12th Annual Skinful Halloween Party to feature nearly 30 acts, greater police presence
By Charlie Morrison
Skinful Halloween Party founder and organizer Brian King is in ‘go mode’ with only a few short days left until this year’s party, being held on Saturday, Oct. 27 at the Brick House Kitchen on Folly Road
In a few short days the Lowcountry and beyond will once again descend upon James Island’s Brick House Kitchen restaurant on Folly Road for the 12th annual über-Halloween extravaganza known as Skinful Halloween. For the third year running, the 20 wooded acres of land behind the restaurant will, for one night only, play host to thousands of costume-clad party goers. This year’s Skinful will feature almost 30 acts, ranging from the nationally known DJs and bands to burlesque and bizarre. What began as a small, semi-private house party at founder and organizer Dr. Brian King’s Riverland Terrace home, Skinful has taken on a life of its own over the years, growing exponentially in both size and prestige.
While King never planned to grow his little get together into the year’s biggest gathering, he certainly didn’t suppress the idea. Drawing on his wide network of friends, acquaintances, and willing strangers, Skinful trucks on year after year in large part due to the efforts of the dozens of volunteers that donate their time, skilled labor, and money to get each year’s event off the ground. This year is no different.
“It kind of grew into a monster … we didn’t set out to create this (in the beginning), it just kind of evolved, gaining momentum year after year. What’s beautiful about the whole thing is that it’s so raw, it developed so organically,” says King.
“It’s a party of willpower for sure, there’s no real corporate sponsorship, so this couldn’t happen without a lot of people,” says King, the owner/operator of the Pet Vet Veterinary Hospital in Mt. Pleasant. “We create all of the stages, platforms … everything. It’s craftsmen working for many hours, for free basically and in trade for tickets, because they believe in this as strongly as us. They are as big a part of this as anybody.”
King and his brother in arms, partner Dave “Big Hair” Brisacher have matched the event’s growth with their own efforts to manage the party in a professional, responsible way. In keeping with the growth in attendance of the party, each year has borne witness to growth in the amount of security personnel needed to cover the event. All the same, last year’s Skinful party saw tragedy occur in the death of party-goer Beau James Froehlich, who was killed after being struck by a vehicle while crossing Folly Road. This year’s Skinful will feature a significantly greater police presence than any of its predecessors. This year, the interior of the party will be overseen by more than three dozen security guards, with an additional 15 Sheriff’s Deputies and other personnel patrolling the party perimeter.
“Safety is our number one issue and always has been since we left the house. It’s hard to fully manage that. You have to have security everywhere just to make sure that, heaven forbid, anything bad happens and nothing has as far as inside this party,” says King. “We’ve always strived really hard to make this party as safe as possible. We don’t spare any expense when it comes to safety.”
The responsibility that comes with putting together an event like Skinful is significant, begging the question of why a respected business owner in the community would put incur the risk inherent in managing the party. For King, however, holding the annual Halloween bash is of real significance, real meaning.
“There’s not anything else like it in this town and there are so many artist and so many creative people here. Life in general can be super-stressful, and to have one day out of the year where you can let it all go is, I believe, important.
For more information on the 2012 Skinful Halloween Party or to purchase tickets, see www.skinfulhalloween.com. General admission tickets are $50, with VIP passes, which grant access to an open bar from 7 p.m. to midnight as well as to separate entry lines are also available this year, at $80.g. Skinful is a 21-up event.