Published on October 9th, 2014


moonfest purehoneyAt this month’s MoonFest on October 25, the circus is in town. Not only will carnival rides make their triumphant return to the five bustling blocks of Clematis Street, but a menagerie of sideshow freaks will show up, too: Stilt walkers, knife swallowers, a bearded lady and the “world’s strongest man” are among the attractions at the Dark Carnival, a special stage/performance art installation spearheaded by Daniel Warren, one of the event coordinators. DJs will spin behind them, in one of three stages at this one-night extravaganza of spooky debauchery.

And the circus sideshow isn’t the only activity unique to this year’s Moonfest; attendees can also enjoy the premiere of Silent Disco. Visitors to this the tented “club” in the middle of Moonfest will be lent a battery-powered pair of headphones, where they can choose which of two warring DJs they want to listen to; thus, two people could be dancing together to completely different rhythms in their heads, much to the amusement of outsiders peeking in.

There also will be customary arts and crafts vendors, food trunks and drink sales, as well as a costume contest, with the winning team or individual taking home $1,000, based on audience votes, circa 11:45 on the main stage (might I suggest some intrepid collective showing up as the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy?).

As for the music, DJs such as Prizm, LO-IQ, XTA-C and ONE3 will spin at the ominously titled Devil’s Alley stage from 8:30 until 1am, and at the Main Stage, at the opposite end of Clematis, a top-tier headliner always shreds through the midnight hour; this year, it’s Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the shambling fuzz rockers from Philadelphia, who will be making their first South Florida appearance since 2012. The band’s latest album Only Run is spectral and nocturnal, flirting closely with darkwave and making their sound an ideal hipster Halloween soundtrack. They’ll be preceded by Fort Pierce folk-pop quartet Gravel Kings, Lauderdale dream-team Sweet Bronco plus JUDE., Ethan Parker Band, Campeona, Franscene, The Kinected and many others!

moonfest purehoneyAs has become the standard with recent Moonfests, the event will be gated, with a modest $10 cover charge—a decision that Warren says has led to a better event for everyone. “There’s no more underage kids going crazy; the last two years have seen no violence, no arrests, no fights,” he says. “I’ve been performing for five years and adminning for three, and I’ve seen it only get better. When you have people paying the price of the ticket, they become more involved. More people are dressed up, there’s a lot of hot girls in sexy outfits, and guys in overdone Comic-con-style cosplay. Our clients feel like it’s safer as well.”

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~ John Thomason