UK horror celebration FrightFest has announced that its annual five day event which takes place in August isn’t going to go ahead – instead the plan is to extend the annual Halloween event. The news comes as no surprise after many major events across the UK and US have been put on hold, due to Covid-19 and the need for social distancing.
2020 would have marked the 21st year of the annual horror event which usually takes place in London’s Leicester Square and attracts fans and talent from all over the world. The fest happens over five days during the bank holiday weekend at the end of August.
Though it’s likely cinemas will be open in some capacity by the end of August, social distancing would mean massively reduced cinema capacities. FrightFest is more than just a film festival, too, boasting a very friendly and socially active community. An event where piles of rabid horror fans can’t all crowd outside the local pub and head to the Phoenix Arts Bar and argue about horror movies till the small hours just wouldn’t be the same.
Co-director Alan Jones echoes this, saying, “FrightFest has always been about the genre community joining together, not just to embrace films but to demonstrate our unique spirit of supportive closeness”.
Instead the plan is to extend the Halloween event, though details haven’t been announced yet of what that might look like. In these very uncertain times it’s unlikely any concrete details will emerge till much nearer the time but hopefully the pushed back date will mean fans can reunite once again. Jones assures fans the Halloween event will be “one to remember.”
Veteran horror artist and FrightFest regular Graham Humphries has however designed this year’s piece of bespoke art, a design which speaks to both the pandemic and the change in date.
“The image presented a huge challenge,” he commented. “Not only had the pandemic erased any hope of a regular FrightFest schedule, but the possibility of a Halloween event needed to be addressed. This year’s monster needed to consider his Covid-19 response with a mask and goggles. The poster for Halloween II inspired a way to present the full face without risking infection! Is the bat his friendly familiar – or the bringer of pestilence? You decide!”
We’ll keep you updated on the latest plans from FrightFest as we have them.