In Columbus, October brings not only one but two days to dust-off and break out the costumes. We have the national delight of Halloween, and our personal favorite Haunted Fest. We had the extra sweet treat of covering the festival, as media. As always a huge thank you to Prime Social Group for the privilege, yet again, to cover one of their events. They have been a great organization to work with and we like to see the events they are able to craft.
The Lausche Building is one of the expo centers that make up the Ohio State Fairgrounds; it is also the building that harbors Haunted Fest. This massive building is an empty carcass of concrete and metal to be transformed into a venue for any event. Its size and location, in the fairgrounds, makes it easy to find, however, there seemed to be no understood Uber drop-off point. Everyone seemed to be getting dropped in different spots and then hoofing it the rest of the way. Once you hit the front gates though, it was smooth sailing. The box office was well staffed, the line moved decently fast, and you were let out into the open outdoor area, which meant there was no build-up of people. The expo center door is massive and allows you to see all the way to the back of the building, as soon as you walk in. Before entering the actual venue, the landing area had a bathroom station, two food trucks, and plenty of space to grab some air (or smoke). Getting out of the chilly night air and into the venue, we are just thrust right into it. The venue is a rectangle where the perimeter is all vendors, Silent Disco, VIP areas, and the stage. The space in between was just filled with the LED mirrors that have been a staple to PSG fests, a couple of podiums for dancers, and of course the crowd. It was very bare-bones and slightly front-loaded. With only one stage and limited Silent Disco headphones, everyone was cramming into the spots they could hear the music loudest and see the stage best. VIP and Ultra VIP were investments that really enhanced the experience. Both gave great views of the stage, with way fewer people. More room to move, while still having really solid views.
Mitch James X Reckless: It was so awesome to see a WTV fam member mainstage, going back to back. Both Reckless and Mitch James brought phenomenal energy to the opening set. The Reckless stage of energy and swagger were there, and Mitch was there to match. The two had a really great balance and feed on one another. It was crazy to see them give the crowd energy and then cycle it back into their set. They created so much for such an early slot with their music selection, light show, and personalities.
STANKTNK: Over on the Silent Disco, the Bass Cult champ and WTV fam member delivered a brain shattering set through the colored headphones. It was amazing to see the support he had from his Bass Cult family, as well as the building crowd. Even when you took the headphones off after listening, his set was so big that it seemed to keep playing through your head.
Yami: Still on Silent Disco and still WTV fam. Yami brought another set that brings light to the energy of electronic music. He links genres and sounds without discrimination, in order to keep chasing that high-energy vibe. His nerdy costume demonstrated he studied how to get people to listen because he had a sea of blue headphones.
Beach Boys: A duo that brought really great feels. They were playing club classics and stitching them together with up and coming electronic tunes. Making the venue pop with a solid light show was just gravy to the main course that was their track list.
Young Bombs: Aqua Man and Edward Scissorhands will never be the same. This dressed-up duo had that “anything is EDM” vibe, which took us down all sorts of paths. From classic rock to rap back to punk, every track turned and took us back to the jumping joys of bass. They had a set that rounded everything out to be high-energy.
Dombresky: You can’t have haunted without the house. Nice simple visuals and smooth bouncy transitions were the focal points of his passionate set. He really set the dancefloor on fire, as his red-gloved hands created and directed energy. He was a fun DJ to watch because you could see the happiness radiating from him.
Rezz: Space mom playing a Halloween festival only seems right. Branded by her low and slow production, she is always sure to rumble the crowd. Though she did do her brand justice, it did not feel as creepy as we would have expected. The set was more melodic than spooky, but just because it wasn’t what we were expecting doesn’t mean we didn’t vibe with it. It was still that good wonderful and wonky feel.
RL Grime: All hail pope Grime; closer of Haunted Fest 2019. He brought a whole lot of bass, a whole lot of energy, and a whole lot of CO2. His set was the definition of an amazing ride. He brought in his top tracks and mixed everything into a brew that was surprising and electric. Hard drops developed from soft tracks. Transitions were always a coin flip because you never knew what was coming. R.L. Grime just really wrapped up the night up and even put a bow on top.
Done Wells & Needs Work
To start, the line-up and merchandise PSG was able to curate was super strong. Both embodied the theme of the festival well and were strong draws. In addition, the venue is a continually great choice that provides a lot of room. Haunted Fest utilized most space very well, especially in the VIP experiences. The single-stage single-day setup makes for a quick and easy festival, which is becoming a staple for Columbus EDM listeners.
Along the lines of improvement, we felt that there were just issues with numbers. We really want to see a greater number of feet between the stage and LED mirrors, since they really sandwiched people between them and the stage. Also more usable restrooms for GA in the building. We loved VIP because it was always a quick bathroom trip, but for GA fans the lines are pretty long. Lastly, we want to see more Silent Disco headphones. There was a line there all night, so why not increase the supply with such high demand? Especially with the one-stage festival, we feel that is the only other thing that lets people build energy if they aren’t vibing with the main stage artist.
Haunted Fest wrapped up to be another great night. It was a perfect fall night filled with crazy costumes and everything else we love about festivals. We admire that PSG really can give one night a festival feeling. Thank you to PSG again for organizing the event and having us out. As always thank you to the artists who made the night possible. We are super happy to have some WTV fam members a part of that title. And lastly, thank you to everyone who came out. We love spending time in our city with so many people who love music as we do.
Until next time.