Feel free to freak: Freaknight Traveling Circus brings electronic dance music show to Pullman

Once the Washington State University students return to Pullman in the fall from summer vacation, it’s safe to say the city can look like a zoo at times, especially on the weekends. And now to add to the hectic environment this week, the circus is in town.

Well, sort of.

There aren’t any clowns, rings of fire, animals or trapeze artists — it’s a different kind of circus. It’s the Freaknight Traveling Circus, a large-scale electronic dance music show, and it’s coming Wednesday to Beasley Coliseum in Pullman.

It’s the first of nine stops, which serve as the appetizers for the main course – the annual Halloween festival in Seattle. The tour hits multiple cities in the Northwest and features several electric dance music artists.

The show is headlined by Borgore, a touted producer and DJ, who brings a heavy metal-influenced sound with triple-drum patterns; Botnek, a musical duo from Canada; Darrius, a DJ out of Seattle; and the EDM duo Caked Up.

The idea of the circus is more of a theme rather than a literal description of what concert goers can expect to see. It’s essentially a five-hour, festival-sized concert with a lighting and sound setup similar to the large festivals in Seattle. There will be dancers to go along with the stage performers, as well as a few other surprises, said Darrius, who also serves as the hospitality manager for the tour.

“The theme for our annual festival is Freaknight, and it’s usually like the big-top circus, it’s Freaknight: The Night of the Freaks, so the next step would be a traveling circus act,” Darrius said.

The circus theme allows for the performers to bring out their “freaky” side and for the audience to do the same. Not only are costumes appropriate for those in attendance, they’re encouraged, and with few limitations on what’s acceptable.

“We leave that up to everyone’s imagination,” Darrius said.

Darrius stressed the importance of production with this show and what sounds like a “bigger is better” approach being taken with the setup.

“There will be big production, lots of lights, lots of sound, lots of performers and lots of things to see,” he said. “We’re just taking everything to the next level with this show.”

That excitement and emphasis on top-level production is echoed by Max Goessing, the Freaknight Circus tour manager, who noted the inclusion of state-of-the-art LED lighting and special effects.

Darrius said the main purpose of the tour is, of course, to promote the event in October. But the tour also provides a service to the people who would otherwise have to travel long distances to see their shows. He said many of their Seattle attendees venture in from all over the Northwest, including Pullman and Moscow. This tour is the opportunity to bring the show to them rather than the other way around.

“I hope they walk away feeling rejuvenated and refreshed and excited for the shows that are coming up,” Darrius said. “Hopefully, they leave wanting more, because this is a small amount of what’s going to happen in October.”

The tour will also stop at the Knitting Factory locations in Spokane and Boise, the McDonald Theatre in Eugene, Ore., the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Ore., and SURC in Ellensburg, Wash.

Local support at the Pullman show will be provided by musical acts Eliminate and Doozy.


What: Freaknight Traveling Circus

Where: Beasley Coliseum, Pullman

When: 7 p.m. to midnight, Wednesday, Sept. 24

Cost: Tickets range from $27 to $37 and are available for purchase in the Cougar Card Center at WSU

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