Art Culture

Review | The Festival of the Dead

By Sophie Miles and Emily Hattersley


If seductive performers, trippy music and confetti (everywhere) sounds like your idea of a perfect evening, then welcome to the Festival of the Dead.

Celebrating the Festival of the Dead for the second year in a row, at the students union, it’s fair to say it did not disappoint.  Quoted as “The most stylish and theatrical celebration in town”, it truly was a night of wonder; from beatboxing to dancing, acrobatics to DJ’ing and everything in-between.

The performances began around 11pm with a beautiful Aerial trapeze artist that featured throughout the night. In amongst the decorative stage, filled with dancing colours and coruscating lights, was a giant, patterned skull that was later used as an elaborate display of visual storytelling moving through the audience. The night consisted of various bursts of entertainment where no two acts were the same, all pooled together by a skull-faced host who added plenty of humour and of course, tequila.

The costumes were, and always will be, amazing. That goes for both the performers and the crowd. The atmosphere was vibrant and attendees even more so; shared by every demographic of person- old/young/students/mums/etc. Anyone and everyone was able to come together and share a night of honour for those they have lost… or just use it as an excuse to dress in really cool outfits and smother themselves in glitter.

Though the pricing (£17-£34) seems a little steep, the night was totally worth it. The most expensive ticket, a VIP package for £34, really wasn’t all that costly considering what was offered. The package included a queue jump (which was absolutely needed), a Festival of the Dead t-shirt (a great comfort for the walk home when the night was over) and a glittery masquerade mask (of course). When you think that you’d pay around £50 for a concert ticket, it’s really quite a steal.

The night was extremely interactive, the performers came out into the audience for some up close and personal entertainment, which was a great chance for photos and videos. Confetti canons were set off multiple times and a photographer was around to capture the fun and excitement all night. At one point, people were even invited up onto stage to dance.

In my opinion, the only two drawbacks to the night were the pricing of the alcohol (£6 for a double? Nope!!) And the seemingly endless steps to the smoking area (which were also dangerously steep!) Though the bars were still a popular entity, the Union’s alcohol consumption was nothing close of a Wednesday night sesh and VKs were no-where to be seen.

However, come 2am the Great Hall was still booming with LED dancers, bassy music and an enthusiastic audience who were still as lively as ever.

In short, I’m sure we’ll be seeing you same time, same place, next year.