Hop in, HulaWeirdo. We’re going to Suwannee Hulaween! I hope you packed your costumes and are ready for the experience of a lifetime. This year’s lineup is loaded with musical and artistic talent, so buckle up and prepare for an unmatched festival experience!
Before we send you off to soak up all the Hula magic, let’s brief you with our first-timers guide to prepping you for all the amazing things you’re about to experience at Hulaween. The event will take place from October 27-30th in Live Oak, Florida. Tickets are almost sold out, so grab yours here and get ready for the best weekend of your life!
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is a venue unlike any other. Located on the Suwannee River, this campground lives and breathes Florida. With spooky Spanish Moss draped from the trees like mystical curtains, and big swamp energy infused into every path, there truly isn’t a more fitting venue for a Halloween-themed festival. The grounds are magical.
Enjoy the shade within the woods or cool off from the daytime heat in the river. See if you can find the treehouse! And if you need a dose of Halloween vibes, check out the bat house at dusk. If you need to buy ice or other camping goods, the General Store has you covered.
Hulaween has multiple stages and areas to explore, so come with an open mind and be prepared for adventure. Spirit Lake is the place to be at night! There, you’ll explore out-of-this-world art installations that will blow your mind.
Bring your card or cash with you when you explore because there are amazing vendors at Hula, from delicious food to heady apparel and accessories, art, and more.
Festival camping goes a little differently here than at other festivals. Rather than being placed in a camping spot by staff, you have complete free range to find your own campsite within the grounds once you drive through the gates.
Because camping is first come, first serve, many people choose to arrive early and stake out a spot for their squad. Don’t panic, though! If you’re planning to arrive on Thursday, you will still be able to find a great spot. Just have patience, as it may take a few laps of driving around the park to situate yourself.
Pro tip: I always prefer camping in the woods because you get shade in the mornings and throughout the day, which means more time spent sleeping in or taking disco naps. Getting good rest is key to an enjoyable camping fest experience! If you think you may end up in a sunny camping spot, bring a pop-up canopy for shade.
If you purchased a car pass, you can park your car next to your tent at your campsite. I highly recommend this, although there are parking options on-site for your vehicle if you choose not to buy a car pass.
You will notice golf carts zipping around the grounds during the festival. If you’re planning to drive a golf cart at the fest, contact the park to verify that it will be permitted before you arrive. You will need proper reservations and paperwork.
Some people bring bicycles, one-wheels, or motorized bikes/skateboards to the park, but they are certainly not necessary to get around. It can be super fun to take a morning bike ride through the campsites, though.
One of the coolest things about Hulaween is that, weather permitting, you can have campfires at your campsite! We have had some very chilly Hulaweens in the past, and having firewood to build a campfire has been a lifesaver. There’s nothing better than huddling around the fire with your friends or, better yet, making s’mores at camp! I recommend bringing a fire pit and firewood if the weather allows for campfires. If a burn ban is necessary due to weather or other conditions, the park will tell you not to burn anything.
Like most camping festivals, come prepared with nutritious meals and snacks, a cooler with ice, and plenty of water to keep you hydrated. Packing a first-aid kit is always a smart idea.
Pro tip: bring your favorite craft brews to Camp Reddit if you’re interested in a craft beer exchange and their infamous bacon pancakes.
What To Wear
We have had Hulaweens that were blazing hot and Hulaweens that were freezing cold. The best advice I have for Hula and any camping festival is to come prepared for any climate - heat, cold, rain, or dust. The best plan is to pack outfits in layers so you can adjust your look depending on the weather. During the day, you can typically expect hot Florida sunshine. But as the sun goes down, it can get anywhere from chilly to frigid.
I keep my outfits pre-planned in sealable bags to reach into my duffel and pull out a fresh outfit, already picked out and ready to go. Make sure you keep an outfit sealed to drive home in so you have fresh clothes as you make the journey home.
Here is my basic list of camping festival clothes and must-haves:
- Extra socks (change at least twice daily)
- Rain jacket and waterproof boots
- Comfortable dancing shoes (please don’t be that person who wears brand new shoes to the festival and immediately gets blisters. Make sure they are well broken in!)
- Cold weather jacket
- Outfits for each day and night (warm and cold weather)
- Slides for the shower (there are showers within the campgrounds at Hula)
- Jewelry and accessories
Since Hula is over Halloween weekend, many people dress up in fun costumes. This year’s theme is Suwannee Horror Disco Show, so if that theme speaks to you, dress for it! Especially for the themed String Cheese set on Saturday night.
I typically bring a few costumes but don’t forget comfortable outfits, as well. If you’re into sustainable shopping, check out your local thrift store for costumes or better yet - ask your friends if they have any costumes you can borrow.
Explore all the Halloween costume options from iHeartRaves here.
Transitioning From Day to Night
Always make a stop back at camp before dinner to fuel your body with some nutritious food, load up on water, and grab anything you might need for a night of fun. The walk from the stages to the campgrounds typically isn’t too far, but if you have back-to-back sets planned, it’s best to have everything you may need on your person.
Pro tip: grab a flashlight from your campsite as the day turns to night. There are tons of tree roots along the paths in the campgrounds that are prime for tripping over, so watch out.
Throw on sleeves like these over a cropped tank top if you start to get chilly but aren’t ready to change out of your daytime fit just yet.
Chaps, like these, are a great middle ground between shorts and pants - especially if you want to show off that rave booty!
iHR has some great outerwear options to keep you in style, even if the weather gets chilly.
Final First-Timer Notes
Hulaween is a whirlwind of mind-melting music and art. It’s my all-time favorite festival because the vibes are simply unparalleled. You’ll see for yourself!
Expect nothing, but stay open to anything. Keep an open mind, be prepared, practice patience, stay hydrated, and get ready for the time of your life!