I had the pleasure of attending Ghost Ship Halloween for the second year in a row, which took place at San Francisco’s Pier 70 Friday and Saturday this past weekend. Last year I was amazed at the production value, the musical lineup, and the fun people I met at the event. This year was no exception and, in fact, it was an incredibly more fun experience.

While I only attended Friday night’s edition, it took only a few minutes to realize this year’s edition of Ghost Ship Halloween was bigger and better than years past. Personally speaking, Friday night’s musical lineup was hard to beat. The billing included a whopping FIVE members of Dirtybird, which is one of my favorite record labels started years back in SF. On top of that, The New Deal were set to bring their Electro-Jamband stylings to the main stage – a group I hadn’t yet had a chance to see and who had supposedly retired years back. Overall there were six locations around the massive property to catch music, including the two-channel Silent Disco which is always a favorite among my friends and me.

My favorite acts of the night were unsurprisingly part of the Dirtybird crew – but what surprised me the most is Christian Martin may have taken the cake for the night. Justin Martin always nails it, as does J. Phlip. Ardalan’s set was extended due to Worthy being stuck in Mexico – and Ardy’s set was fun and hard hitting. But when we ventured outside to hear Christian Martin’s set under the tent, it was absolutely going off. Christian’s break beats were hitting a spot that few others could hit and though I was disappointed I had to leave the New Deal to hear this, it ended up being worth my time.

Beyond the music, everyone in costume brought their A-game. From a Turd Sandwich (this season’s South Park), to many political mockeries, to a giant Chewbacca Cow Girl, to sexy and skimpy outfits, there was plenty of creativity among the crowd.

From a production standpoint the event was flawless. This year saw the addition of a mezzanine level for VIPs which offered an elevated view and open bar. There were some fantastic art installations – the giant Squid and Blimp Ship being a couple of my favorites. And as always, the Thunder Dome created a spectacle as folks could battle in harnesses in the dome, or watch from any point on top of the structure.

thunderdome

Overall Ghost Ship Halloween is an event that excels at audio/visual sensory stimulation and truly captures the essence of San Francisco. It will be hard to top next year and I highly recommend you attend!