OCTOBER 30 – NOVEMBER 1, 2015
Live Oak, Florida: Florida is the perfect location for a festival so late in the season! Anywhere else would have been freezing over Halloween weekend. Live Oak isn’t too far over the Georgia border, so it’s pretty accessible for anyone in the Southeast, and there are airports not too far away if you are from elsewhere. Or, you can be like me, and drive all the way from Colorado!
Spirit of Suwannee Music Park: The venue setup at Suwannee is a dream! The venue itself is gorgeous, with beautiful lakes throughout the campgrounds, a river, and breathtaking trees covered in spanish moss. There is tons of space for camping, vendors spread throughout, real roads, and even some established bathrooms and buildings. The stage setup is incredible, and Spirit Lake is filled with stunning art, sculptures, and more!
If you’re going to Hulaween – buy it early! The ticket price is pretty affordable if you can get it during one of the presales. Past that, it does get a bit pricey, but it is worth every penny! All of the tickets include primitive camping, unless noted otherwise.
- Early Bird Presale Tier 1: $179*
- Early Bird Presale Tier 2: $199*
- Public Limited Presale: $219*
- Public Tier 1: $239*
- Public Tier 2: $259*
- Gate: $269*
- Saturday & Sunday: $195
- Single Day Tickets: $105 (no camping)
- Pre-Party (Thursday): $59 in advance / $79 at the gate*
- Kids 10 & under FREE
- Mummy VIP: $399 Early Bird / $449 Public Tier 1 / $500 Gate
- 1 VIP Ticket
- Discounted Beverages
- VIP Indoor Bathrooms
- Designated VIP Viewing Areas at Main Stage
- VIP Camping Area near Main Stage
- VIP Swag Bag including Hulaween 2015 Poster, T-shirt, Laminate &more!
- Complementary Massages
- Complementary Golf Cart Shuttle Service throughout the park at designated VIP stops
- Werewolf VIP: $499 Early Bird / $549 Public Tier 1 / $600 Gate
- 1 VIP Ticket
- 6 Catered Meals (lunch & dinner)
- All Mummy VIP Amenities
- Golbin VIP: $2000 for 2 – OR – $2500 for 4
- 2 or 4 VIP Tickets
- 6 Catered Meals per VIP ticket (lunch & dinner)
- All Mummy VIP Amenities
- Includes 1 Room at Local Hotel with choice of 1 king of 2 Queen sized beds
- Includes Free VIP shuttle to & from hotel
- Zombie VIP: $3000 for 2 – OR – $3500 for 4
- 2 or 4 VIP Tickets
- 6 Catered Meals per VIP ticket (lunch & dinner)
- All Mummy VIP Amenities
- Includes 1 One Bedroom Cabin with a pull out couch, kitchen, bathroom, TV, AC/heat
*Fees not included
You can’t beat the camping setup at Suwannee. They let you go just about anywhere you want, and you can take up as much space as you like. The campgrounds are in a swamp, with gorgeous trees draped in spanish moss giving the grounds an erie feeling – perfect for Halloween! I recommend getting there early if you want a prime spot, the grounds fill up pretty quickly. There are some larger fields as well, and those stay open a bit longer into the weekend. You can have campfires, so remember to buy local wood before coming into the park.
The best way to get to Suwannee is of course to drive there, but there are plenty of other options. If you’re coming from out of state you may want to fly in and rent a car or RV. Jacksonville International Airport (JAX – 79 miles) is likely to be the cheapest, although Gainesville (GNV – 60 miles) and Valdosta (VLD – 38 miles) are a bit closer. Tallahassee is relatively close as well (TLH – 82 miles).
Hulaween was also offering a shuttle service, Scoobie Shuttle Buses, to and from JAX. The trip is approximately 90-120 minutes and you could purchase one-way tickets for $35, including all taxes and fees.
There is no car check, they just ask if you have any dogs in your car when you first pull in. When you enter the actual venue area there is a bag check and they were occasionally trying to check pockets. Most of the time they were pretty laid back, although at some points they got pretty intense about checking bags and actually used a table and poked around with a stick.
