Rockstar Returns: The Halloween Edition

**UPDATE** Unfortunately due to the recent advisement from Leicester Licensing Authority and Leicester Public Health Authority, the Halloween event on Saturday has unfortunately been cancelled.

You might not be stumbling home across Victoria park or catching a taxi back to Oadby with strangers this weekend but, on Saturday night, the Athena will be transformed for the biggest Halloween event in the city.

It was the news we’d all been waiting for.

With no LetsDisko or Shabang so far, you could’ve been forgiven for thinking that October 31st was going to be just another night ruined by the pandemic. Halloween isn’t cancelled though and it sounds like Rockstar have pulled out all the stops to make their return one of their best events yet. We’re here to fill you in on everything you need to know ahead of the evening.

Usually host of the University’s annual Sports Awards, the Athena has a ‘Sit Down Social’ event space with capacity for 400 people. A mixture of production, visuals, decor, scare actors, fire breathers and angle grinders (your guess is as good as ours there) will help turn the pretty tame space into one ready to welcome students in their best Halloween costumes.

And, make no mistake, the Rockstar team told us there will be prizes for fancy dress.

Already a cheap night at only £4 per person, drinks will be starting from as little as £2.30 and you won’t even have to shove your way to the front of the bar queue to get them either. All drinks will be provided via table service, ordered through an app (details provided to ticket holders in advance). If you want to do rounds on your table, there’ll also be table friendly multi-buy offers. Fingers crossed they’ve stocked up on the VKs.

If you’ve missed Leicester’s nightlife (hopefully Freshers will get a chance to experience a SoulJam or Skint Friday one day) then, don’t worry, because Ash OPD (favourite at Club Republic, 2 Funky Music Cafe and LetsDisko) will be performing a real monster mashup on Saturday.

It wouldn’t be a true University of Leicester night out though without LetsDisko’s resident main room act–DJ Oz, who will also be playing a set. ‘Angels’, anyone?

Of course, even with our familiar DJs, we can’t pretend the night is going to be completely normal. Guests will be required to comply with all the guidelines Rockstar and Athena have implemented to make the night as COVID secure as possible.

“As much as we want to make the event a fantastic experience, our main objective is customer safety,” the Rockstar team told LSM in a written statement.

“Security and stewards [will be] ensuring customers are complying with rules such as remaining seated and not mixing tables throughout the event. If people refuse to comply with the rules, they will be asked to leave. It is also worth saying this this event has been put together in collaboration with the Leicester Licensing Authority (including the police) and the Public Health Team, to ensure it is a safe and secure event.”

There will be one way and socially distanced entry, compulsory Test & Trace registration upon entry, hand sanitisation stations throughout the venue, social distancing between tables, customers will be expected to wear a face covering at all times other when seated at the table and Rockstar said they have clearly advertised that all people on a table need to be from the same household.

Still, the Rockstar team are sure they’ll be providing a night to remember:

“We are really excited about the event on Saturday, and the ‘Sit Down Social’ event space at Athena in general. Obviously this is the first time we have done a socially distanced event like this, so we won’t get everything right straight away, but we are confident people will have a great experience and really enjoy themselves. We then look forward to constantly improving the events as we learn more about how to make them both as enjoyable as possible, but also continuing to keep them as possible.”

Future events are already in the works too, with an ABBA vs QUEEN themed event announced yesterday. Tickets for that night (Friday 13th November) will go on sale this Friday (30th October) and will just be the start of regular Rockstar events, it seems.

There’s also hope for our sorely missed, classic nights out:

“We will be returning to run events such as LetsDisko when that is allowed […] (we can’t wait!), although unfortunately at the moment there is no clarity on when nightclubs will be allowed to re-open, so we can’t put a date on it.”

In the meantime, the Halloween event is set to be a fantastic night and a good place for students to reunite with Rockstar. So, get your fake-blood ready and don’t be late (last entry is 7pm) because you wouldn’t want to miss this spook-tacular night.

Rhiannon Jenkins is a final year English student passionate about activism, film & literature and travel. She also acts as Arts & Culture Chief Editor. You can find her on instagram here: @rrhiannonj.

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