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Festival Recap: Suwannee Hulaween
Photo Credit: Suwannee Hulaween

Festival Recap: Suwannee Hulaween

Suwannee Hulaween is the ultimate elixir of spooky energy, dance music, and mind-melting art. Tucked away in the Florida woods for 4 beautiful days, this camping fest is a must-do for any festival lover. Hula is the event I look forward to the most because it pairs all of my favorite things - Halloween, camping, art, music, and all the good vibes you could ask for! Here are some of my highlights from the weekend.

Spirit Lake

With art installations around every corner, Spirit Lake blows my mind every Hula. Everywhere you look, you’ll find mesmerizing art installations like the visual projections onto the lake, the colorful lights that illuminate the trees and Spanish moss, the Mural Maze, and all the spooky statues and perfect photo ops.

The Incendia renegade stage shoots fire into the sky and you never know which artists you’ll find throwing down there! I was lucky enough to catch Skrillex b2b Bonobo b2b Chris Lake, which made my whole weekend. Wow! I also saw Claude Vonstroke throw down a bass set as his alter-ego, Barclay Crenshaw, after his Saturday night house set.

At Frick Frack Blackjack, I watched festy-goers play games and gamble with whatever fun objects they happened to bring with them. In the daytime, talented performers decked out in Halloween costumes roamed around Spirit Lake while they juggled, stilt-walked, and danced to the music. Spirit Lake is the place to be if you’re an art lover—it never disappoints!

Camping

The rain on Thursday set a mellow vibe around the campgrounds, with people taking cover below their tarps and waiting out the weather. Come Friday, the sun was shining and everyone was ready to party! I explored some awesome sound camps throughout the weekend, soaking up the music and art that people brought to transform their campsites into the ultimate party pads. The weekend got chillier and chillier, so we saw lots of festy fam in campsite cuddle puddles throughout Suwannee.

Music

Thursday kicked off with the Deadbeats Takeover - where Wreckno, LSDream, and Zeds Dead blew minds at the Hallows stage. We got our fill of funk and jam, too - with Greensky Bluegrass, Umphrey’s McGee, Break Science, Sunsquabi, and Lotus setting the vibes for the weekend.

On Friday, we danced to Daily Bread, the Floozies, and of course - our first String Cheese Incident set of the weekend! Manic Focus (live band) had everyone in the park boogying at the Amphitheater stage. Bonobo, Chris Lake, Lettuce, and Skrillex kept the party going into the night on Friday.

Saturday’s Masego set was groovy and uplifting, with moments of unscripted, made-from-scratch beats keeping the crowd vibing. All 3 sets of The String Cheese Incident on Saturday were mind-blowing—especially the theme set on Saturday night! Talk about a party! We also danced to Earthgang, Leon Bridges, Cordae, and Mark Farina. There was a tricky conflict between My Morning Jacket and Claude Vonstroke - but being the house music lover I am, I couldn’t pass up a Claude set. He did not disappoint!

The positive energy poured over into Sunday, when we saw Levitation Jones, MIZE, Jungle, and of course, The String Cheese Incident. The last major conflict of the weekend was the closing act—Kruangbin, Lane 8, and Mersiv. I chose to end the festival with the uplifting, melodic sounds of Lane 8, which was the cherry on top of a beautiful weekend.

Don’t miss Hula next year!

I tell everyone who will listen—Suwannee Hulaween is the festival to be at. Keep an eye out for next year’s tickets if you enjoy camping fests. Suwannee is my all-time favorite music venue and the vibes at Hulaween are always immaculate. Between the Halloween costumes, renegade sets, multiple stages, Spirit Lake, and all the good vibes you can imagine—this is a must-do fest! Happy Hula!


Rachel Honey Freeman is a journalist, editor, and social media strategist with a passion for telling compelling stories. She lives in sunny St. Petersburg, Florida - a cultural hub for art, music, and food. In her free time, she enjoys lounging at the beach in her hammock, camping, going to farmers markets, fire dancing, and of course - raving! Rachel's all-time favorite festival is Hulaween.

TAGS: Author - Rachel Honey Freeman, Suwannee Hulaween,



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