Beautiful, inspiring, CHEESE heads everywhere! Hulaween broke the record for the number of people to ever attend a festival at Suwannee. Everyone was there to have an amazing experience, and brought lots of fantastic costumes with them!
At least that is what I came into contact with. I heard different stories from others. There were a lot of complaints about EDM fans who didn’t even care about seeing Cheese, and with them people say came lots of thievery. I didn’t see it that way, but out of respect for fans opinions Hulaween will lose one point here. I do want to say, as for anyone that had things stolen, I’m terribly sorry, that should NEVER happen at a festival. I believe in the kindness of people, and perhaps that is naive, but if there truly was lots of thievery I must be very lucky. I left expensive goods out and nothing was touched all weekend long. I suppose I must thank my neighbors for being so outstanding. Either way – true FestiPeople don’t steal. Respect one another, share the love. Karma is real!
The weather was PERFECT! The days were sunny and hot, sometimes perhaps even too hot at times! At night, it cooled off just enough, but it was never cold.
HANDLING OF THE WEATHER:
They lucked out, they didn’t have much to handle. But even if it had been cold, they had some badass heating areas that looked amazing!
The lineup at Hulaween is truly unbeatable – one of the best of the season for sure, if not THE best. Hulaween brings together jam, funk, bluegrass, and EDM for an amazing lineup.
Squeedlepuss, a local Jacksonville band, rocked out with their jazz funk fusion to start out the day. Railroad Earth deserved a longer set if you ask me, but they jammed out on the main stage Friday afternoon. The Floozies played the Amphitheater stage while Beebs and Her Money Makers took the Campground stage. This ska band from Orlando is just as exciting to watch as they are to dance to!
Sam Bush Band brought some amazing bluegrass to the Main Stage Saturday afternoon, opening with Spanxx, Freight Train Boogie, and This Heart O Mine. They covered Bob Marley’s One Love, the Dead’s Tennessee Jed, and closed with New Country. Sam was dressed up as Willie Nelson and wearing a Spiritual Gangster shirt.
Slightly Stoopid jammed out some reggae tunes, starting with False Rhythms and closing their set with Banderlero. This San Diego band has been making music since ’95 and just released their newest album “Meanwhile…Back At The Lab” this past summer.
Indie folk pop band, the Shook Twins, started out Sunday morning at the Amphitheater stage. These girls always bring so much personality to the stage, I don’t know how you could not fall in love with them. The twins, Katelyn and Laurie Shook, come from Idaho and can play just about any instrument you can imagine. Throughout their set, Laurie sang, beatboxed, played the banjo, guitar, bass ocarina, and djembe, while looping it all. Katelyn, with her fabulous blue hair, sang, played the guitar, ukulele, glockenspiel, and mandolin. Their self described apocalyptic gospel swing ballad Shake always hits the soul!
Elephant Revival played a beautiful daytime set on Sunday, and were joined on stage by the Shook Twins for Drop who then stayed for the rest of the set. Bonnie Paine and Bridget Law got into the Halloween spirit with some amazing costumes – I loved Bonnie’s pink wig!
Set: Birds & Stars, Whats that / Raven, Tam Lynn, Stolen, Spinning, Remembering, Sea Monster, The Pastore, Season Song, Drop, The Garden, Rogue, Grace
little hurricane is my new favorite discovery, the drummer is adorable and kicks some serious ass. This dirty blues and rock duo hails from San Diego – catch them on tour near you!
CHEESE! Hulaween featured 7 sets of The String Cheese Incident – how could one not love Hulaween?!
Friday night started the festival off with a bang! Todd Sheaffer and Tim Carbone joined the boys for Indian Creek Sometimes A River and the second set got super bass heavy at one point – I love how versatile Cheese can be! They alway surprise me! They finished off the night with a killer Led Zeppelin cover, Ramble On!
