'A stunning triumph in the face of incredible adversity' Hallowe'en Masked Ball: PICTURES (From This is The West Country)
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'A stunning triumph in the face of incredible adversity' Hallowe'en Masked Ball: PICTURES
1:20pm Wednesday 30th October 2013 in Cornwall
It may have turned into a mud bath but that didn’t stop revellers at this year’s Hallowe’en Masked Ball from enjoying the party.
Rain led to some difficult conditions for organisers, but inside the event spirits were high.
Revellers from all over west Cornwall including Falmouth and Helston enjoyed a range of music from some top names, including a DJ set from Leftfield member Neil Barnes.
As always, costumes were of an |incredible standard, with partygoers pulling out all the stops with their make up and outfits. The Masked Ball is famous for its outdoor party areas, which include an “igloo” and “snow dome.”
New to the event this year was an extra venue called The Ghost Ship, a large undercover area themed on a 17th |century galleon ship – complete with decks, rigging and a figurehead.
Performance troupe Kernow Scare Attractions curated the whole Masked Ball complex with a hoard of grizzly sideshows that include grinders, |contortionists, suspensions, piercings, stiltwalkers and creepy clowns.
Aside from 60 of the best dance DJs in the south west, the event also welcomed acts such as Sister Bliss, from Faithless, and Phil Hartnoll from Orbital.
Cornish theatre troupe Incandescence, who have toured with Fatboy Slim and the Ministry of Sound, presented the Carnival of the Damned, a journey into a lavishly decorated tent with a “Tim Burton twist” that included zombie style dancing girls, bearded ladies, twisted dark clowns and circus freak shows.
Ball director Kelvin Batt said: "The Cornish Masked Balls have a reputation for decadence and premium debauchery and it appears that the more extreme the conditions, the more intense the partying.
The immense downpour of rain before and during the early stages of the event, lent a futuristic Bladerunner-esque twist to the proceedings as the buzzing throngs meandered through the rivers of mud to settle on a venue that suited their airs and graces.
"Early attendees were blessed with a shorter walk to the event, to be warmed up by Councillor Pengelly (yes, a proper elected local councillor) playing a set of early ’90s piano house to a marquee adorned with armchairs and sofas that would not seem out of place at a vicar’s tea party - aside for the huge inflatable trampoline to one side.
"Yes, it was muddy - but all the best parties do get a bit messy - and come past the witching hour with the temperature and tempos soaring, nothing was going to damped the spirits of the 4,000 possessed souls in deep, dark west Cornwall.
"However, behind the scenes there was a drama unfolding that would test the most experienced of festival organisers.
"A car had caught fire in the queue of traffic, and a fire engine was called. Then there was a casualty to which an ambulance was summoned to attend to. The ambulance broke down. The access to two parking fields were made inaccessible and that, along with the only entrance to the ball being blocked by a burning car, a fire engine and a stationary ambulance brought traffic to a standstill and the queue of cars stretched.
" Some cars were turned back, others left their cars wherever possible and walked a few miles to the event.
Then someone let off a firework, that scared a camel and stewards were called out to catch the escaped dromedary on top of all the other situations unfolding.
"If there is one phrase that captures the essence of this year’s Halloween Masked ball it is this: a stunning triumph in the face of incredible adversity.
"This year, like those ships of the desert that usually graze the farm’s rolling green fields, all involved - from the organisers, to the staff, to the performers and even the ‘ballers’ themselves - had to display an indomitability of spirit and endurance.
"When weather forecasters predicted the worst storm in 20 years was planning to gatecrash the party, the Ball crew battened down the hatches and shipped in 144 tons of additional stone chippings, 50 tons of wood chippings, hundreds of tons of straw, new access gates, several tractors on standby and additional stewards.
"By that time, thousands of ballers were already onsite, having their fantastic costumes soiled by the omnipresent mud – and their minds blown by the incredible spectacle laid on for them.
"But it became something more than that. It became what will be a night of legend among partygoers. Showing a never-say die spirit, the thousands of ballers and the army Masked Ball stewards, organisers and performers deified the elements and circumstances and vowed that the party must go on."
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