CircuitMOM Productions braces for 4 events in 8 days, including return of Haunted Halloween

Fri. October 11, 2019 2:22 PM by Ross Forman

photo credit // circuitmom productions

CircuitMOM presents four frightfully fun Halloween parties

It's the calm before the chaos for Matthew Harvat and the crew from CircuitMOM Productions, as they prepare for four events in eight days.

"Just when you thought you were done seeing us after our three Market Days parties, we're baaaaack," Harvat said, laughing.

Along with three club-based dance parties, MOM also is co-producing the 23rd annual 'Haunted Halsted Halloween Parade,' starting at 7:30 p.m. on Halloween night, and the after-party on the corner of Halsted and Brompton streets. Last year's costume contest and outdoor dance party was "very well attended, so here's hoping the weather cooperates," Harvat said.

The shenanigans start Thursday, Oct. 24, with the Circuit MOM Takeover Party at Sidetrack: Into The Upside Down. DJs Matthew Harvat and Dom Brown will be spinning with multiple laser light-filled dance floors, a performance by Claire Voyant and sexy go-go dancers.

"We have worked with Sidetrack on every aspect of the business since 2005. They are an amazing partner when it comes to our seasonal decoration installations, floral and landscaping projects for the space and in-house event production for their clients and guests," Harvat said. "It only made sense that we would bring the CircuitMOM club experience model to the venue."

This marks the third time CircuitMOM has transformed Sidetrack into a full-on dance club for the night. "We spend all day installing dance floor lighting, fog machines, staging and a custom laser show," Harvat said. "We move the DJ booth down into the space so the crowd gets the full club experience of the DJs being right there with them. 

"For our CircuitMOM takeover, the visual of the Sidetrack music video format is gone from the screens and replaced with our sexy, costumed go-go boys. Some of our light and laser show we bring to our House of Blues events gets used to transform the glass and main bar into an experience you will not see anywhere else in Boystown."

Harvat will DJ early on, the leading into the wildly popular DJ Dom Brown for his debut at Sidetrack. "Dom's eclectic style brings house, funk and soul together for a night of ass-shaking grooves, with some cool as hell samples and layering like no one else can do," Harvat said. "Dom spins his magic all over the planet, so we are excited to have him and together we will let the funky house music beats and big room remixes be the focus."

After a four-year hiatus from Halloween, CircuitMOM Productions is back bigger and better at its original home, Chicago's historic House of Blues, for Haunted Halloween II, with DJ Ale Maes and DJ Ana Paula (Brazil) in her CircuitMOM debut.

"Since every character you can possibly imagine has come out of Hollywood, your costume options are somewhere around infinity ... so we cannot wait to see what everyone comes up with for this event," Harvat said. "We are back full force at Chicago's House of Blues to bring our brand of production, set design, costuming and amazing DJs to our community and allies.  

"We love House of Blues for their professionalism at getting people in the door quickly and safely, the efficient coat check, five amazing levels of club space, a ton of restrooms and bars, and the staff truly help make our events shine. They have one of the best stages and dance floors in the city; we cannot wait to pack the space with amazing guests. It is time Chicago becomes a Halloween destination for people to come party, so we hope this is the beginning of a great tradition. We can build Halloween to the level of Market Days ... only mostly indoors, of course, because (of the unpredictable) Chicago weather."

Harvat confirmed that a new space inside House Of Blues, along with Organized Grime, for a 'Pre-Kiki' in the remodeled Foundation Room from 9 to 11:30 p.m., with DJ Dom Brown.

"Guests should come early to see this amazing space, grab some boozy Crystal Head Vodka drinks and register to be in the costume contest," Harvat said. "Together with our contest sponsor, The Men's Room, we are giving away thousands of dollars in cash and prizes that night."

One prize is a season-pass for two to all CircuitMOM events in 2020. That's a possibility of 14 parties in six different venues with up to 23 DJ.

Organized Grime will give-away season passes to their multiple events too, and they happen almost weekly in and around Chicago.

DJ Ale Maes, a Chicago resident from Brazil, is one-to-watch in Chicago. "He has a unique style of programming his set feeding off a dance floors' energy," Harvat said.

Maes has spun this year at countless events and parties, including IML and at last month's epic debut as the headliner for Folsom Street Fair's "Real Bad."

