So those long summer nights have become a distant memory replaced by a blanket of darkness and temperatures that chill. But there’s plenty of plus points to the change in season, and without even talking about one of our favourite celebrations of Halloween, October is the month that keeps on giving. Don’t believe us? Let’s prove it. Here’s ou bonanza edition of what’s on in the UK this month. It’s the October EDIT.
What to Do…
Early October spells the start of the UK’s oldest and most prestigious literary festival down in Cheltenham. Tens of thousands of book-lovers will head to the Festival Village to enjoy talks from a huge range of stars from across all genres. As you’d expect there are plenty of literary legends on offer with heavyweights like Sebastian Faulks attending as well as crime king Ian Rankin. There will be sporting icons like Shane Warne and Kevin Keegan, adventurers and MALESTROM interviewees Sean Conway and Leon McCarron. And cherry on top time the great naturalist David Attenborough will be there to share his incredible stories. Not one to be missed. Cheltenham Literary Festival runs from the 5th – 14th October.
All stops have been pulled out for Birmingham’s annual comedy fest with this year’s headliner being Ab Fab star Joanna Lumley. Added to that you have the likes of recent Netflix trending James Acaster and the gruff Yank, Rich Hall (the inspiration for Moe’s character in The Simpsons). But it’s not all stand-up with burlesque performances and theatre shows like All You Need is LSD a trippy play by Leo Butler depicting his participation in the first LSD medicinal trials since the 1960s. The festival runs from the 5th to the 14th.
It’s Halloween come early on the 6th October as the London Zombie charity walk (or should that be shuffle?) comes around again. This yearly fundraiser sees the public go to town dressing up as the undead all in the noble cause of aiming to prevent hunger and homelessness by raising money for charities that support the issues. It’s a must for any of you praying that the zombie apocalypse is just around the corner.
The most glittering movie fest in the UK calendar hits the capital on the 10th October for twelve glorious film filled days. As ever there’s plenty for cinephiles to get excited about, not least the big show opener of Steve McQueen’s female heist flick Widows, which we’ve previewed previously. Other highlights include Coen brothers anthology film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria remake and biopic Stan & Ollie starring Steve Coogan which closes the festival on October 21.
Dust off those platform heels and squeeze into that jumpsuit as at Liverpool’s Camp & Furnace on Saturday the 13th it’ll be a disco frenzy. Anyone who experienced their last shindig in May will know they’re in for a serious party with legendary stateside DJs and Europe’s celebrated disco diggers supplying the tunes. Expect the same this time around with Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King busting out the hits and the likes of Joe Claussell & Danny Krivet behind the wheels of steel. The theme is ‘dancing in outer space’ and after feeling the love in the dance-filled room you’ll feel out of this world.
Everything from Minecraft tournaments to retro attractions will be on offer at Rapture later this month in a huge celebration of all things gaming. The fest hits Newcastle on the weekend of the 13th with its nine separate zones, such as a Minecraft and Roblox zone featuring dozens of consoles and PCs as well as a tournament each day. Other zones will include general gaming, free play and latest games, VR setups, merchandise and tabletop gaming for big Warhammer fans. There will also be a Cosplay Village with talks, demonstrations, and prizes. The festival’s main Rapture Stage will host tournament finals, interactive games and panel interviews with experts about how to become an online streamer.
From the 17th, over four days and in 17 venues in the Wesh capital Cardiff, comes the Sŵn Festival, a musical celebration of the new, championing emerging artists and talent from all across the UK. The fest was founded by Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens and John Rostron in 2007, formed around the model of International fests like Texas’ SXSW. The Vaccines, Alt-J, and recent Mercury winners Wolf Alice have all played in the past before going on to huge things. This year keep an eye out for Gwenno, Brighton’s Wild Cat Strike and MALESTROM favourites 77:78 who’ll be headlining.
If you fancy something to get your blood pumping this October from the 23rd, over six days, cyclists from across the world will descend on the Lee Valley VeloPark in the Stratford Olympic Park to compete on a world class track in a series of various races. It’s a bit different from what you’re used to at the Olympics with low lighting and music blasting out, creating a distinctive party feel. It’s non-stop action with sprints, time trials and Madisons all taking place in quick succession, just be glad you’re not out there in your lycra.
For all fans of the Peanuts cartoons, a landmark exhibition will be opening at Somerset House on the 25th. GOOD GRIEF, CHARLIE BROWN! brings together creator Charles M. Schulz original cartoons of Snoopy and all the gang, along with work from a wide range of acclaimed contemporary artists and designers who have been inspired by this highly influential and much-loved cartoon. Who knew that a cartoon strip nearly 70 years old could continue to be so popular? But we’re very glad it is.
MCM London Comic Con – 26th – 28th
We all know the geeks shall inherit the earth and they’re proving it by the unrelenting popularity of events like MCM London Comic Con. The biggest celebration of pop culture will hit the capital for three days from Friday 26th. Special guests from the world of TV and film will be in attendance such as comic book legend Frank Miller, Shadowhunter’s star Katherine McNamara and the huge frame of WWE superstar and Guardian of the Galaxy’s Drax, Dave Bautista. The Comic Village will be packed with artists, writers, and graphic novels; you can watch on-stage panels, play the latest games and check out the colourful costumes of the Cosplay Masquerade.
