Halloween has a rather monstrous reputation as a major party holiday — and with good reason. Simply put, there will be shindigs and shenanigans at practically every bar, club, gin joint, or any other spot with a liquor license. And this is year is certainly no exception as its shaping up to be an especially action-packed All Hallows Eve.
Thing is, the fun isn’t limited to only one night this year — as Halloween parties are taking place on both Friday, October 30, and Saturday, October 31 — nor is it limited to just major ragers or dance parties, as many live music venues will have big concerts on tap both nights.
You’ve got a whole weekend at your disposal to celebrate Halloween this year and we’ve got more than a few picks of the best parties and concerts to attend, either with a costume or without.
A sinister sideshow spectacle awaits those who attend the Dead Carnival Block Party on Friday, October 30, at this Scottsdale spot, as does an enormous array of DJs, producers, and EDM artists that are scheduled to perform at the event. The lineup will include gigs by co-headliners Ookay, Bixel Boys, and Bones, as well as such locals Bijou, Dirty Doses, Blossom, Zodiak, and Filthy Flip. Phoenix-born hip-hop star Sincerely Collins will also be in the house as a special guest. Doors are at 8 p.m. Earlybird admission is $20 online.
Yucca Tap Room
The annual Punk Rock Halloween Bash on Friday, October 30, will once again feature a slew of local bands offering up tribute sets to a number of landmark punk acts. This year’s edition will include Dime Museum covering The Cramps, HAM doing their best impression of Dead Kennedys, and Krovak playing old stuff from AFI. The infamous costumed punks of The Maxies will headline. The show starts at 7 p.m. No cover.
Those with a taste for the old-school era of techno, industrial, EBM, and minimal wave (not to mention a yen for Ridley Scott’s influential cyberpunk/sci-fi flick Blade Runner) should plan on spending the last few hours of Friday, October 30, getting down inside Palazzo. The downtown Phoenix dance club will be the site of a “retro-futurist Halloween dystopia” offered during the latest edition of Technoir, which will feature DJ sets by Tristan/Iseult, Dark Mark, Pablo Gomez, and the Rev. DJ RaZorslave. Doors are at 9 p.m. Admission is $5 before 10 p.m., $8 thereafter.
Maya Day & Nightclub
Maya will be one of the major epicenters for nightlife action during Halloween weekend when it hosts the Freaky Tiki Block Party on Friday, October 30. While EDM artist Kygo will perform inside the nightclub portion of Maya during its “Haunted Island” affair, which is currently sold out, the block party will take over a portion of Indian Plaza outside and neighboring spot The District where DJ Noah Wylie will be in the mix. Access to the block party, which begins at 8 p.m., is $20. Early arrival is strongly suggested.
Halloween weekend at this infamous North Phoenix rock bar promises two straight nights of metal mayhem during back-to-back parties. First up is the All Hallows Evil Fest on Friday, October 30, with performances by Solace in Nothing, A Mirror Hollow, Chaos Theory, Eyes of Ivory, and tribute band Aperfectool. A costume contest for cash prizes is planned and tickets to the Monster Mash music festival will be given away. 18-and-over. Doors are at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10-$12. A Night to Hail Metal! takes place the following evening, headlined by Fatal Malady and also featuring the hard-charging sounds of American Zombie, 2 in the Chest, Buttonface, and Ashes of the Dead. Doors are at 7 p.m. Cover is $8-$12.
Two straight nights of Halloween-themed parties will fill the Monarch with costumed revelry and plenty of dancing and drinking antics. First, the Heroes vs. Villains Halloween Bash on Friday, October 30, will bring do-gooders and their dastardly foes to the nightspot as Biggie Meanmugg and DJ Tino Cochino still hip-hop and dance all evening. Drink specials run until 11 p.m. and include $1 AMFs, as well as $2 Corona and Modelo beers and there will be a costume contest with $1,000 in prizes. The super celebration kicks off at 9 p.m. and there’s no cover before 10:30 p.m. The following night on Saturday, October 31, the EDM duo of Tube & Berger will take over the Monarch on Halloween night. Laffit and Michael Hooker open the show. Doors are at 9 p.m. and admission is $10.
C.A.S.A. SunBa & Lounge
The C.A.S.A. Lounge will celebrate Halloween a day early on Friday, October 30, with a costume contest and live music from Something Like Seduction, Sunset Voodoo, Haze, Flight of Ryan and Project Out of Bounds. The partying begins at 10 p.m. and there’s a $3 cover. The following evening, the party mojo heads a few doors down to C.A.S.A. SunBa where A.J. Slim and a variety of local DJs will be on the decks all night. The Halloween night festivities start at 7 p.m.
