Walking through the doors of the Wynwood Fear Factory, I was greeted by three zombie nurses. They were covered in pustules of blood, face-distorting scars, and white and grey makeup that made their skin look sickly and ashen. One of them posed with a chainsaw as if she were showing off a new purse, while her shorter friend hid near the door, jumping out and scaring new arrivals that were eager to hit the dance floor.
Directly behind the gory night crew, suspended against a blood red backdrop, hung the enormous Wynwood Fear Factory sign.
People posed and snapped selfies before heading inside the darkened Mana Wynwood Convention Center, where flashing lights pulsed and geometric beams swept the entire room in acrobatic arcs. It was like being inside of the Tron universe. The bar was line after line of neon red and orange counters. Several people wore sound reactive LED masks, and all around me was a sea of glowing accessories ranging from sunglasses to face flashing masks and shirts. One guy even had finger lights and a LED yo-yo he brought to perform tricks with while dancing.
The lineup on Friday night consisted of Galantis, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Deorro, Getter, Tritonal, Black Gummy, So Down, and Alyx Ander. Between the blinding, pulsing lights, crazy costumes, and wild dancing, Wynwood Fear Factory was a hypnotizing two-night experience that, if anything, helped people break free of their inhibitions.
Galantis’ upbeat and infectious djing style, mixed with metallic tones, tasteful repetition, and suspenseful timing, made for a great start to the night. Surrounded by sound and covered in lights, people swayed and danced to the beat in their costumes. I spotted more than one person standing cooly in a banana suit, smoking like James Dean. It more or less tells you that the Wynwood Fear Factory was a night to either lose yourself in the music or observe from the sidelines. There were no judgments and there was a relaxed atmosphere, despite the intensity of the music.
Thankfully, these past couple of nights have seen the usual hot Miami weather begin to cool down, so both inside and outside of the convention center, people weren’t the hot sweaty mess that these concerts usually turn them into, especially while wearing costumes.
The concert was a sensory experience in more ways than one. On all sides, I was bombarded with perfectly calculated bursts of light that brightened, faded, or formed patterns on the wall in tandem with the music. It gave the music a crisper, sharper edge, like how they say beautifully plated food in restaurants can make the food taste better. Presentation matters, and this year’s WFF didn’t disappoint. I was engulfed in shining light after shining light, which only stoked my anticipation for next year’s installment of this frightfully fun event.
by Luisa Aparisi-França