Spirit Lake at Hulaween is one of my favorite places on Earth.
For those who have never attended this 4-day camping festival over Halloween weekend, it may be hard to understand just how special this place is. Between the people, the nature, the music, the art, and the vibes, Hulaween is the ultimate happy place for a festival-lover. Spirit Lake, specifically, creates the heartbeat of Hulaween. The positive energy here is tangible - a buzzing magic that pulses through your entire body with every step as you explore the grounds.
Let me paint a picture for you.
Sun beams peek through spooky strands of Spanish Moss hanging in the trees. Golden hour at Suwannee is a special time - painting the grounds with a warm glow. Magic is in the air.
You walk through the entrance to Spirit Lake - surrounded by Chris Dyer murals and a beautiful arch (projection mapped at night), opening up into the new and improved Spirit Lake stage on your right, with the shimmering lake to your left. Massive trees adorned with Spanish Moss lead your way. You continue on this path, passing tons of smiling faces and dancing people in fun costumes. It’s Halloween weekend, so everyone is dressed up in amazing costumes and radiating positive vibes.
As you continue your walk, you encounter mind-blowing art installations - including stunning hand-painted murals, a huge witch and her cauldron (climb inside!), a giant wooden spider (yes, you could sit inside the spider butt this year!), the massive Frick Frack Black Jack casino (gambling with the most ridiculous items), the House of Lost spooky outdoor cathedral, and many, many more. The deeper you explore, the more magic you uncover. On the far side of the lake is the Campground Stage, and plenty more art to see.
Spirit Lake is sprawling with hidden gems to explore and spots to sit down and take it all in.
As night falls, lights begin to turn on and you can feel the shift in vibes… it’s time to boogie. Costumes change and the people are ready to dance the night away. Colored lights illuminate the trees, art installations switch from day to night with stunning LEDs, and suddenly, you’re transported to another world. Night time at Hulaween feels like you’re on another planet.
The peak moment of the weekend for me was The String Cheese Incident’s iconic Saturday night set. If you’re a Hulaween veteran, you know this is the highlight of the weekend. Everyone in the venue is gathered together at the main stage for the themed set, where Cheese covers iconic songs relating to the festival theme that year. Everywhere you look, spanning the entire, massive field, people are grooving, smiling, singing, being silly, and basking in the pure magic of the moment. A sea of lights, smiles, and beautiful people. The sense of unity, oneness, and happiness bursting from the crowd is palpable, and enough to bring tears to my eyes. This is why I come to Hulaween year after year.
Another mind blowing set during Hula was Of The Trees. My entire festival family was there together and we were absolutely blown away by this performance! High-energy, bass-infused magic permeated the entire crowd.
CloZee and Manic Focus, who continue to bring top-tier energy to Suwannee time and time again, wooed the crowd with radiating, dreamy vibes. Eazybaked delivered a heavy-hitting set full of uptempo bangers, getting everyone at the Amp Stage moving and grooving.
I was really looking forward to J.I.D’s set, since I had never seen him live before. What a beautiful experience! Adding a flair of hip hop into my Suwannee schedule was a huge success and my squad really enjoyed the energy.
The Desert Hearts Takeover won my heart, ending the weekend high on vibes. We got a heavy dose of house and techno infused with the purest love.