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Electronic dance music and Halloween spirits combine for Haunted Fest

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Ryan Raddon, better known as DJ Kaskade, plays to the crowd during the Coachella festival in Indio, California, on April 21, 2012. Kaskade will be playing a sold-out show at Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Ryan Raddon, better known as DJ Kaskade, plays to the crowd during the Coachella festival in Indio, California, on April 21, 2012. Kaskade will be playing a sold-out show at Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Haunted Fest, dubbed “Ohio’s largest Halloween party,” will make its way back to Columbus this weekend with a lineup of DJs and electronic dance music artists from around the world.

The music festival is presented by Prime Social Group, a Columbus-based event production and concert promotion company that is responsible for several music events around Ohio, like Numbers Fest in Athens, Ohio, and Breakaway Music Festival in Columbus.

Zach Ruben, co-founder of PSG and founder of Haunted Fest, said there’s never been a larger EDM festival to come to Ohio. He added that after being in business for about six years, PSG always knew that Halloween was the perfect time of the year to host a large-scale event.

“Three years ago, we finally figured out that, let’s do an all EDM event on Halloween to really target not only the Ohio State and Greek life community and students in Columbus, but also anyone in Columbus looking to really celebrate Halloween, party and really enjoy some of the top-tier talent,” Ruben said.

The first Haunted Fest in 2014, which featured headlining artists Zeds Dead and A-Trak, was held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Ruben said that, since then, the festival has been held at the Ohio Expo Center to accommodate its popular demand.

This year’s festival will include performances by internationally-known DJs, including Kaskade, Galantis and Marshmello, and also will highlight some local DJs and EDM talent.

“I think that the energy of a full EDM show in a city like Columbus, which is really unique and I think we’re lucky that we can support an event like that here,” Ruben said. “Usually, you have to go to LA or Miami or a big city market like Chicago to get this style of event, and I think that’s the most unique factor in its own.”

Local artist James Caudle, also know as Corrupt, said he will play a multi-genre, high-energy set of his originals, edits and mashups at his third Haunted Fest this year.

“It’s a high quality festival in Columbus, my hometown, so that makes it special for me,” Caudle said. “Experiencing the atmosphere and energy with your closest friends makes it killer. I cannot wait to get on that stage and have fun with the crowd.”

Corrupt is set to perform on Haunted Fest’s main stage at 8 p.m. on Saturday night.

In addition to the performances on the main stage, the festival will also hold a silent disco, where audience members can get a pair of headphones and choose which DJ set to listen to.

The silent disco will feature local DJs like OSU student Arman Gerami, a third-year in finance, who will be playing his first Haunted Fest after two years of attending. Gerami will be performing at the same time as good friend and fellow DJ Chris Willis, a fourth-year in economics, with audience members able to switch between sets.

“I’m very excited to share all of our hard work with the audience,” Gerami said. “I’m very excited for the audience to switch between our music and experience our contrasting styles.”

The two-day music festival is set to start at 5 p.m. on Friday and attendees are encouraged to wear costumes.

“(Haunted Fest is) an experience that you won’t get anywhere else and one that you’ll never forget,” Ruben said. “It’s a lot of people, it’s a lot of visual stimulus,  and all of your senses will be blown.”

Haunted Fest is at the Lausche Building at the Ohio Expo Center at 717 E. 17th Ave. General admission tickets are available for $40 to $70 with VIP options available.They can be purchased on the Haunted Fest website.

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