HallOUween 2018 to Feature One Stage, New Beer Garden

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The annual Athens Halloween Block Party will feature only one stage this year due to a lack of sponsorships from local businesses.

Brandon Thompson, Athens DJ and coordinator of the block party, says the local sponsors that have supported Halloween in the past are expressing less interest, resulting in a smaller celebration this year.

“We’ve relied on business sponsorships for years for Halloween, and what we’ve found is, a lot of businesses aren’t supporting like they used to, and so that’s had to downsize a lot of what we’re doing,” Thompson said.

In past years, the high-profile event has been an asset to local artists trying to get more attention for their music. Though Athens Halloween is one of the largest block parties in the U.S., lineups have always showcased local artists, including students, alumni and community members.

Bobby Fleck, a local DJ and senior studying music production, made his Halloween debut in 2017. Fleck, whose stage name is Bobby Booshay, says the event helped him reach new fans and share his music with a wider group of people.

“It helps me build more of a career and a name for myself,” he said. “Halloween is something that’s known. It’s definitely something you can put your name on.”

Unfortunately, the South Stage, which usually features local DJs, is the stage that has been cut this year. The North Stage, which typically features local bands, will be set up near Broney’s Alumni Bar and Grill.

Acts that will be performing on that stage include The Awful Kind, TATTAT, Conscious Pilot, Green Velvet, and Water Witches.

Thompson said the event will include a beer garden this year in an effort to increase funding for future block parties.

“Adding this beer garden, I think, is going to infuse some more funding that’ll help us grow the show,” he said.

Thompson added that Warner Bros. had reached out about the possibility of showing a horror movie trailer during the event, though they have not agreed to be a sponsor and nothing is confirmed yet.

Thompson is open to the idea of outside sponsorships helping finance the block party as well as bringing in a few larger, well-known musical acts. A high-profile artist would attract more sponsors to the event as well as more party-goers, Thompson said.

“It could happen. We’ve got thousands of people here, people looking to party all the time. People know that Halloween in Athens is a big deal,” he said.

The block party will take place on Saturday, October 27 and is free to the public. The event is organized by the Athens Clean and Safe Halloween Committee.