What was once a traveling Halloween festival has now become, one of my most beloved musical experiences to date. Maybe it’s because Suwannee River Music Park & Campground has a special place in my heart, laying host to my all-time favorite music festival Bear Creek (RIP), or maybe its the uncanny ability to draw the most empathetic crowds year after year, but Suwannee Hulaween is something truly magical to behold, no matter your musical preference.
This year’s Suwannee Hulaween happens October 28th-30th and although it might miss the actual date, we promise you it’s fixing to be the kind of epic Halloween experience you’ve always dreamed of. First, let’s breakdown the lineup, just the diversity of acts will be enough to lure you in: Disclosure, Big Gigantic, Gramatik, Boys Noize, Claude Vonstroke, Bob Moses, and Louis the Child lead the pack of electronic phenoms. In the funk and jam corner, we have My Morning Jacket, Umphrey’s McGee, STS9, Rebelution, Lettuce, Charles Bradley, and Snarky Puppy to name a few. And for those interested in something a little more “out there” impeccable acts like Anderson.Paak bring in the fusion, and Greensky Bluegrass and The Revivalists bring the soul. But let’s not forget to take pride in the several local bands making an appearance, you’ll find us center stage for Electric Kif, Aaron Lebos Reality, and Savants of Soul.
As you take yourself a breather and cool off, we’ll come back with another kicker: the on-site experiences. If the age-old oaks, gently swaying moss, and towering pines don’t do the trick, Suwannee Hulaween comes alive with visual installations that make Burning Man envious, incorporating the surrounding forest at every turn. Colossal fire breathers, hexagonal family swings changing colors before your eyes, and miles and miles of led lights bounce and boogie as they reflect off the famous Spirit Lake for a vibrant Halloween-style dance. Even the campsites seem to bring their all at Hulaween, drawing you in with childlike wonder on your way to Cheese’s fifth set.
The Spirit Lake is an experiential bridge between all forms of art: painting, sculpture, multimedia metalwork, and light projections, but the rest of the festival grounds have something awe inspiring for your souls to be quenched by. The ferris wheel gives you unobstructed views of the main stage, surrounding forests and beyond, while to caravans of festival vendors bring together local artists and artisans, organic eateries, and interactive experiences. Yoga, meditation, sound healing, musical workshops– Suwannee Hulaween thinks of it all. And the best part? It’s just a drive away.
Believe me when I tell you this: a life without experiencing Suwannee is no life at all. Wrangle your festi-crew and buy your tickets.