It’s the night that ghosts and ghouls come out to play, a low orange moon hangs in the sky and I’m squinting through my all-white contacts as I drive towards Los Flambardos for the Porthleven Halloween Masked Ball. What better way to celebrate Halloween than with a few thousand other ghoulish punters at a local theme park full of debauchery?
As my van slowly trundled through the car parks, it was obvious that this was a different crowd to previous masked balls; they were younger and rowdier than before. Gaggles of people hung around cars drinking cans of beer dressed to the nines in glitter or some kind of undead Halloween outfit, whilst anything from High Contrast to Justin Bieber (yes, I was shocked at the latter one too) blasted out of their stereos.
We arrived just before 10PM and the queue was considerably large; people were pushing in at the sides and elbowing others out of the way and it still took us half an hour to get in. But when the pushing and shoving was over, we were in and ready to have a royally spooky time. A few food vans were dotted around the site selling everything from bacon butties to crumpets, all of which seemed to be gaining good trade all night. Ghosts and pumpkins hung from trees and unused rides, camouflaging the day-to-day look of the theme park. Plenty of little bars were scattered over the premises and even some of the rides were open. My personal favourite was the “Chunderbolt” (normally known as the Thunderbolt), a twisting upside down ride made purely to spin you out and make your stomach churn.
A few more of the usual aspects of Flambards were recognisable such as the arcade and the science dome (lots of misshapen mirrors and optical illusons), yet overall the guys did a great job of transforming this run of the mill themepark into a scaretastic setting for a vampire ball.
Walking around the site there were lots of street performers; groups of vampires would gather around an unsuspecting victim every so often and eat them with blood curdling screams echoing around the site. Meanwhile, fire jugglers and fire breathers twirled and spun in skimpy outfits, and dancers pranced around on stage with multi-coloured lights surrounding them.The music on the whole was pretty good, ranging from an 80’s disco at ‘Fangs’, a dancehall mix up at The Café, house at the Asylum and finally D’n’B at the Hospitality Stage. This year it was a bit of a nightmare trying to find out where each artist was playing – we asked security, sound engineers and bar staff yet most of them didn’t have a clue who was playing, or even what stage they were working at. For me this was a big issue as it made the event seem unprofessional.
In previous years the organisers have put blackboards outside the stages saying who was playing where, so let’s hope they bring it back next year. What’s the point of adding headliners if no one knows where they’re playing? The highlight of the night though was High Contrast in the Hospitality tent, the main stage hidden up a winding path in the far corner of the park, and by jove it was brilliant.
So that’s it for another year guys. Early bird tickets go on sale very soon for the Summer Masked Ball, so mark that in your calendars now. Hope those of you who were there last night had a fangtastic time.