Any weekend of live music at the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park is bound to be a good one. But a weekend at Suwannee for Hulaween? Now that’s a weekend you’ll be living in well past Sunday’s closing act. It’s a weekend that will hit the core of your existence, one that will connect you with other humans from far and wide, flocking to the ethereal 4-day experience that is a Suwannee Hulaween.
Landing on the weekend closest to Halloween each year, Hulaween has continued to thrive as an independent player in a corporate dominated industry. It’s this aspect of “we may be a little unorganized, our ground staff might not have a clue where anything is, and the forest on any given day in Florida may turn into a swamp or dust bowl, but we are Hulaween, this is who we are, and we are not changing.” And you know what? Don’t you ever fucking change Hulaween.
Hulaween is a rare gem following the typical summer festival circuit. Hidden in the depths of a 500-acre enchanted forest right off Interstate-10 in Live Oak, Florida, the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park is transformed into a spooktacular Halloween playground for the young at heart. Each year, the festival gains new attendees who become devoted to the festival. Many return to revel in the simple nuances of a dystopian reality where everyone acts more like family, rather than strangers who only met the day before.
Keeping in tune with their OG status, Hulaween caps tickets so the festival will never grow beyond its means. However, with that said, Hulaween once again sold out this year. Just like last year. And the year before that. But with lineups featuring some of the best jam bands, electronic, indie and alternative artists around, are you really surprised?
Besides bringing big name artists from all genres, the interactive art installations housed in Spirit Lake continue to play on the Burning Man-esque feel to the weekend. Think of Hulaween as Burning Man’s little cousin, but with the addition of all the southern hospitality you’d expect from a festival in the backwoods of northern Florida.
If the festival itself doesn’t make it for you (although highly unlikely) the people will. Few festivals exist in the United States where you are totally free to do you, whether that’s wearing a duck onesie all day or painting yourself head to toe in body paint and running around the woods naked passing out candy (true story).
If only we could add dashes of Hulaween to real life, our current state of affairs in the world would seem a whole lot less bleak. But hey, maybe we can. Why does the Spirit of Suwanee and Hulaween have to end at the gates as you wave goodbye to one of the best weekends of your life?
If you’ve been to Hulaween before, sprinkle that energy into your day to day. Say hello to the stranger you see on your way to work, help pick up someone’s dropped belongings, get to know people beyond their outer appearance. But if you haven’t had the chance to experience a Hulaween yet (keyword yet), then you better get on it for next year. Because this is one festival you do not want to miss.
Want to hear more about Alex’s adventures? Check out her travel & music website at TheWaywardWalrus.com!