Have you ever taken a break from a 90's-style rave to go slam into your mates on the bumper cars? Me neither until last night, at Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Trafford Park. The West Manchester venue, made famous for many a club night 30-odd years ago, went back to its roots this weekend for a 2-night Halloween extravaganza. I dropped into night one of The Festival of the Dead, a night of dance music, giant paper mache precession, outrageous fancy dress, face paints and acrobatic aerial displays.
Manchester Cool Bars arranged to visit, and met in Impossible on Peter St. (Good job, as Albert's Schloss over the road now requires all men to be in collars, and you can't go raving in a shirt, can you?) We taxi'd into Trafford Park where ghoulish figures were already emerging from the night and wandering through the security gate.
The bar was using a token system, which seriously inconveniences many people like myself who don't drink that much or, like last night, are driving and don't drink any alcohol at all. We were required to buy a strip of tokens in bulk, many of which I still have right here. There was also no phone reception inside, which is a pain when some group members want to meet at the 4500-capacity venue rather than the starting point. The cloakroom and toilets could have been signposted a bit better, but at least they were both in good order.
Still, a great fun night with some patrons putting a huge amount of effort into fancy dress. Official pictures will be here.