Thanks to Halloween falling in the middle of the week this year, events are spread out over the span of two weekends and peaking Thursday night — because having to work the next day never stopped anyone in Miami from going out. And there's plenty to do during the ten-day party marathon.
Returning this year is Wynwood Fear Factory, which has established itself as the city's premier Halloween event by presenting a who's who of EDM powerhouses. However, the party collective the Secret Garden will give Fear Factory a run for its money with a four-day extravaganza including two rooms for dancing and four scare areas.
If you're looking for something countercultural, Gender Blender will put on its monthly drag show series, with a prize of $200 for the best costume of the night, and Churchill's Pub will provide relief from outrageous ticket prices with a $5 cover and drink specials all night.
Miami is always ready for a party, but for Halloween, the city seems to take things up a notch. Here are this year's Halloween party highlights:
Wynwood Fear Factory
Wynwood Fear Factory has become Miami's de facto Halloween music festival. It returns this year with another EDM superstar lineup, headlined by Illesium. The Denver-based producer released his third studio album, Ascend, this summer. His appearance at Wynwood Fear Factory is being billed as a DJ set and not a live show, but attendees can still expect one hell of an epic party that will kick off the Halloween weekend. The bill is also loaded with other major dance-music players, such as Gareth Emery, Knife Paty, and Malaa, all of whom will be ready and willing to drop beats till the early morning. With Illesium, Gareth Emery, Knife Party, Malaa, and others. 7 p.m. Friday, October 25, at Mana Wynwood Convention Center, 318 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-573-0371; manawynwood.com. Tickets cost $60 to $100 via tixr.com.
Halloween Fetish Ball
Looking for a kinky twist on the average Halloween party? Fetish Factory once again will present its famed Halloween Fetish Ball. Fetish attire or provocative costuming are required, so if all you can scrounge up is a cheap Party City costume, this party is probably not for you. Morgan La Rue will be the event's master of ceremonies, and fetish performers Val Vampyre, Lindsey Air, and Shar Zayn will take the stage. Whatever your kink is, Fetish Factory will make sure your Halloween weekend is exciting. 10 p.m. Friday, October 25, at the Manor Complex, 2345 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors; 954-626-0082; themanorcomplex.com. Tickets cost $35 via fetishfactory.com.
Superstar DJ and producer Diplo began celebrating Halloween this summer when he revealed his country-music project Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley. He's been donning cowboy attire ever since, famously in Lil Nas X's music video for "Old Town Road." Though Diplo's appearance at E11even isn't country-themed, nothing is stopping you from wearing a ten-gallon hat and snakeskin boots. Will any of his recent collaborators, such as the Jonas Brothers or country singer Morgan Wallen, make surprise appearances? You'll have to be there to find out. 10 p.m. Saturday, October 26, at E11even Miami, 29 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-829-2911; 11miami.com. Tickets cost $40 to $50 via tixr.com.
Miami's premier monthly queer party will celebrate Halloween weekend with a costume contest — and there's money on the line. Whoever shows up wearing the freakiest costume will walk away with $200. If you've ever attended Gender Blender, you know besting everyone else is a tall order, because neither the performers nor the attendees play around when it comes to costuming. You can try to outshine the night's performers — Opulence, Andro Gin, and Persephone Von Lips — but it'll be easier said than done. There will also be live spooky tunes by Rhino, Devalued, and Sandratz. 10 p.m. Sunday, October 27, at Las Rosas, 2898 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; 786-780-2700; lasrosasbar.com. Admission is free.
Churchill's Halloween Classic
Not into steep door prices on Halloween? Churchill's Pub will charge only $5 for a noisy night of local acts, including Saavik, Death Talisman VII, and Glass Body. And leave the flask at home, because there will be drink specials all night, such as Fireball shots for $3. A late-night happy hour beginning at 1 a.m. will offer $3 draft beers, Jameson, and Jack Daniel's. If that's not enough, there will also be an installation by the art collective Vidium in the green room and a DJ set by Flor Frances. With Saavik, Death Talisman VII, Glass Body, and others. 9 p.m. Thursday, October 31, at Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-757-1807; churchillspub.com. Admission costs $5.
Double Stubble Halloween
There's a 30 Rock episode in which some of the TGS staff tries to get in Jenna Maroney's good graces in order to be invited to gay Halloween. What's gay Halloween? "Have you ever been to a gay Halloween? It's amazing. Last year, my girlfriends and I went to Mario Cantone's party in a renovated barn in Chelsea." Miami's own gay Halloween party will happen at Double Stubble, presenting performances by Madonovan, Opulence, Persephone Von Lips, and Regina Black. But what's gay Halloween without a killer soundtrack? Expect DJ Hottpants, Mystic Bill, and Sunburn Collective behind the decks. 9 p.m. Thursday, October 31, at Gramps 176 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-699-2669; gramps.com. Admission is free.
Haunted Factory by Secret Garden
For years, the party-planning folks at Secret Garden have been throwing experiential nightlife events throughout the city, so if anyone is going to do Halloween justice, it's them. Thursday kicks off four nights of parties, with house music producer Lee Foss leading the pack the first night. Secret Garden promises two rooms devoted to music and four scare areas providing the frights. With Lee Foss, Ohashi, Atnarko, and others. 9 p.m. Thursday, October 31, at Wynwood Factory, 55 NE 24th St., Miami; 786-360-3712; wynwoodfactory.com. Tickets cost $10 to $30 via eventbrite.com.
Damian Lazarus at Space
You'll have to wait until next year for Halloween to fall on a weekend. But that's not stopping Club Space from pretending like October 31, 2019, is just another regular Saturday night. Crosstown Rebels leader Damian Lazarus will return to the Terrace to spin spooky beats, along with Monolink and Blond:Ish. The party will continue past sunrise, so start planning your excuse to call in sick Friday. With Monolink, Blond:Ish, and others. 11 p.m. Thursday, October 31, at Club Space, 34 NE 11th St., Miami; 786-357-6456; clubspace.com. Tickets cost $15 to $60 via eventbrite.com.
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Paul van Dyk at Treehouse
Trance icon Paul van Dyk is usually headlining festivals or taking over cavernous clubs, so the fact that he's booked at Treehouse, which is a relatively intimate venue, is odd. The night is part of his Mission: Guiding Light Tour, leading up to the release of his album Guiding Light next year. Not only will you get a memorable Halloween party, but also you might hear some new tunes. 11 p.m. Thursday, October 31, at Treehouse, 323 23rd St., Miami Beach; 786-318-1908; treehousemiami.com. Tickets cost $30 to $40 via eventbrite.com.
Raise the Dead Festival
Thanks to Halloween falling on a weekday, the festivities will spill into the weekend. Raise the Dead, a Día de los Muertos-themed festival, promises to be a 12-hour bonanza of wellness and sustainability. It's also partnering with the team from the now-defunct nightclub Electric Pickle — which continues to exist as a brand — to curate a lineup featuring dance-music acts such as Audiofly, Gab Rhome, and Holmar. Adding to the spooky atmosphere is the festival's setting. The event will take place next to the City of Miami Cemetery, the final resting place of city founder Julia Tuttle and department-store maven William Burdine. 3 p.m. Saturday, November 2, at 1700 NE Second Ave., Miami; raisethedeadmiami.com. Tickets cost $20 to $80 via residentadvisor.net.