Harvat said he has been a fan of DJ Ana Paula for a long time, and after brainstorming with Brett Henrichsen (Masterbeat) who was on vacation in Utah about wanting a different marquee name for our return to the Halloween party scene, he offered to connect Harvat with Paula. "I jumped at the chance," Harvat said. "Not only is she highly sought-after on the international circuit scene, but she is now a welcome addition to the CircuitMOM family. With Ana an Ale both originally from Brazil, this will be one fiery event."

And who knows what outfits attendees will see and be seen in.

"We chose to stick with our 2014 'Haunted Hollywood' theme because it truly opens up costume and character ideas to anything and everything people can imagine," Harvat said. "Think about where most characters we all love to imitate are created? Hollywood! 

"At our last 'Haunted Hollywood' party, we had everything from a zombie Marilyn Monroe drag queen to Beetlejuice to an entire group of guys dressed as sexy S.W.A.T. officers."

Yep, it'll be anything goes for Haunted Halloween II.

Tickets are available at The Men's Room in Boystown.

"There is a lot going on that night with all the bars having costume contests and people having house parties, but our venue is massive with plenty of space, so you won't be in the crush of the bars or waiting in line outside," Harvat said.

The fun continues Sunday afternoon, Oct. 27, when CircuitMOM and Organized Grime join forces for a Sundae T Dance, from 2-10 p.m., at PRYSM Nightclub (1543 Kingsbury).

"It is amazing to think that, about 22 years ago I started doing T Dances on Sunday afternoons at the old Crobar on Kingsbury. Back then, I wanted to bring more lyrical, happy grooves to the dance floor, but to do that, you had to start earlier. So, we started doing our CircuitMOM T-Dances with doors at 4 p.m., featuring our own brand of happy music with the best circuit DJs around until G.L.E.E. Club started at 10 p.m.," Harvat said. "That's when Paolo Pincente and the amazing team behind the original Crobar would take over and give the crowds that sultry, dark, down and dirty sound that people from around the (world) flocked to G.L.E.E. Club for more than a decade. 

"Fast forward to 2019, PRYSM (formerly Crobar) and our event partner Ryan Willing offered us a chance to join forces to bring a gay event back to the space ... it was too delicious to pass up. Plus, Ryan was already in talks with Crobar's legendary DJ's, Teri Bristol and Psycho-Bitch, about making a glorious return. So who wouldn't want to be in that room with these amazing talents when it happens?!

"They both helped shape what Chicago nightlife was meant to be with their signature sounds, (so) having them return together for this event is amazing."

After conceiving the "Sundae" event, organizers added creepy Halloween to the imagery and the rest quickly fell into place.

DJ Dani Toro brings the beats, along with a splash more of DJ Ale Maes.

"I think the combination of each DJ's sound will make for a great night, catering to everyone's tastes in music," Harvat said. "We will have sexy ice cream shop go-go boys, some specialty drinks from Crystal Head Vodka and Screwball Peanut Butter Whiskey, and who knows, maybe some whip cream wrestling, with nuts on top.

"This will be the first time most people have been in the space as PRYSM, so we are excited to introduce our guests to a second new and awesome venue in the city in one weekend, (following) the new club within a club at House Of Blues for the 'Pre-Kiki.'"

PRYSM is a two-level venue with state-of-the-art sound and lights, an amazing DJ booth at dance floor level, and one of the biggest LED walls anywhere. "I think people are really going to love the space and hopefully we can start doing more with PRYSM and Organized Grime in the very near future," Harvat said.

Harvat and Willing is a special pairing, for sure.

"Ryan Willing has so many brands and layers to each of his events; (we) couldn't wait to partner on something together," Harvat said. "Ryan has worked with us on our Market Days events and we have supported him with his Spybar events as well as his new endeavor 'Grizzly' in Uptown's sassy new club space Le Nocturne.  

"Our partnership (for) Sundae merges two styles into one gigantic event. It's going to be tasty good."

Sundae will be hosted by I Am Living Productions, MISS TOTO and Jojo Baby.

"Jojo Baby (is a) Chicago legend who has millions of fans, an incomparable aesthetic for the deliciously bizarre and is an amazing person," Harvat said. "We are obsessed with Miss Toto, (the) Miami transplant (who) has taken Chicago by storm since she arrived in town. She was a featured performer as a choreographed male dancer for my Market Days production at 'Comic Book Hero,' then as a glorious, roller skating diva for our 'Drama At The Disco' closing party. She (has) beauty and so much energy. We are sure she will give everyone two scoops of delicious drag at Sundae."

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