Tempe Beach Park
The first-ever Monster Mash music festival makes its debut with back-to-back nights of outdoor concerts at Tempe Beach Park and both feature an equally loaded lineup of rock gods and monsters. Tool will headline the first day of the festival, which is also scheduled to include performances by Tool, Primus, Coheed and Cambria, Aeges, and Our Arms to the Sun. Gates open at 2:30 p.m. Meanwhile, the second day on Sunday, November 1, will offer sets from Rob Zombie, Deftones, Puscifer, Linkin Park, Ghost, and Halestorm. Gates open at 1 p.m. Tickets are $99-$150.
This off-kilter Scottsdale dive bar offers one of the most curious and uproarious places to celebrate All Hallows Eve in the city’s nightlife district during its annual Halloween Block Party that’s equal parts wild, wicked, and weird. The two-night event on Friday, October 30, and Saturday, October 31, will feature drinking and debauchery both inside the bar and in the street outside, as well as games, bands, and Giligin’s usual kooky crew of misfits and midgets. A costume contest will offer the grand prize of a Jägermeister machine and awards for the best getups for both men and women, as well as the most offensive outfit. Admission is free both nights.
Scott Rowe's Alice Cooper Tribute show will headline a night of frights and hard rock inside the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame's venue at Pranksters Too in Scottsdale. Iron Ozzy, Wicked Grinn, and Scorpion vs. Tarantula are also scheduled to perform. Doors are at 8 p.m. and there’s a $10 cover.
Cornish Pasty Co.
The original location of the Cornish Pasty Co. in Tempe will enter uncharted territory over Halloween when it hosts its first-ever dance event on Saturday, October 31. And an all-female lineup of DJs — Bunny von Lau, Stoney Pie, A Claire Slattery, and Jacque Bernatt — has the honor of breaking the place in when they’ll spin a mix of “danceable classics” during the Ghouls Night Out party. A makeup booth and costume contest will be a part of the affair, which runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Admission is free.
You’ll most definitely want to wear a costume if you plan to attend the Halloween festivities at Pho Cao in Scottsdale on Saturday, October 31, since those who that dress up get in for free. Otherwise, prepare to cough up five-spot. And if your ensemble is impressive enough, you might score $50 for taking first place in the costume contest, which takes place at 11 p.m. and will be hosted by Brandi Suzanne Fjeld of KWSS. Live music will be offered all evening long by Sam Madan, Andy Warpigs, Wyves, Hostile Work Environment, Boss Frog, Ruca, and the Cassidy Alisa Project. Drink specials include $2.50 Pho Cao ale, $3 ghost hunter and zombie brains shots, and $5 sake bombers. The party starts at 7 p.m.
Given the King Khan and BBQ Show’s predilection for bizarre costuming (which has included, but is not limited to, studded bondage gear, golden codpieces, party girl dresses, and odd helmets) it seems downright appropriate that you can catch the unrivaled garage rock/psychadelic soul duo on Halloween night at Valley Bar. Playboy Manbaby, Milk Lines, and Slipping Into Darkness will be the openers. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15-$17.
A total of five different nightlife joints – including Bottled Blonde, The Mint, Hi Fi, and The Bevvy – will join forces for the latest edition of the annual Ghostball, one of the biggest Halloween parties in Scottsdale (if not the entire Valley). Thousands of costumed revelers are expected to attend the enormous event on Saturday, October 31, and those sporting the most impressive costumes of the night will walk away with their share of $10,000 in cash and prizes. Things get going at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20.
The Rebel Lounge
The multitude of musicians comprising the Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra will spend the evening of Saturday, October 31, dispensing their unique brand of danceable grooves inside The Rebel Lounge during the PAO-lloween Boogie Ball. An eclectic collection of artists and acts will provide support, including Jerusafunk, The Stakes, and local drag diva Pandora DeStrange. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $10.
Load up your lightsaber with some fresh batteries and get ready to head for a galaxy far, far away if you plan on attending BLUR’s Star Wars-themed “Fuze the Force" party on Friday, October 30, which will include entertainment and music from Tanner T., Phillip Talieh, DJ Skrewball, & DJ Convince. Feel the force starting at 10 p.m.
If the supernatural forces of the paranormal world happen in alignment on Halloween night, you might just spy some of the infamous ghosts that reportedly have haunted Casey’s for generations. If not, you can always settle for a close encounter with spirits of the intoxicating variety, like the $4 shots of Jack Daniels Tennessee Fire that will be available during the bar’s Halloween party on Saturday, October 31. Pints of Four Peaks Pumpkin Porter and Dogfish Punkin' Ale can also be had for $5 and a brand new State Street Bicycle will be given away that evening. Entry into the drawing will be free and tickets will be collected between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m.
