Psy-Trance:  the universal dance-floor divider. However, few can deny that when it comes to putting on a show, proponents of the Psy world pave the way, meaning that if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t need an excuse to ditch the usual glad-rags and pull out all the stops in favour of something far more gruesome, then the decision to place yourself in the capable hands of Illuminaughty this Hallow’s Eve must have been an easy one! Illuminaughty have steadily established themselves as one of the UK’s leading Psy-Trance clubnights, with their blend of leading DJs and visual artists from across the globe, contemporary circus acts and a healthy dose of chaos thrown in for good measure.  This year, the twelve hour festival of mayhem held in the maze-like Manchester Academy was all that and more; jumping between Psy-Trance ‘Heaven’ in Academy 1, Electro ‘Hell’ in Academy 2, Electro Swing based ‘Purgatory’ hosted by Twisted Playhouse, and even more excitingly, the new addition of the ‘Elysian Marquee’ hosted by Drop Productions, housing some of Manchester’s finest live acts.  What’s that you say, all the joy and creativity of a carefully crafted Psy-Trance spectacular plus the added bonus of being to opt for alternative forms of music?  What’s not to like?!

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Additionally, if dancing until your spine screamed to the likes of Avalon and Killerwatts whilst marvelling at the eclectic circus offerings or skanking your hardest to the delightful tricks and treats offered by the likes of Age of Glass or Extra Love wasn’t enough, ‘Purgatory’ also included a one-of-a-kind selection of stalls and activities to wet your visual appetite.  For me the highlight from this had to be the Laser Harp (yes that’s right, a frickin’ Laser Harp!) and accompanying visual projections, provided by Chris Ball in the Laser Café.  The hilarity of watching the faces of revellers individually light up upon discovering its charm never ceased to entertain. Not enough?  Well how about a mid-stomp massage?  Hungry?  What about some raw chocolate?  A little too intoxicated?  Then unwind with a unique bend of herbal teas?  Or why not just take some time out to paint each other’s heads neon?

In summary; whether you like Psy-Trance or not, nowhere else will you be able to dance to some esteemed artists at the forefront of their genre whilst having devilish-looking fawns spray the crowd with angle-grinders, trapeze artists float gracefully on high, watch stilt walkers chaperone the ecstatic crowd, and a contortionist bend into some of the most unsightly positions. The night was one where glitter and latex did collide meaning the fur did fly.  Naughty but nice, we can’t wait for the next chapter.

Words: Emily Morus-Jones, Images: Jody Hartley

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