Perhaps you are entering your 30s and have decided to honour the occasion with a pair of Veja sneakers. Perhaps you are lamenting the closure of Madame Jojos, a club that was only ever cool in the 80s and 90s, but you considered it to be Studio 54 when you were a student at KCL in the 2010s. Perhaps you’ve read an article about Printworks closing down and have thought to yourself ‘Golly! Things were better in my day!’ Though an initial survey of London’s nightlife does make for dismal reading, there are still loads of events servicing niche countercultures: among them 2CPERREA and Swagchella and Mums Against Donk. Last weekend, a swarm of art freaks descended on gr1n, an experimental show-cum-rave that challenges its guests to explore the boundaries of techno-spiritualism by putting electric chairs on the dancefloor.
“In this particular instance, the show was positioned as a ‘conditioning event’ for the gr1n cult. A kinda mass experiment typa vibe,” its organisers explain. “We had actors go and hand out anti-gr1n fliers, protesting as if it was a real sort of occult meeting. It’s a fictitious, alternative world that makes people let loose and surrender themselves more than they might at a typical rave.” The dress code required attendees to obscure their identity and so people bandaged their faces and wore anti-surveillance make-up and gimp masks and plastic elf ears and illusory veils. The whole thing is engineered for the kind of people who have typed the words “cyber shamanic” into Google, thinking themselves a forgotten protagonist in Serial Experiments Lain. Click through the gallery above to see some of the looks from the latest gr1n, running the gamut of Harajuku barbies, Y2K bimbos, and neo-pagan wench wives.