Last night was one of the best and most fun Halloween’s I’ve had in years! We decided to spend it at the Rooftop Day of the Dead Festival in Hobart which, as the title suggests, took place on a rooftop, the roof of the Central Carpark to be precise. Hobart seems to have a bit of a fascination with the macabre and the dead if MONA and Dark Mofo are anything to go by. The theme of this inaugural rooftop party was the Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos), a Mexican holiday that focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey. The origins of the celebration can be traced back to the Aztecs held a festival to honour the goddess Mictecacihuatl.
Halloween festivities over the years have typically been a time for people to dress up as their favourite scary character, although in recent years that seems to have been diluted somewhat to include pretty much anything you want. It was really refreshing then to see so many people painting their faces in the style of the Mexican sugar skulls and getting into the spirit of the occassion (pardon the pun). The venue was really cool, being up on a rooftop overlooking the city and there was plenty of space to accommodate everyone.
There was a bit of a queue for the bar but seeing as this was the organiser’s first go at this sort of event, that can be seen as something to learn from for next year which I really hope will be happening. Entertainment on the night was provided by the amazing Chupacabra and Madre Monte who got the crowd up and dancing to funky Cumbia/Latin/Ska/Reggae/Dance music that you couldn’t not shake your hips to. Between the two bands there was a parade to honour the dead with musicians and dancers parading through the venue carrying a float containing the deceased favourite foods and beverages as is traditionally done. The atmosphere was electric for that one. The rain tried its best to put a dampener on things but thankfully didn’t get heavy enough to stop proceedings and the bands were able to keep playing while the crowd danced happily in the rain. After the main event there was an after party in the Grand Poobah with DJs playing some more regular tunes but still keeping the crowd on their feet.
There was such a buzz about the place and I loved the whole theme of the night, definitely one of the best Halloween parties I’ve ever been to. Huge congratulations to the organisers for putting on a spectacular night and here’s hoping for something even bigger and better next year as it most definitely was a brilliant and most welcome addition to the Hobart event calender.