Last Fri eve Darryn, Bjorn and myself headed off to the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock for the first ever Balkanology party experience for all 3 of us.
Now I had heard crazy stories from previous Balkanology parties… things like petting zoos, circus folk, oompa loompa music and more. So I was really keen to finally go check one out for myself. The theme to this party was: The Masked Vampyre Ball 1819. With a theme like that I figured that you probably should be dressing up, but I wasn’t sure if people would actually make the effort. I mean this is Cape Town after all and Capetonians in general don’t really dress up. We’re just way too cool for that type of thing, right?
As a last-ditch effort, Bjorn and I caved a teensy bit and opted for some black nails and dark lips, semi-goth style… (oh and some hipster glasses for me as well)
Upon arrival we quickly realised that yes, people do dress up. Not everyone, but enough people for you to not feel like a lone idiot in your Dracula get up. In fact we saw quite a few Draculas, the most popular choice for the evening by far. But I was drawn more to the really over-the-top looks, like these two:
The setup was very weird & wonderful. I loved the big bat hanging over the entrance of the dance floor:
And other weird little features like this tiny car filled with masked folks:
And the stage setup, lighting and other decor created a really strange but awesome atmosphere:
Darryn and I nearly got our heads chopped off “Final Destination style” outside when one of the supporting cables for one of the marquees snapped loose. But strangly it just seemed like one of those things that happen at Balkanology. Nothing weird about it really.
The official lineup for the evening was as follows:
- Vlad & the mini Imp’alers Orchestra (Transylvania)
- Nomadic Orchestra
- Noze (France)
This was really not a musical area that I was very familiar with and all those acts were a first for me. But I think the way I described the music on Twitter on the night still really is the best way to try and set the scene:
I’m gonna try explain the Balkonology music style: think oompa loompa meets Jungle book meet Tetris plus a back beat pure awesome
It was very weird, but I kinda dug it. I just wasn’t very sure how one goes about dancing to it. Then again, it was very much an everything goes kinda vibe. So I just went with the flow.
On one visit to the ladies I noticed a set of vampyre teeth that had been adandoned… I thought to myself, well that’s not very responsible, how’s she going to feed now? The other vampyres will surely shun her without her teeth!?
This was certainly a different night out, but I’m glad I went. I think if I attempt another Balkanology party I’ll do two things:
- Go a bit later – the party officially started at 9pm. We got there around 9:30, but that was still way too early. Which meant we ended up drinking way too many vodka & Red Bulls before anything got going and I therefore felt like someone was shining a bright light right into my eyes the whole time. Thanks caffeine!
- Definitely dress up to theme. The people who did seemed to have way more fun.