Oz Arts Presents

A Riotous Revelry: The 9th Annual Festival of Ghouls

Zac Fable (Photo: Edyta Fedurek)

Saturday the 28th of October was the 9th annual Festival of Ghouls at Oz Arts. The dark and spooky room was decorated like the bowels of hell, with a huge game wheel listing the nine levels of hell (according to Dante’s “Inferno”): limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, wrath, heresy, violence, fraud and treachery. In place of an arrow on the wheel was a bright red pitchfork. At the bar, the special cocktail of the night was Satan’s Kiss: a delicious mixed drink made with either vodka or tequila and set on fire. There was a free photo booth where you could go a get your picture taken and texted to you with a Festival of Ghouls frame.

The first opening act, Ergo, Bria, was equal parts angry and powerful. Who doesn’t love kicking nazis in the face? The second opening act, Basic Printer, describes their music as gloitchpop. Synthy and quirky, my favorite song was IGF. Next, were the costume competitions, one for couples and one for singles. Anyone who had been given a pin during the night was invited to come on stage for the audience to vote on the winners. There were some truly amazing and creative outfits. The loudest cheers for the couples category went to a group of three dressed as Marty McFly, Doc Brown, and a bush that the DeLorean drives through. The singles competition was won by a person dressed as Marge Simpson, complete with yellow body paint. In my opinion, they missed out by neglecting to give a pin to a particularly unique and luminous Poison Ivy costume.

Suspended Gravity (Photo: Edyta Fedurek)

Fable Cry, the headlining band and hosts for the evening included: Zach Ferrin/Zac Fable, vocals and guitar; Mallory Kimbrell/Wicked Ida, vocals; Loren Fernandez Valentin, vocals and 12-stringed bass; Jillian LaFave, vocals and keys; and Andrew Core on the drums. They were all dressed as deliciously dazzling devils with Zach Ferrin as Satan himself, guiding us through our arrival in hell. “Hello, all you sinners and heathens,” he welcomed us, “…in case you haven’t noticed, you’re dead!” Wicked Ida was the charismatic game master, inviting up audience members with a demonically dimpled smile to spin the wheel. They sang different songs for the levels of hell including newer songs like “Screaming is Believing” along with old favorites like “Fancy Dancing.” Their music is a unique blend of multiple genres like metal, punk and rock with a spooky tone. The members of Fable Cry are a truly talented group with amazing stage presence. Ferrin brought such great energy to the stage that people were crowding around to get closer.

Many of the musical numbers were enhanced with burlesque and drag performances by Back to Black Burlesque, Gidget Bardot, and Viktor Blackwood as well as circus performances by Suspended Gravity. These performances were sensual, athletic, and theatrical, drawing huge cheers and applause from the audience. My only critique for the evening was the occasional feedback and that the sound in the room was unbalanced and slightly top heavy, especially during the opening acts.

If you’ve ever read Dante’s “Inferno,” you know that Dante takes a tour through hell to be shown all the possible sins and what fate lies ahead if you commit those sins. It is a cautionary tale meant to keep us from making the prideful mistake of thinking that any mortal is above sin. Fable Cry takes this dark tale and twists it into a wickedly fun gameshow. The journey through hell isn’t horrifying, it’s fun! Why be afraid of hell when all the best people are there and Satan will welcome you with open arms and song. This creative take on the famous poem makes me excited for what Fable Cry might come up with for year 10. Come on down to next year’s Festival of Ghouls to find out!

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