Halloween brings both fantastic and frightening scenarios. And many parties and masquerades taking place during the scary season will attempt to transport revelers to settings that are spooky, kooky, or just flat-out freaky.
Some will whisk you away to such dreaded destinations as Elm Street or The Mummy’s cursed tomb, while others will supposedly take you back in time to the halcyon days of either the 1980s or ’90s.
Then there’s this weekend’s Underworld festival, which will offers the chance to visit a more mythological sort of destination.
As its name implies, the themed electronic dance music event on Saturday, October 28, at Rawhide Event Center in Chandler will offer its patrons passage through the various realms of the underworld, specifically those contained within Greek mythology.
According to DJ Sam Groove of Hades Entertainment, the promoters of the festival, Underworld is sort of a high-concept event where patrons can explore and experience five different themed areas, each representing different mythological lands from the Grecian afterlife.
But despite the fact that it’s being put on by a company named after Hades and deals with the afterlife, Underworld won’t be some hell-realm filled with fire, brimstone, and pitchforks.
“A lot of people have the assumption that the underworld is literally Hell and it isn’t,” Groove says. “According to the Greek mythology, it is simply just the afterlife. And there are different areas of the underworld a fallen soul will go to. And that’s what we’ll try to recreate at Underworld.”
That includes Elysian Fields (the idyllic setting populated by the righteous), the purgatory-like Asphodel Meadows, and the abyss of Tartarus (the doomed domain of evildoers, scumbags, and lowlifes).
Underworld will also feature two other areas filled with a variety of visual attractions, interactive experiences, and costumed characters called “The Isles of the Blessed,” which Groove describes as the “elite area of heaven,” and “The Fields of Punishment,” a deeper area of Tartarus where the “worst of the worst will go.”
“This being a Halloween event, we're staying true to the Greek mythology, but we're also incorporating a lot of Halloween-themed production,” Groove says. “And I don't just mean a few pumpkins and skeletons here and there. This is going to be done up very, very well. These immersive areas, both the stages and the visual areas, are going to be heavily themed. We're going to mesh the Halloween and Greek mythology elements and visual aspects all together into one enormous thing."
And there will be plenty of electronic dance music, too, courtesy of more than two dozen touring and local DJs and EDM artists who will perform at Underworld.
Three of the realms – Elysian Fields, Asphodel Meadows, and Tartarus – will also feature stages hosting sets. Headliners include Delta Heavy, Liquid Soul, Sikdope, Audiofreq, Black Gummy, Crisis Era, Mahalo, PhaseOne, R3LL, Riot, Sinden, and Triceradrops.
This weekend’s festival at Rawhide is a culmination of Underworld dance parties that Hades has hosted at the Nile Theater in Mesa since last fall, Groove says.
"In the last year, we were doing basically monthly events, and each month was a different theme, not only with the music but the production,” Groove says. “So we wanted to bring that all together in one big event and also offer some other things we weren't able to bring into a venue like the Nile.”
And Groove hopes it will be something different from other Halloween parties and events happening this weekend.
"Doing a Halloween party and incorporating the themes and the stories and the characters of Greek mythology is going to be really fun," he says. "Not just for us, but for everyone who attended the event."
Here’s a look at what else to expect when visiting Underworld on Saturday.
When and Where: Underworld takes place on Saturday, October 28, at Rawhide Event Center, 5700 West North Loop Road in Chandler. Gates open at 7 p.m. and the party goes until 2:30 a.m.
Prices: General admission is $70 in advance, $85 on the day of the event, and $100 at the door. Tickets are also available at local Zia stores.
No VIP? Sorry big spenders, Underworld won’t have a VIP section. According to Groove, it’s because promoters of the event want everyone to feel equal. “We like to tell everybody that all of our attendees are VIPs,” he says. “We don't want to segregate people and everybody needs to feel welcome and unified when it comes to our event. I feel like that bring a better vibe.”
Age Limits: Anyone 18 and over can attend. Those who are 21 and over and have ID can drink, however.
