Anytime you step foot inside the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park it’s like being transported to an enchanting forest portal where the outside world briefly ceases to exist. Add Halloween festivities and an immaculate line-up, to a still relatively under the radar festival, and you get Suwannee’s Hulaween.
What started as a festival playground for the String Cheese Incident, Hulaween has evolved into a four day celebration of one of the best festivals in the United States. Capping tickets at 20,000 and subsequently selling out the past few years, proves Hulaween is not just doing it right, but they continue to stick to their roots of a more intimate festival. Although the String Cheese Incident is still a major player at Hulaween playing up to 7 sets throughout the weekend, the lineup consistently boasts big name artists from every genre.
Does all this sound too good to be true? Well read on my friend – here are just 6 reasons (although let’s be real, there are millions more reasons) you should boogie on down to Hulaween this year.
1. Where’s the best place to party on Halloween? The gRAVE yard
The Venue: Spirit of Suwannee Music Park
With over 800 acres of enchanting forests, The Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida proves it is a superior autumn festival location. Even when October temperatures occasionally drop below average for Florida (which really only means anything below 50° F) , campsite bonfires only make the experience that much more authentic to the wooded landscape.
With hammocks tangled between thick oak trees and the Suwannee River lapping a sandy beach on the property, the park is one to be rivaled by even the biggest festival venues. There’s a reason northern Snow Birds – those of retirement age who head South for the winter – flock to Florida around this time every year. Florida in October is the epitome of perfect festival weather. Add a sprawling forest playground with live music and you get Hulaween.
2. “I’ve Been Ready for Halloween Since Last Halloween”
The Spirit of Halloween Is Everywhere
Most of us have that friend who is obsessed with anything Halloween. The moment pumpkin decorations start hitting Targets $1 section, summer is long forgotten and autumn embraced with arms wide opened to the pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin scented candles. At Hulaween each year, you’re transported into a very real Halloweentown. It’s everything that friend above (and probably you too) love about the witchy holiday, but ten times more.
Hulaween pays zero hesitation in decking out the entire park and performance artists with the spooktacular theme for that year. If you’re lucky, you’ll even catch a BOOtiful version of the artist’s set just for their Hulaween performance.
3. What is a Mummies favorite style of music? Wrap Music!
Grooving All Day to All Genres
Since its inception in 2013, Hulaween has grown into one of the premier festivals of the southeast where a lack of varied lineups have ceased to exist until Okeechobee Music Festival debuted in South Florida. Although still heavy with electronic and jam bands, Hulaween breaks the barriers of catering to a specific genre by offering music for enthusiasts of all kinds.
4. I’m Hollow Inside
An Acoustically Outstanding Outdoor Amphitheatre
One of the best acoustically sounding areas in the park is the amphitheater – a bowl shaped stage draped with Spanish Moss hanging from surrounding oak trees creating a cobwebbed feel. Every year the amphitheater offers a more intimate look into some huge acts like Odesza, Run the Jewels, Portugal. The Man and FKJ just to name a few.
5. Frightful Delights of the Eye
Immersive Art Installations at Spirit Lake
However, defining the Suwannee experience to its core is the interactive playground and stage that is Spirit Lake. This psychedelic space is almost reminiscent to a tiny forested Burning Man. With its celestial art installations wrapping around Spirit Lake, jetting between giant oaks and Florida shrubbery, the area becomes a real life dream for festival goers. Adding to the Halloween spirit, costume clad performance artists are seen in every corner of Spirit Lake beckoning attendees to come play.
6. Creepin’ It Real
A Perfectly Curated Weekend Event with Phenomenal Vibes
It goes without saying that festivals evolve over time. We see it time and time again as big name festivals sell out to larger corporations (*cough* looking at you Bonnaroo *cough*). Hulaween however? They’ve stuck to their roots as a communal, more intimate festival since day one.
A large part of this is due to the Hulaween’s production company, Silver Wrapper, who enhance the overall experience of the festival through it’s stage productions, performances, art installations and more.
There’s a reason people keep returning to Hulaween each year. Besides a stellar festival experience, the forests of Suwannee present an augmented reality than what festival goers are used to in their day to day lives. There’s a sense of community and pride that sometimes gets lost in larger festivals. Campsites are decked out with tapestries, monster-ous Halloween decorations, dazzling tree lights shine above – all this but with the added hospitality that the South is known for.
This is what makes the Spirit of Suwannee come alive to the its fullest extent at Hulaween. And this is why Hulaween should be one festival you don’t miss this year.
Want to hear more about Alex’s adventures? Check out her travel & music website at TheWaywardWalrus.com!