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As the sun set on Saturday signalling the beginning of another Los Flambardos experience, revellers could only imagine the mystery and mayhem that would ensue around them. With more interactive shenanigans and live theatre performances promised, punters could be sure to count on a night filled with spooky skulduggery, offering them more ‘boo’ for their buck.

To enter the ball this year we were welcomed with the familiar eclectic mixture of laughter, laser lights and faint techno trance music pumping from the nearby tent. There was only one venue though we had in mind to set the ballin’ vibe and that was The Grand Ball Room, hosted by legendary party animals Hospitality. As I walked down the narrow path on my quest to party I was met with various creatures (including dinosaurs?!), which made me feel like I was getting sucked into a kaleidoscope where things made less sense the further I ventured.masked-ball-halloween-2016-02The beats by Hugh Hardie & Lowqui MC met my ears as soon as we entered and my feet suddenly had a mind of their own. The signature sugar skull took pride of place hanging from the centre of the tent and it almost felt like we were loyal followers, worshipping its shimmering splendour from below. When we felt we had our Hospitality fill, we decided to do some more exploring, and we made a beeline for the Aztech tent.

“Warriors, come out to play…” which is what I felt like saying as I passed through the skull entrance to be met by décor devilishly appropriate for the 1978 film. I could tell Karma Kid was on the decks and found myself along with those around me dancing ourselves intro a tantalising trance. The theme was evident throughout as actors dressed as ghoulish freaks contorted and crept around the site. It seemed DC’s most recent production Suicide Squad was the inspiration for a lot of the revellers this year, meaning the venue wasn’t short of a Joker or two.masked-ball-halloween-2016-05Sometime in the early hours of the madness I came across a queue of people who one by one seemed to disappear into a hole in the ground, encouraged by a sultry transvestite straight out of Rocky Horror. It turned out the hole was a secret entrance to the Technodrome where Reset Robot had the stage at the time. I was left to gather my bearings, feeling very much like Alice in Wonderland falling down the rabbit hole.

Not wanting to miss the death-defying live performance in the Demon Drome we shuffled our way through to ensure we would have front row seats for the stunt show. It felt like something out of Wacky Races as one by one they started whizzing round the ‘wall of death’ on their motor bikes, each time taking it up a knuckle-biting notch which ended with a rider going no hands and one of them riding tandem on the handle bars.masked-ball-halloween-2016-04The optical illusions tent was next on our list as we headed into the Asylum hosted by Loose People, which is where we decided to take root for the next hour or so. Honourable mentions of the night have to include Felix Dickinson in the Disco Diner (hosted by Future Garden) and of course Hot Chip leading the hedonistic vibe from the Coney Island tent. Food and refreshments were also readily available throughout Los Flambardos, as well as stalls selling various spooky wears from the Central Square.

My night ended as bizarrely as it started; I found myself boogying to some fabulous 80s tunes in the Fangz tent and before I knew what was happening one of the stage performers had pulled me on top of the speakers to join them, and I was in my eccentric element. With the end of the night looming it was unfortunately time to say goodnight (or good morning would be more accurate) to our creepy Coney Island home for the evening. The Halloween Masked Ball 2016 was definitely a sight to behold, offering tricks and treats at every turn; now back in the real world I’m determined to keep the magic alive until the summer ball next year. Reckon it’s acceptable to wear my dead prom queen outfit until then?

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