Dressing Up For Darts

A photo blog of fans dressing up for the 2023 PDC World Championship at Ally Pally

I once saw a group of about 30 Penguins walking up the hill one Christmas time to Alexandra Palace in North London. They weren’t real penguins but darts fans in fancy dress on their way to the World Darts Championship. I thought at the time it would make a great photo but didn’t have my camera with me, so this year I decided to try and capture the colour and surreal imagery of Ally Pally Darts.

Every year from mid-December to early January Alexandra Palace hosts the Cazoo World Darts Championships. On most days there are two sessions, afternoon and evening, and thousands of darts fans attend, all trying to outdo each other in the most bizarre costumes possible

Fans come from all over the UK and Europe – there were big contingents from Belgium, Holland & Germany. This year they braved the weather (snow, wind & rain) and transport strikes.

I saw quite a few priests but did notice they had to leave their crosses at the door. Probably a health and safety issue rather than religious discrimination.

Fries, condiments and beer were also popular.

Given the time of year there were lots of Christmas references.

The skies on most days were grey and threatening but that just made the colour of the costumes stand out more.

Superheroes, Oompa Loompas & Willie Wonka

Not forgetting Traffic Cones. There’s something about a big group of traffic cones navigating the hill up to Ally pally that is unforgettable.

Exotic Birds and other creatures were also in abundance.

There were always a few stragglers.

Everyone seemed to be having a good time and by all accounts the final lived up to expectation.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/jan/04/darts-michael-smith-van-gerwen-nine-darter-history

All photos © Francis Hanly

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