Moments. From playing ping pong with R3hab, to head banging with Ghastly, Freaknight 2016 was filled with many memorable moments that help make USC Event’s sinister circus one of our favorite festivals we’ve been to this year. Looking back, we can’t decide which moment was our favorite. One thing is for certain: there were so many surprises; it felt like Christmas had come early!
The 20th anniversary of Freaknight, held at the Tacoma Dome for a consecutive year, featured three stages, carnival rides, retail booths and one of the more diverse lineups we’ve seen at this event. With big names in bass, progressive, trance, house, and more, there was a little something for everyone. On the first day, we made a beeline to the bass stage as soon as we parked our cars. Entry inside the twisted big top was quick and, relatively painless- a relief considering line issues that have plagued various shows in the past. Having to wait five minutes for a girl’s cat tail to get searched was a head scratcher, but hey, what can you do?
Once inside, we were greeted with pulsating beats from Kap Slap, who was getting the party started at the massive Twisted Big Top main stage with some groovy beats that sounded like the lovechild of funk and jungle terror. Looking around the main stage, it really felt like we were under a big top: red and gold drapes aligned and hung from the ceiling, costumed dancers were twirling on elevated platforms, gymnasts were climbing high in the sky performing jaw dropping aerobics, and the lasers, oh those lasers. They were constantly changing colors and dancing right above our heads. Main stage artists were front and center, elevated above the crowd and surrounded by massive LED screens, side-to-side, top-to-bottom.
The main stage area was also the home of the vendor village. Aligning both sides of the dance area were booths from local businesses that were fun and useful. There were light up shoes to take your shuffling to the next level, printed shirts, or the awesome Conscious Crew and Stay Safe Seattle combo spot, which featured condoms, earplugs, tampons, information on STDs, drugs and hearing protection. We are big on safety and harm reduction, so it was nice to see it promoted and hope USC continues to do so in the future.