Set on the outskirts of the quiet town of Porthleven, Cornwall with a population just a little over 4,000, The Masked Ball has attracted a sizeable crowd every year since it started back in 2007. This predominantly Electronic, 24 hour mini-festival has featured the likes of Groove Armada, DJ Format and Dreadzone in its time and this year once again saw some of the best names in the business make their way to the ball.
2015 saw the event being hit with winds and heavy rain, but unlike the big Mayweather-Pacquiao fight going down on the same weekend, The Masked Ball emerged victorious from the perils of Mother Nature. Last year we felt that The Masked Ball had started to become a bit commercial and was starting to lose some of the smaller touches to production that made the event truly special. Coupled with a security team consisting of a few obnoxious members, this year we were hoping for some improvements; and we weren’t disappointed.
While each staged boasted a crisp, punchy sound system and a state-of-the-art light rig, it’s the attention to detail that makes The Masked Ball leap ahead of rival events. A giant mirrored skull, a huge Steam-punk style, fire breathing dragon and a mechanical, flaming horse that walked through the event and hundreds of other minor touches made things really special.Source: HTF
Stages included the regular appearance of ‘Ezmerelda’, an Alice in Wonderland like circus of disco beats and quirky treats filled with performers, a cosy ‘Big Gay Disco’ hosted inside a small shipping container, ‘On The Wonk’ seeing sofas and tables suspended from the ceiling and a whole host of other stages geared towards nothing but the best of times. For every event that spends a day putting things together, The Masked Ball must spend a week.
An event is nothing without a crowd, and if they’re a bunch of miserable sods with nothing to offer than a ketamine-induced jaw-to-the-floor fist bumping swarm of depression, the vibe is on an instant downer. The Masked Ball not only attracts the most vibrant, positive bunch of smiling people we’ve ever met in our lives, but everyone makes an effort.Source: PR
Whether it’s indulging in an awesome costume or just being damn-right friendly, everyone signs up to the ‘leave your ego behind’ philosophy of The Masked Ball.
Security & Staff
Last year’s (2014) Summer Masked Ball wasn’t so great when it came to the security. With poor attitudes, and overly-stringent policies, the security didn’t contribute to the positive atmosphere the event strives to create. Fortunately, this year was different. As soon as they entered, people were greeted with smiles and enthusiasm from both security and staff.
Every year, The Masked Ball’s line-up gets stronger and stronger. Last year saw the phenomenal Groove Armada take to the stage to deliver a mind-blowing set, and this year saw the likes of Bonobo, Stanton Warriors, Simian Mobile Disco, Crazy P, Nightmares On Wax, Horse Meat Disco, Andrew Weatherall, Norman Jay and more.
We may be a bit biased being massive Techno-heads, but we thought the music was incredible. We did hear from others, however, that The Masked Balls line-up this year wasn’t eclectic enough. Two years ago saw an amazing Drum & Bass stage outside of the big house. It would be great to see that make a comeback.
Value for money
While most people choose to arrive Saturday afternoon and head home Sunday morning, The Masked Ball offers campers the opportunity to arrive from Friday and depart Monday, with entertainment on the Sunday.
The Masked Ball was around £60 this year, with early bird tickets purchasable at a much lower price of around £30-£40. Even at the full price, we believe The Masked Ball is worth every penny.
The camping area is set-up with the festival tents around it, meaning you can wander from stage to stage carrying your own drinks, making the event extremely good value for money.
Should you go in 2016?
Why wait until 2016? The Masked Ball also offer a Halloween event in October every year, although you may have to be willing to brave the elements of Mother Nature and indulge in some heavy rain due to the time of year. Is it worth it? Totally!
If the Halloween one isn’t for you, the summer Masked Ball event in May certainly is. While it rained this time, the event usually attracts sunshine, and the fact it is set on a headland means when you emerge from camping after a heavy night, you’re greeted with the most stunning of views.
See you all at the next Masked Ball!