LUNA Cinema Halloween Screenings – 28th – 29th
As the end of the month comes around things turn to ghosts and ghouls and things that bump in the night. What better way precursor to All-Hallows Eve than to watch a few scary movies, especially when viewed in the incredible surrounds of the Natural History Museum. The location will play host to screenings of horror classics like The Shining, The Silence of the Lambs & The Blair Witch Project. And for some lighter relief after all those scares they’ll be showing of 80s classic Ghostbusters.
What to Eat & Drink…
After a gin-soaked summer, why not carry that trend into Autumn and a great place to start is the Catford Gin Festival. Between the 5th – 7th you’ll be able to enjoy some of the finest artisan gins in the country to sample at your leisure. You’ll also get the chance to meet the distillers, and find some new gin loving friends. Street food will be available to line those stomachs before getting stuck into your fifth helping of mother’s ruin.
Exciting times to be a vegan. Saturday 6th marks the UK’s very first vegan Oktoberfest in Vegtoberfest. Cambedn venue Fest will see a twist to the Bavarian-themed beef fest with vegan-friendly brews, wines, and street food. Rudy’s Dirty Vegan Diner will be offering up the finest 100% vegan Bratwurst & Bockwurst so you can chow down while sipping on stein of the finest craft ale offerings. With bands, magic, comedy, and DJs galore, it’s set to be a more fun than you can shake a sausage at.
If you love steam trains and you love real ale all your dreams will come true on Saturday 6th in North Wales. For £18 you’ll be able to climb aboard the Real Ale Train at Llangollen Station and soak up the unique atmosphere, as well as all the booze from their well-stocked bar. Price includes a return trip and a free branded pint glass. Food will come courtesy of The Station Cafe + Bar on the evening, along with a BBQ on the platform. All aboard.
It’s a straight-up sausage celebration on the 13th of the month in Lincoln. The annual sausage fest takes place in and around the Lincoln Castle grounds. The one-day event will see cooking demonstrations, entertainment and food stalls celebrating the star of the show, the famous Lincolnshire sausage as well as a variety of other award-winning sausages and other tasty treats to feast on. Entertainment will come from Juggling Jim and the very exciting sounding ‘The Cosmic Sausages’.
For two days from the 27th VegfestUK returns to Olympia to showcase the latest meat and dairy free concoctions. The event presents almost 300 food stalls to try or buy, alongside a packed talks programme, cookery demos, live music, and even comedy sessions. This sixth installment looks set to be bigger than ever with the exhibition space having been extended to accommodate more than the 14k that turned up last year.
The medieval town of Conwy is transformed at the end of October with a weekend festival that boasts the largest celebration of the music, art, and food of Wales. The quayside, castle and medieval streets are filled with dizzying sights and sounds and there’s a bit of something for everyone. The feast features cookery workshops, chef demonstrations, music performances from local talent, art and craft sessions and even a farmyard with live animals. You can’t ask for much more than that.is
What to Watch…
Venom (PG-13) – 5th October
Now here’s a movie we’re finally excited about in the currently overcrowded superhero market, although Marvel is pitching it a bit differently with the tagline ‘the world has enough superheroes’. British star Tom Hardy lends his acting prowess to Eddie Brock, a journalist who becomes the host of Venom, a powerful, symbiotic alien that gives him superhuman abilities. It’s a hit and miss affair that tries hard and generally fails to please those yearning for a dark (super) anti-hero tale and some full-on laughs. Hardy has already been vocal about his best scenes ending up on the cutting room floor, and that may well be the case. That being said it’s fun at times, but probably not enough to satisfy those die-hard expectant Venom fans.
First Man (12a) – 12th October
By now you’ll all of heard the Oscar buzz around First Man. And it’s little wonder with director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteaming for the first time since the smash hit La La Land. The movie tells the story of NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon, focusing its gaze on Neil Armstrong (Gosling) between the years 1961-1969. The film displays in sumptuous detail one of the most dangerous missions in history and the cost on the man sent into space in that big tin can. It looks like a proper cinema experience and don’t be surprised if there aren’t more gold statues heading the way of those responsible here.
Halloween (18) – 19th October
We’re hardly short of Halloween films featuring the murderous being of Michael Myers from over the years with numerous sequels coming off the back of the classic 1978 original, but it’s time to consign every installment into the filing cabinet (or possibly the bin for many of them), because this new movie a direct sequel to the very first. Having actually spent the last forty years in a mental hospital, Michael has been patiently waiting for an opportunity to wreak havoc on Haddonfield one more time. The trailer looks very promising and with Nick Castle the original boogeyman from 1978 back in the overalls, things are shaping up. Along with scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her iconic role of Laurie Strode, and with John Carpenter taking up Exec Producer duties there’s plenty to be excited about.
Bohemian Rhapsody (PG-13) – 24th October
This Queen biopic has been kicking around forever, having finally found his Freddie in the scarily similar shape of Rami Malek, director Brian Singer has pulled together a celebration of the beloved band and their flamboyant frontman. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band showcasing their iconic songs and putting the spotlight primarily on Mercury and his hedonistic ways. We get the huge moments in the band’s history from that iconic Live Aid performance to the sadness of Freddie’s diagnosis with AIDS. it promises to be quite the journey.
Slaughterhouse Rulez (12a) – 31st October
This comedy horror looks of interest as it sees the awaited re-teaming of Shaun of the Dead stars Nick Frost and Simon Pegg.
Slaughterhouse Rulez is set at an elite boarding school where after a huge sinkhole (gateway to hell) opens up in some nearby woods, an ancient evil is unleashed on the pupils and teachers causing chaos in the institute of learning. The film is directed by former Kula Shaker frontman Crispian Miller and lands in cinemas bang on Halloween.