Every October, the Maryland Science Center transforms into what might be the biggest Halloween party to pop up in Baltimore City. By day, its dinosaur, space, and electricity-themed exhibits entice tots to learn about all things science, but by night, the institution turns into a full-on music festival in the Inner Harbor, featuring more than a dozen bands, a wild costume contest, and overflowing craft beer, all to benefit the center and youth education nonprofit Believe In Music.
While its only July, the event, now in its seventh year, has just announced its 2018 lineup, featuring familiar faces who have performed at past parties and exciting new acts. On Saturday October 27, some 22 Baltimore bands will perform across seven stages, from the planetarium to the rooftop to beneath a gigantic Tyrannosaurus Rex.
“In the same night, you can see a bluegrass band, an electronic band, and dance to James Nasty on the roof,” says Kenny Liner, founder and director of Believe In Music. “There will be so much to do and there will be so many talented, different people from Baltimore who deserve to be highlighted. I just wish we could include more.”
The main stage will feature big-name headliners: soulful sextet J Pope and the HearNow, funky jam band Electric Love Machine, and the main event, mad-scientist electronic artist Dan Deacon. “Dan is the perfect fit,” says Liner. “His shows are so fun and interactive. He makes the crowd feel special and allows them to have a really good time.”
Meanwhile, the Friends of Friends (Records) Stage will highlight rising DIY acts such as soulful R&B singer Joy Postell, experimental duo Wume, post-punk rockers Natural Velvet, and indie trio Outer Spaces, while the planetarium will host a handful of techno artists. As in years past, the Charm City Bluegrass Stage will be dedicated to Americana musicians, such as CCBG Battle of the Bands winner The Dirty Grass Players and folk bellwether Caleb Stine, and both DJs Rob Macy of Save Your Soul and James Nasty will be back on the ones and twos for an epic dance party into the wee hours of the nights.
Exhibits will be open throughout the evening, as will the IMAX theater, where electronic group Deltanine will perform a live score to an immersive film. Tickets usually sell out and are now on sale for general admission ($35) and VIP ($75).
“The best thing about this party is that we’re coming together to support Baltimore,” says Liner. “As much as the city needs to support organizations like Believe in Music, it needs to support institutions like the Science Center. Without it, there would be a huge void in Baltimore for kids to learn and experience cool science stuff. My daughter is only eight months old and she already absolutely loves it. In Baltimore, we’re all in it together.”