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People watch a concert on Court Street during the Athens Halloween Block Party on Oct. 31, 2015. (FILE)

Halloween Block Party DJs anticipate an 'absolutely wild night'

Athens held its first Halloween Block Party on Court Street in 1974 and has been hosting it ever since.

This weekend is not just intended for Ohio University students but for Athens locals and other visiting students as well. There will be 12 different performers distributed onto two separate stages Saturday starting at 6:30 p.m. The musical acts range from rap music to EDM/Dance and even country. There will be eight acts on the Lokoween Stage at the corner of Union Street and Court Street and four acts on the North Stage by Courtside Pizza.

Brandon "DJ B-Funk" Thompson said the block party will go on as per usual, but the music will end a little earlier this year at about 12:30 a.m., unlike previous years when the music usually continued until after 1 a.m.

Before the block party begins, there will be the fifth Honey for the Heart parade at 6 p.m. The parade is made up of handmade puppets that are made out of recycled materials. 

Thompson will be closing the party on the Lokoween Stage at 11:30 p.m. and plans on playing a wide range of music, from rap to EDM, he said. DJ B-Funk has been playing events since 1997 but did not begin his professional DJ career until 2001. He first began deejaying at his high school dance.

Thompson has been playing at the Athens Halloween Block Party for five years and dresses up as something new each Halloween. Saturday will be his sixth year, and he plans on going as Lucas Sinclair, a character from the Netflix original Stranger Things.

“Halloween is one of the biggest parties in Athens let alone the United States ... so I want to be a part of that,” Thompson said.

Thompson is an Athens native and said he feels a strong connection to Athens. He has been coming to the block party for a while and used to dream of performing on stage and finds it “cool” that now he has been able to the past few years.

Along with different DJs and music groups, there will be a costume contest at 9 p.m. on the Lokoween Stage where different attendees’ costumes will be judged, and a favorite will be chosen.

On the Lokoween Stage at 8:20 p.m. Michael "DJ Barticus" Bart will perform. Bart has been a DJ since 2000 but has never played at the Halloween Block Party before.

“In the past I've avoided DJing (the) block party because of all the vomit and piss, I'll be ready for it this year,” he said in an email.

Similar to to Thompson, Bart looks forward to being able to DJ at the large block party.

“As a DJ, I'm not just playing music, I'm cultivating the whole mood of a party,” Bart said. “It's something I work really hard at and take much pride in,” Bart said in an email.

Hill Hackworth, an emcee of Dysfunktional Family, an Athens-based band that has been performing together for about 10 years, said he and his fellow emcee have performed at the Halloween Block Party before but as guest emcees for other bands and never as Dysfunktional Family.

“I’m just anticipating an absolutely wild night — one of the best shows of the year for us to put on,” Hackworth said.

The block party is one of the most packed weekends in Athens, Bart said, and it can be fun for everyone as long as people are respectful of one another, so he hopes that the crowd will help each other if needed.

Kathryn Wilson, a freshman studying chemistry, plans on attending the block party on Saturday rain or shine, but she still does not have a costume idea yet, she said.

“I’ve seen things about how there is, like, no cell service (because it is so crowded),” Wilson said.

Despite how crowded Court Street might be on Saturday, some of the DJs are looking forward to the craziness. 

“Athens is such an awesome place, and there is such a crazy crowd ... It is awesome to really connect with them and play them music,” Thompson said.


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