeles

In addition, to serving up sustainability lessons that inspire creativity while promoting upcycling, Salvage Sundays will be showcasing some live painting action like you may have seen this year at Lightning in a Bottle or Woogie Weekend. With venerable starlets Ava Youssefi and Jenvy Art in tow, it’s sure to be a delightful combination of mesmerizing and mind-blowing.

Featured Photo by Tony Edwards