Set One: Song In My Head, Can’t Wait Another Day, Indian Creek Sometimes A River1, Valley of The Jig, ‘Round The Wheel > On The Road
Set Two: Colliding, Restless Wind > Joyful Sound, Mouna Bowa, Stop Drop Roll, Shantytown > Just One Story
Encore: Ramble On
Notes: 1 with Todd Sheaffer and Tim Carbone
Saturday was Halloween and featured 3 Cheese sets, so I knew I was in for something special going into it. Rivertrance into Beautiful perfectly closed out the first set, but I was most curious for the second set. Typically the second set on Halloween is Cheese’s really crazy set – and I was not let down! Cheese themed it as Ghoul Train (a play on Soul Train) and did all songs from the 70s and 80s. They brought in GZA of Wu-Tang Clan to host the set, and they had rollerbladers, dancers, a horn section, and tons of surprises! The third set started on fire with a BollyMunster, and the cover of Bob Marley’s Exodus was one of my favorites, featuring rosta colored lighting. Closing out the set with Rosie was the icing on the cake. Cheese finished the night by encoring with Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours into We Are Family which was truly touching given the family nature of Cheese fans.
Set One: Dudley’s Kitchen, Lost > So Far From Home, Xai Xai, Sweet Spot, Close Your Eyes, Rivertrance > Beautiful
Set Two: Brick House, Got To Be Real, Dancing In September, Pick Up The Pieces, I’m Your Boogie Man, Car Wash, Lady Marmalade, Cold Sweat, I Want To Take You Higher>Dance To The Music
Set Three: BollyMunster, Desert Dawn, Best Feeling > Exodus > Best Feeling> Search > Drums > Search, You’ve Got The World > Black Clouds > Rosie1
Encore: Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours2, We Are Family2
Notes: 1 with Antibalas Horns, 2 with Antibalas Horns, Sheryl Renee and Leonard Julien
Sunday was definitely more bluegrass heavy. Sam Bush joined Cheese for the entirety of the first set, and even Elephant Revival jumped on stage for the last song. The second set came out hot with Let’s Go Outside into Little Hands, closing with Sirens into Colorado Bluebird Sky. Cheese finished the festival off with another Bob Marley hit – Could You Be Loved.
Set 1: Blue Ridge Cabin Home, Sunny Side of Mountain, Lester Had a Coconut, Deep Elem Blues, White House Blues, Don’t It Make You Wanna Dance, Catfish John, Nine Pound Hammer, Birdland > Wheel Hoss > Birdland, Will The Circle Be Unbroken2
Set 2: Let’s Go Outside, Little Hands, Outside And Inside3, Windy Mountain, Bumpin’ Reel, Sirens > Travis improv, Colorado Bluebird Sky
Encore: Could You Be Loved
NOTES: 1 with Sam Bush, Charlie Rose on banjo, 2 with Elephant Revival, 3 with Roosevelt Collier
LATE NIGHT SHOWS:
Music carried on late into the evening at Hulaween! On Sunday music had to end at 9pm because of city noise limitations, but Friday and Saturday nights you could listen to music while watching the sun rise!
Papadosio members dressed up as The Muppets (Anthony as Chef, Mike as Animal, Rob as Gonzo, Billy as Beaker, Sam as Kermit) and played a super jammy set between Cheese sets introducing a lot of music of their newest record, “Extra In a Movie.”
Primus brought some of their classic weirdness to the Amphitheater stage after Cheese ended, including one of my personal favorites My Name Is Mud, leaving the audience chanting “Primus Sucks”.
Set: Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers, Salmon Man, Wynona’s Big Brown, Beaver, American Life, Over the Falls, Lee Van Cleff, Jilly’s on Smack, Mr Krinkle, Southbound Pachyderm, My Name is Mud, Jerry was a Racecar Driver
Pretty Lights raged into the wee hours at the Main Stage, while Dopapod jammed out at the Spirit Lake Stage. The whole band was dressed a skeletons in the spirit of Halloween.
Saturday after Cheese, Odesza took the Amphitheater stage. I love Odesza’s sound, but the crowd was overwhelming so I ventured into Spirit Lake and discovered Displace at the Campground Stage. This Tampa, FL jam band rocked the stage, led by Chris Sgammato on saxophone, rhythm guitar, keys, and lead vocals. Afterwards, at the Spirit Lake stage, The New Mastersounds ignited my soul with their funky jams.