Talking Stick Resort
Legendary EDM superstars Bad Boy Bill and Art will headline the resort’s Wicked Ball, on Saturday, October 31, which will boast a carnival-themed room, an outdoor ultra lounge, specialty cocktails, and a total of $10,000 in cash being handed out to the winners of its costume contest. Everything kicks off at 9 p.m. General admission are $50 in advance, $60 on the day of the event, while VIP tickets (which include six drinks) are $90 in advance, $100 on the day of the event.
If Michael Jackson’s landmark music video for “Thriller” taught us anything, it’s that the undead really can sometimes cut a major rug (don’t let all that stumbling and staggering fool you). And on Saturday, October 31, were fairly certain that many a bizarre brain-eater will be busting a groove at Livewire during the Zombie Apocalypse party starring British-born dubstep/electro-house producer Zomboy. In addition to all the moaning and dancing, a costume contest boasting $1,000 in cash and prizes will go down. Start time is 8 p.m. Tickets are $25.
Some hellacious rockers and punkers will occupy both theaters at Club Red on Saturday, October 31. The goth-punk vixens of One-Eyed Doll will rage in one theatre with support from Stitched Up Heart, Run 2 Cover, Slor, and Double Positive. The show starts at 6 p.m. Admission is $12 in advance, $14 at the door. Meanwhile, death metal bands Soilwork and Decapitated will headline a show that also feature Shattered Sun, Enkaged, Discordant, Dirt Over Lime, and Impulsive Aggression. The gig begins at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, $27 at the door.
Visit the Crescent Ballroom on an average Saturday night and you’ll find renowned local DJ and dance party instigator Sean Watson dropping a dance-inducing blend of electro, '80s remixes, nu-disco, and electro. Such will be the case on Saturday, October 31, but the occasion will be anything but average. Watson is putting on his annual Halloween Costume Ball, which will encompass both the venue and a portion of Second Avenue with DJs and bands on two stages. Live acts Flamenco Por La Vida and Tucson’s Vox Urbana are on the lineup, as are DJs like Klu, Kris Tha Fist, Dirty Doses, Djentrification, and (of course) Watson. Artist Matt Castleberry will provide the visuals and a costume contest will award concert tickets and other prizes to the “most inspired dressers and dancers.” The party starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.
As you probably could’ve guessed, L.A.-based act Slaves Against the Machine pays tribute to legendary alternative metal band, Rage Against the Machine. And frankly, it’s quite spot-on as far as imitations go. So much so that after having a drink or three during their set at Cactus Jack’s in Ahwatukee on Saturday, October 31, you might even swear you’re listening to Zack de la Rocha and company do their thing. Fellow tribute acts Nirvanaish, Weezerton, and Faceless (the latter of which pays homage to Godsmack, FYI) will also perform. The music starts at 9 p.m. and there’s a $10 cover.
A warning to anyone who attends this infamous annual rave: make sure to wear something you wouldn’t mind being drenched with fake blood. That’s because countless gallons of the crimson-colored liquid will by sprayed and squirted upon the crowd throughout this 10-hour underground dance party that kicks off on the evening of Saturday, October 31, and goes until the next morning. Promoter Matt Dunn and eight other DJs will drop hardcore, harsh and dirty electro, industrial, terrorcore, EBM, and other harder-edged sounds while a bloody good time unfolds. Bloodfest runs from 9 p.m. until 7 a.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $13 at the door. Call 602-359-7160 on the night of the event for location information.
Halloween is arguably one of the largest parties of the entire year at this Mill Avenue hot spot. And this time around its going to be even bigger, as both El Hefe and newly opened neighboring joint Whiskey Row will host the massively sized Monsters Block Party on Saturday, October 31, that will spill over onto nearby Sixth Street. Renowned house and trance producer Audien will headline the event and New York City-based EDM duo The Disco Fries. Gates open at 5 p.m. General admission is $30, VIP access is $75.
The Saguaro Hotel
Despite the singular nature of its name, the Haunted Hotel Ball is actually be comprised of a trio of swanky soirees spread out over two days and nights, each offering its own DJ lineup and thrills. To wit: the kickoff party on Friday, October 30, will include spin sessions by DJ Lujan, DJ Tranzit, and DJ Slippe, as well as a fashion show and interactive entertainment. Doors open at 9 p.m. Next up is the MasqueRAGE pool party on Saturday, October 31, with Six4, Mastamonk, and Ken Mooso dropping house music and Top 40 tunes from noon until 6 p.m. And the centerpiece of the entire weekend takes place beginning at 9 p.m. with DJ Q and Thomas James on the ones and twos all night, the conclusion of the a two-night costume contest, and eye candy aplenty. Ticket prices and VIP packages vary for each event. See the Haunted Hotel Ball website for more info.