Weather: Believe it or not, but it's gonna be little chilly on Saturday night. Temperatures should be around 75 degrees at the start of the event before dipping down into the 60s by the end of the night. If you're wearing a costume, however, it might help keep you warm.
Lineup: As we mentioned, Underworld will feature sets from more than two dozen DJs and EDM artists. And they’ll spin a variety of genres, ranging from bass house, dubstep, and riddim to psytrance, hardstyle,
Headliners will be Delta Heavy, Sikdope, Liquid Soul, Audiofreq, Black Gummy, Blunts & Blondes, Crisis Era, Mahalo, PhaseOne, R3LL, Riot, Sinden, and
Getting There: If you’re coming from the Valley, take the eastbound Interstate 10 to Exit 162 for Wild Horse Pass Boulevard/
Shuttle Service: Local company OCTIV will offer round-trip transportation to the event from downtown Tempe.
Parking: If you’re coming by car, you can park it at Rawhide for $10.
The Setup: Underworld will take place within an octagon-shaped area within Rawhide that will include all five themed realms. Patrons will first pass through an area inspired by the River Styx, which will host an ID check, ticket scan, and security screenings before entering the event.
The stages in the Elysian Fields, Asphodel Meadows, and Tartarus realms will be arranged in a U-shaped formation and will face their own viewing areas.
Meanwhile, the “Isles of the Blessed” and “Fields of Punishment” will be on either side and will each feature different immersive experiences and a cast of characters. The “Fields of Punishment” will offer the maze-like Minotaur’s labyrinth while the “Isles of the Blessed” will include rooms with tarot card readers, fortune tellers, a hookah lounge, and massage booths.
Elsewhere, an art walk featuring local creatives and various vendor booths will be set up inside Underworld.
Food and Drinks: Groove says food vendors and concession stands will serve eats of the fast-casual variety at the event. There will also be bars near each stage.
Water: It goes without saying that if you're going to be dancing and partying, you'll need to drink water pretty regularly throughout the evening.
Sealed bottles of H2O will be available for sale from vendors. A refill station will also be set up on the north end of the event and both Camelbak-style water bladders and empty water bottles of a reusable or disposable nature are allowed.
Schedule: Sets start approximately 30 minutes after gates open at 7 p.m. on all three stages and will run until 2 a.m. Here's the complete rundown of when and where each DJ and artist is performing at Underworld.
Elysian Fields Stage
7:30 p.m.: Chris Tiano
8 p.m.: Elwer
8:30 p.m.: Danny Stephens
9 p.m.: Axion
9:30 p.m.: Sam Groove
10 p.m.: R3ll
11 p.m.: Phaseone
1 a.m.: Sikdope
Asphodel Meadows Stage
7:30 p.m.: Underdown
8 p.m.: Sens1
8:30 p.m.: Mike Dao
9 p.m.: Blunts & Blondes
10 p.m.: Mahalo
11 p.m.: Sinden
1 a.m.: Liquid Soul
7:30 p.m.: Danny Right
8 p.m.: Disco Stu
8:30 p.m.: Zero
9 p.m.: Matt Dunn
9:30 p.m.: Hvrdwood
10 p.m.: Triceradrops
11 p.m.: Crisis Era
1 a.m.: Delta Heavy
What's Allowed: First off, most raver gear will be permitted at Underworld. “We allow and encourage LED gloves, LED hoops, glow poi … any of that stuff,” Groove says. “And kandi, too.”
Attendees will also be allowed to bring in dust masks and bandanas, as well as furry backpacks, festival totems, flags, banners, signs, and inflatable items (just make sure they’re deflated when you enter the event).
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Naturally, costumes are also allowed.
Beyond that, fanny packs and small bags are okay, as are lighters, cigarettes, sunglasses, hats, and cellphones. You can also bring e-cigarettes and vapes that are both disposable and reusable, but your juice will have to be in a sealed bottle.
What’s Banned: Any illegal substances, as well as drug
Oh yeah, there’s also no re-entry. Once you’re in, you’re in. Sort of like the real underworld.