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Scoutmob and Goat Farm working together this Halloween

The Goat Farm’s sprawling, dilapidated warehouses don’t need any help providing an eerie Halloween backdrop. With proximity to the deafening drone of trains and a history that dates back over a century, the mill-turned-arts-center already feels like the home of a masked killer.

With a handful of artistic delights, this year’s incarnation of Scoutmob and The Goat Farm’s annual Halloween bash Saturday, Oct. 26 should be a fantastical success.

Scoutmob first teamed up with The Goat Farm in 2011 when co-founder Chris Payne wanted to fill a specific void. He knew Atlanta had a vibrant arts community, but there still wasn’t a centralized, arts-oriented Halloween party to be found.

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The partnership dreamed up a vision that united all types of Atlanta’s arts into a single event.

“The first year was kind of test,” Community Director Allie Bashuk said. “We tried to source artists from The Goat Farm and made sure we had every element possible of the arts.”

Bashuk has been with the Atlanta branch of Scoutmob since their beginning and has played a significant role in evolving the Halloween bash over the last two years. The first event hosted artists directly from The Goat Farm, but, in recent years, Scoutmob has recruited a team of Atlanta artists to construct a temporary alternate reality for the Halloween event.

“Each year we try to outdo ourselves,” Bashuk said. “This year we have theater, we have light installations, soundscapes, music, sculpture, DJs, dance, puppets — almost every art genre.”

This year, Scoutmob have planned an outer space theme strung together by an ambitious idea dreamed up by Atlanta puppeteers Raymond Carr and Wade Tilton. Inspired by a space-roaming puppet in a Lexus commercial, Carr and Tilton designed a 12-foot-tall astronaut puppet that will roam The Goat Farm.

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Other spacey phenomenons will populate the festival, such as artist Justin Rapideau’s “Distance From the Stars” installation and science experiments conducted by the multifaceted MASS collective. Bashuk hopes the event’s creative atmosphere by itself will launch participants into deep space.

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“When you’re in a costume and you’re at The Goat Farm at night, you’re already in a different universe,” Bashuk said.

In addition to the otherworldy newcomers, Scoutmob is bringing in local avant-garde theater troupe Saiah for the third year in a row. Saiah was recently awarded Creative Loafing’s coveted Best Play award for their adaptation of “Moby Dick.”

They will be presenting a one-night-only living instillation entitled “Shame,” which explores themes of grotesque beauty. They have also enlisted the help of makeup artist Toby Sells (whose resume includes “The Walking Dead”) to further immerse the audience in Halloween’s monstrous revelry.

“Each year [Saiah] have blown us out of the water,” Bashuk explained. “They come to us with really avant-garde ideas and they give us that element of creepiness and beauty that has been outrageously good.”

One installation even serves a dual purpose, being both entertainment and a radiator for the entire event. Sculptor Charlie Smith has garnered fame for his massive fire sculptures at Burning Man. He’s bringing the same blazing magic to The Goat Farm in the form of a 13-foot-tall firebird sculpture, which can spit fire 12 feet into the air.

As if that centerpiece wasn’t enough to satiate the senses, Itchy-O, a 36-piece “junk” marching band heralds the evening’s climax.

“We call it junk because it’s not amplified, and they have a bunch of junk and taiko drums they use to create another world,” Bashuk explained. “There’s no singing; they just rally, they excite, and they shake the candy out, as they call it.”

The surreal spectacles not only benefit patrons, but the exposure helps the artists find audiences on the outskirts of Atlanta’s art scene.

“The reason that Scoutmob and The Goat Farm are really good partners is because Scoutmob reaches a really big audience that isn’t so tapped in to the arts scene of Atlanta, so there’s a lot of residiual promotion,” Bashuk said.

Priced at $35, the 21+ event packs an exhausting display of entertainment, plus every patron is guaranteed two drinks and a pint of frozen craft beer ice cream. Bashuk said that even though the two free drinks can’t provide much more than mild inebriation, the overall experience provides the most overwhelming buzz.

“We only have two drink tickets, but people will already be pretty intoxicated by the environment.”

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