Saturday the 30th of October marked an epic day where two of the UK’s most current brands, Animal Crossing and You&Me, joined forces to create a 360 degree, immersive Halloween experience. Taking place at The Love Factory in Manchester, the day was packed with bouncing techno and house, spooky visuals and some Halloween costume fuelled madness.
The two brands new home, The Love Factory, has been making quite a name for itself within the Manchester scene. Located an easy 10 minute walk from Victoria (one of the cities main stations), the standalone warehouse is situated on the edge of an industrial estate beside the river Irk. The tall warehouse can be seen from afar as its painted walls and stained glass windows burst with colour outside and in. The inside of the venue is made up of one large open room with bars on either side and the stage situated at the far end. The Love Factory truly is the perfect blend of colour, happiness and old school industrial vibes.
Security on the door greeted attendees with smiles and positive energy before checking tickets and searching bags. Inside the event there was a fast response time and excellent co-ordination between the medical team, security and the other members of staff. Given the recent stories in the news regarding safety in the nightlife industry, it was amazing to see a rapid response team with well trained staff. Bar staff acted swiftly on both bars, with the odd member of the team in the halloween spirit and dressing up or wearing spooky make up. The outside area also featured a small kiosk for food and drinks operated by a team of friendly staff.
Although the event was Manchester based, the two brands have seemed to draw people from all over the country. We spoke to groups from London and plenty of people from various towns and cities in the Midlands and the North. No Halloween party is complete without costumes, and The Fairytale of Halloween did not disappoint. Around 40% of the attendees were in costume, numerous scary witches, devils, vampires, zombies and other classics as well as a good mixture of some funny and naughty outfits. Some special mentions go to the Mario Bros, the avocado, the couple as slinky-dog, the giant hot dog “Colonel Mustard” and of course Josh Baker as an Egyptian Pharao alongside Reiss in a Kimono.
Food & Drinks
Food at this event was limited. In the corner of the smoking area was a quick serving and friendly staffed kiosk serving a variety of soft drinks for £2.50, chicken, cheese and veggie/vegan burger meals for £10 and fries and mozzarella sticks for £3.50. Although the venue was not huge some more variety wouldn’t go a miss. The warehouse had 2 inside bars serving a variety of soft drinks and water for £2.50, cans of hooch and beers for around £5 and single shots of spirits and a mixer for about £7. Both bars operated all day with a steady pace, queues were long at first but died down later in the day.
The Fairytale of Halloween lived up to its promise of a 360 degree experience. Throughout the day large projectors had backdrops of ghouls and zombies dancing behind the infamous brands cartoon characters flying around the room. As the day turned to night the warehouse came into full effect, spotlights on the stage created lucid displays in time with the music as the two brands combined logos flashed behind the decks. The combination of animated characters, hair-raising visuals and energetic light displays certainly made for one epic Halloween party.
The sound at The Love Factory was on point. Being a small warehouse there were no problems with delay or muddy bass (a common problem for warehouses). The sound system used for the day was the impressive Vero supplied by the famous British loudspeaker manufacturers Funktion-One. The stack was accompanied by some flying EVO 7’s spread throughout the room adding to the 360 degree immersive experience the brands were creating.
Josh Baker b2b Reiss
This duo certainly is a deadly combination. The pair played a groove filled, high energy set that raised the bar for the following acts in the day. Dressed as an Egyptian Pharaoh, Josh Baker alongside his kung-fu partner Reiss spun some eclectic tracks from the depths of their crates, including a creepy sounding remix of Diss-Cusses ‘Tra-La-La-La-La’, adding to the Halloween vibes.
Aptly named for this scary spectacle, the Berlin duo “The Ghost” kept the energy high throughout their set. Accompanied with flashing zombie heads on the walls, the pair scrolled through a mixed set of bouncing techno packed with old school warehouse vibes.
One third of the epic trio Apollonia is more than enough to close your Halloween party. Dyed Soundorom shut down The Love Factory with a mixture of tracks diving into the depths of acid house, techno and even some gangster rap. A notable track that was very well received by the Manchester crowd was from the up and coming DRGS07 titled “A1“, an awesome Snoop Dogg edit that had the crowd eating from Soundorom’s hands.
Animal Crossing and You&Me are two brands to keep an eye on. Their new found home has served them well on the occasions they have used it this year. Its medium size allows them to pull out the stops to create amazing light displays and showcase some of the hottest music at the moment. Their line up selection ensured that the beat was pumping all day long and their encouragement of costumes and halloween themed decor created an unmatchable atmosphere. Extra porta-loos and some more food variety wouldn’t go amiss, but it was hard to find any more flaws.
So what’s next for Animal Crossing?
Animal Crossing at “The Showroom“ 27th November
Making use of unique places is a special skill that the Animal Crossing team have mastered. The brand has recently announced their next epic event taking place in a disused car sales showroom on the 27th of November. Taking over “The Showroom” will see a day filled with partying supplied by a line up of current and sought after acts, including an unreal 6-hour set from Apollonia.
Tickets for this will go quick, so be sure to grab yours using the link here.