Bats Day in the Fun Park
Bats Day in the Fun Park, also known as Bats Day, Goth Day, Bats Day in the Park and Bats Day Out, started in August 1999 as a joint effort between the promoters of the goth/industrial and deathrock clubs Absynthe and Release the Bats. It has become an annual three-day event taking place in Anaheim, CA, United States near Disneyland. In previous years, the events commenced on the weekend before Labor Day. In 2008 the official Bats Day celebrations were held on November 8 and 9; the official Bats Day for 2009 was May 2 and 3.
The 2010 event dates were April 30 - May 2, 2010 and 2011 dates were May 6–8, 2011.
Bats Day in the Fun Park has six events. Any or all of these event can happen during the event weekend. The 6 events are the following:
- The Bats Day Black Market - A large gathering of vendors selling spooky items, including clothing, music, artwork, books, collectibles, toys, and other original genre items from the Dark Subculture.
- The Bats Day Ghoulish Gala (originally called The Bats Day Creepy Cocktail Party) - This event typically happens the night of the Black Market, and is a catered hors d'œuvres cocktail party with a raffle.
- The Nightmare Before Bats Day Dinner - A full sit down dinner.
- The Bats Day Dark Park Festival - A live music and DJ event festival geared to the Dark Alternative Subculture. This event was added in 2008.
- The Bats Day Happy Haunts Swing Wake: A Costumed Celebration - A new event as of 2011, this is a costumed gala event where attendees are required to dress as the deceased. Creativity is celebrated, and costumes and characters from all time periods are encouraged to attend and celebrate the afterlife. This event happens the night of the Black Market, and is a catered hors d'œuvres cocktail party for the first hour, with a raffle, DJs and live entertainment.
- Bats Day in the Fun Park - The Big Spooky Trip to Disneyland. Bats Day patrons dress in their Gothic attire for the annual visit to the park. There are other scheduled events and gatherings on this day, including a large group picture in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, group pictures at the Haunted Mansion, and a photo scavenger hunt.
The event started as a relatively small goth "meet up" event of about 80 people from two dance clubs, Absynthe and Release the Bats. It has grown to include more aspects of the goth subculture. Other dark subcultures represented at the event include Horror Punk, Horror Rock, Halloween, Rockabilly, Psychobilly, Black metal, Steampunk, Hearse Societies, Industrial and EBM.
The event draws people from not only the local area but all over the world, including New Zealand, England, Brazil, France, Germany and Mexico. It has evolved into a family friendly event as well. Parents in this subculture are able to bond with their children at the "Happiest Place on Earth" more comfortably at an event such as this one, whereas they might be regarded as out-of-place on any other weekend at Disneyland or other theme parks.
Though there are rumors that this event occurred due to the success of a similar event called 'Baumaus', the two clubs promoting this event claim that they had no idea that 'Baumaus' ever happened.
- Chuck Klosterman (2007) Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas, ISBN 0-7432-8489-5. The chapter of the book about Bats Day was originally printed in the July 22, 2003 issue of Spin magazine as "Something Wicked This Way Comes" (the article title is a line from Macbeth)
- "Looking Back On A Week That We Spent In A Happy Place"
- Bats Day website