Many of us assumed that the big two-night Halloween costume rave known as Ghost Ship, which lately has been happening in the abandoned warehouse on Pier 70, would likely have to change its name following the tragedy of last December in Oakland. The deadly fire at an East Oakland warehouse occurred in an artists' collective who had also, coincidentally, named their home and event venue The Ghost Ship, possibly because of the heavily wood-lined interior of the upstairs space that felt like the inside of a pirate ship wood that would contribute to the rapid spread and deadliness of the blaze. And this week, lo and behold, we get the announcement of the Halloween party this year being named LoveBoat Halloween, happening again on Pier 70 on October 27 and 28.
This will be the 10th anniversary celebration for the event, which began at a much smaller scale in a warehouse on Treasure Island in 2008 after the city was running scared from all Halloween celebrations following multiple incidents of violence in the Castro on the holiday over several years. Various years have had themes like Ghost Ship: Apocalypse and Ghost Ship: Atlantis.
"For nine years the event has dropped jaws and thrilled thousands from around the world with unparalleled original art installations schemed and built from scratch from recyclable materials and enjoyed only at this event," the promoters write on Facebook. "2017 will be the final year at Pier 70, and to celebrate the momentous decade, LoveBoat Halloween will present two 'bucket list' headliners."
Also, they promise "this year’s new creative director will be upping the ante yet again, bringing the production to brand new heights," after previous years' themes included "man o’ war Ghost Ships, cruise liners, flying saucers, nuclear submarines, clipper ships, an atomic mushroom cloud and last year’s undersea Atlantis."
Back in December, the promoters posted a statement saying, "Despite our best efforts at redirecting inquiries in more accurate directions of relief [regarding the fire], we have still been seeing enough misinformation that we felt it necessary to clarify to those in our community who may still be confused... Our event, Ghost Ship Halloween: Atlantis hosted more than 10,000 people in 2016 without any major mishap. Over the past 9 years we have shown steadfast devotion to the highest standards of safety for our patrons, artists, and staff and will continue to do so in the future."
Promoter Robbie Kowal clarifies and says he does not see it as a rebranding. "We do a different theme every year. The difference this year is that we are letting the theme lead the creative so that the victims and their families don't have to see the word 'Ghost Ship' on posters as they walk around town." He adds, "The LoveBoat theme is also a departure from past tongue-in-cheek themes that were more provocative. We want to focus on the positive at a time that is difficult and challenging for the exact art communities that Ghost Ship Halloween has employed and celebrated for the past 9 years."
Founding event promoters Andrea Lundquist (formerly of the Space Cowboys collective) and Pete Glikshtern (Liquid, Club 6, co-owner of Mighty, Public Works, and Jones) joined up with Sunset SF in 2009, moved to a seaplane hanger on Treasure Island the following year and added multiple Burning Man artist collectives to the mix, and ultimately moved the party to Pier 70 in 2013 attracting an even larger audience and growing from one to two nights.
Tickets for the party go on sale August 1 at the website (www.ghosthiphalloween.com now redirects there), at which point the DJ lineup should be announced.