Athens DJ Brings Local Talent to Block Party< < Back to
For more than 40 years, the Athens Halloween Block Party has been the place to be in late October as thousands of college students and partygoers descend upon Court Street to party and listen to live music.
Every year on the Saturday before Halloween, Court Street, ground zero for the famous festival, is closed off and stages are erected on either end of the three-block stretch of brick. But who performs on these stages? And who attracts these artists to Athens?
According to Brandon Thompson, a member of the Athens Clean and Safe Halloween Committee, finding acts hoping to play at the block party is the easy part.
“People always want to play Halloween,” Thompson said. “I actually got an email just today from somebody wanting to play, but we’re booked.”
As a member of the Athens Clean and Safe Halloween Committee, Thompson and his fellow committee members are responsible for finding funding for the entire event. From barricades to the actual stages, the committee plays an essential role in getting the party started.
According to Thompson, the committee also works with local authorities to make sure the massive block party is safe for partygoers.
“We coordinate with the city for our safety,” Thompson said. “We talk with the police department and the fire department to make sure the stage is in the right area. Basically communicating with them what our plan is and figuring out what they’re looking to do with Halloween.”
According to Thompson the funding the committee scrounges up goes towards the musical entertainment as well. With two stages on opposite ends of Court Street, Thompson looks to local talent when setting line ups for each stage.
“Everybody on the Slip N Fly stage (the EDM and Hip-Hop stage near College Green) is actually either from Ohio University, or Hocking or has some sort of Athens connection,” Thompson said. “We try and keep it all local because a lot of these people won’t be able to play on a stage that big. What better thing to do than go to Ohio University and play on the stage of the biggest party in the world?”
The annual Halloween Block Party kicks off place Saturday, Oct. 28 in Athens, Ohio.