BLOG: Before We Start Ho Ho Ho-ing...

By emma
Wednesday, 29th November 2017

Before we all start Ho Ho Ho-ing....

Otherworld 2017 was such a fantastic festival this year, that we wanted to share some halloween hightlights with you all. So dive on in and have a read. There's lots of you tube clips attached if you fancy having a look at some of the things the community got up to!

Crast Test Caint: Otherworld kicked things off with their first event on October 13th.  Crash Test Caint celebrated both the Irish-language community and the thriving trad scene in Ballymun, with a free evening of music, story-telling, history and craic. Instead of traditional scary stories, brave souls shared their personal horror stories: their worst dates, their hilarious misunderstandings and their most embarrassing moments as part of “Scéalta Scánrúla”. The whole night was rounded out by a fantastic performance from “Clann Adams” a super group made up of Setanta based trad musicians, Noreen, Majella and Tommy.

Community Spirit: The fun didn’t stop there as behind the scenes local groups were working hard to make Halloween happen. There were eyeballs peering from peculiar red roses and larger-than-life monster flowers sprouting up as the Sillogue Craft Group got to work.

The Ballymun Men’s Shed and Ballymun All Sorts Group worked together to create an eerie doll art installation for the centre of the plaza. Ballymun All Sorts collected old china-dolls and gave them a new lease of life as Annabelle-like haunted ghouls. The Men’s Shed made the elegant tree like structure to display the dolls on.

Dancing Our Way into Halloween: Matt Szczcerek was also out and about in the Ballymun as he visited various community groups to lead them in dance workshops in preparation for the Chase the Zombie, Dance Parade. The Sillogue Ladies’ Group were the first group brave enough to take part in a workshop but soon all of Ballymun was up dancing. C&N Dance Academy, THREADS axis’ Women’s Dance Project, Aisling Transition, various groups from BRYR and The Reco, and even members of the public all joined Matt for workshops so they could get ready to “Thrill” us all to Thriller on Halloween night. And for those who couldn’t make the actual parade there was an online tutorial so you could dance your socks off in the comfort of your kitchen.

Zombie Flash Mob: The dancing didn’t stop there. Local schools were given the opportunity to follow the online dance tutorial and to be part of a Ballymun-wide Flash Mob at school on Friday the 27th of October. The students of Our Lady of Victories entertained their whole school (and us) with their fantastic zombie dance

Storytelling@ Muck & Magic Community Gardens: Magic was being made at Muck & Magic, as St Joseph’s Junior School and Our Lady of Victories Girl’s School both embarked on an interactive story-telling adventure around the garden. Who knew there were fairies, witches and vampires hiding among the bushes there.

Glimmer: In the axis Theatre preparations were under way on Glimmer, a specially written Dublin Ghost Story for kids. This was a brand new play produced by axis:Ballymun in association with Otherworld. Written by Joe Flavin and directed by Mark O’Brien, starring Jed Murray and Betty Duffy. Glimmer was the story of Fred, a V.I.G. (very important ghost) who was once known as the Glimmerman. The play was completely free and kids, Mammies, Daddies and Grannies alike all loved it. 8 shows in total took place during the festival.

Chase the Zombie Community Parade: Residents around Ballymun got a surprise on Halloween night as they found the streets filled with hordes of Zombies. But these zombies weren’t shuffling along looking for brains. They were dancing their way through the streets on the search for community spirit.

All the hard work and rehearsing with Matt Szczerek was worth it as over one hundred people showed off their zombie dance moves on the streets of Ballymun in one of our most successful parades ever. The parade was led by our grand marshal, Stephen Mooney

Near FM Live Broadcast: The Artist’s Lounge: The Artist’s Lounge was a new addition to the Otherworld Festival this year. Taking place as part of the Main Festival on the plaza this tent was home to the best of up and coming Irish music. Curated and hosted by Ger Kellett of 5th Element the line-up included Soricah, Zeinab, The Innocents, Rachael Mccormack and Psychlone. Near FM broadcasted the entire event live from Otherworld

Witches’ Brew Café: After the success of last year, The Witches’ Brew Café was back for another successful year at Otherworld. These witches know exactly how to brew delicious treats the whole family can enjoy. There were no frogs legs here. Sillogue Ladies Evening group were the ones running the café on the night. There was even fresh soup made from veg grown right here in Ballymun at the Muck and Magic Community Gardens available.

Zombie Quarantine Zone: The theme of this year’s Otherworld Festival was ‘Escape the Zombie’. Which was lucky enough because there happened to be a Zombie Outbreak at the Festival. You probably spotted the Zombie Catchers wandering around the Safe Zone. They needed the help of local kids to find all the zombies. Children took place in interactive Zombie Tests to see who was a zombie and who wasn’t, learned what to do in case of a Zombie emergency and how to watch out for signs of Zombie parents. Some were even brave enough to give brains a try. When they were finished spotting the zombies children helped by designing wanted posters to warn other children.

Otherworld Craft Tent: Poppintree Youth Project and Ballymun provided the community with a terrific arts and crafts tent this year. Voodoo zombie dolls and key chains, wooden ghosts and ghouls, badges and figurines could all be made on the night. There was no end to the creativity or to the fun at this classic Otherworld event.

Spooky Tunnel: For the very brave there was a special entrance into Otherworld this year – through the Spooky Tunnel. This Tunnel wasn’t just spooky it was properly scary as clowns gave us all the surprise of our lives

Circus Gerbola: Circus Gerbola returned for another triumphant year at Otherworld 2017. There was much to be amazed at as acrobats, tightrope walkers and more made us gasp and hold our breath as they did death-defying tricks.

Main Stage: The main stage at Otherworld was jam-packed as usual with local and professional groups. This year’s line-up really showed off the wealth of talent we have here in Ballymun. Hosted by the one and only Jamie Harrington and featuring a host of amazing acts and the always brilliant Mun TV, this was a fantastic night of entertainment. 

Fireworks: At Otherworld, we like to end things with a big Bang. Or fifteen minutes of big bangs. This year the display was spectacular and illuminated all of Ballymun. And with the last firework Otherworld came to an end. What a brilliant Festival. We’re already planning the next one…