Set: Way Out West, Take What I Need, MFI, Cigartime, Miracles, Puke, Phishy Phishy, Ghostbusters, All Wrapped Up, You Mess Me Up, Fancy, SP, Summercamp / Hop, Nervous
Lettuce brought the FUNK to the Amphitheater stage after Cheese’s last set. This New York band always gets the crowd dancing, and for me Dr. Digglesworth was a highlight as well as the Phyllis closer.
Set: The Force, Get Greazy, Bowler, Trillogy, Madison Square, Dr. Digglesworth, Squadlive, Sounds Like A Party, Do It Like You Do, Phyllis
After Lettuce, I found more New York funky jams on the Spirit Lake Stage with TAUK for their “Hula All The Way Home” set, the last show of their tour. TAUK brought the heat right off the bat with Basement, a heat that never quite cooled off!
Set: Basement, Friction, Tumbler, On Guard > Tetris, Mindshift > X-Men, Eleanor Rigby, Dead Signal, Collateral
Finally, to close out the festival STS9 hit the Main Stage, playing some fan favorites including World Go Round and closing out with Instantly.
Vapors, Inspire, Oil N Water, Walk to the Light > Kamuy > Rent, Totem, Frequency 2/3, World Go Round, Instantly
The Thursday Pre-Party was super special as well! I got there just in time for EOTO (Michael Travis and Jason Hann from Cheese). This electronic improv duo is always a blast to dance to! Next up was a super funky set from Ivan Neville‘s Dumpstaphunk including an awesome cover of Funkadelic’s Red Hot Mama, followed by my favorite Dead cover band, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead.
The stage setup at Suwannee is perfect! The Main Stage is on a slight hill so you can see from almost anywhere, and it is absolutely huge to accommodate the huge acts such as Cheese.
Past some vendors and into the trees you find the gorgeous Amphitheater Stage. The amphitheater stage is my favorite stage to hang at when at Suwannee. It is smaller, and have stairs going up a hill so you can see from just about anywhere.I was disappointed to see that Hulaween wasn’t allowing the hammocks. At Wanee (a festival in April at the same venue) you can hang hammocks all throughout the trees and it is absolutely gorgeous and makes for super comfortable listening, especially when you may want to go listen to music in the shade during the day, or perhaps relax later on into the night. Also the late night shows were all extremely packed. Hulaween may benefit from even more acts to spread out the crowd, especially if it continues to grow, which I’m almost certain it will considering Hulaween more than tripled their growth since last year!
Next up was Spirit Lake, an artistically transformed masterpiece hidden in the swamp. Inside, there were two stages surrounded by beautiful artwork everywhere you looked. The Spirit Lake Stage and The Campground Stage were both great stages, with some amazing sound and even better acts! There were also the two silent discos, Silent Disco A & B, which had music all through the night, allowing you to listen to music until the sun rose!
The Suwannee Music Foundation and Conscious Alliance hosted a food drive to support the Love Inc. Food Bank in Live Oak, FL. You could bring 5 or more cans or non-perishable food items to the food drive tent and receive a commemorative 2015 festival poster.
Hulaween was transformed in such a way I hardly recognized Suwannee. The Spirit Lake area was a tripper’s dream, with magical art and discoveries everywhere your eyes could see.
Delicious vendors were all over Hulaween! Don’t forget to try some Gator!
There were so many amazing vendors throughout the grounds, with gorgeous and unique crafts so tempting you might just spend your whole wallet! Katie Did It! had to have been one of my favorites, her unique stained glass makes the perfect addition to any home!
There were lots of yoga options at Hulaween, giving you the perfect way to stretch out before boogying all night long!
Hulaween offered lots of workshop options in Spirit Lake! Whether you wanted to learn how to slackline or perhaps discover edible and medicinal plants, Hulaween had you covered! See the schedule above in Yoga.
HELP THE ENVIRONMENT:
There was a recycling emphasis and the Green Team had carnival style games in the Recycle Rewards tent. You could play Plinko with your crushed beer cans for a chance to win cool prizes. They also had lots of information on how you can live more sustainably and make a difference!
- Thursday Pre-Party
- Ferris Wheel