Photos by RUKES
Disco Donnie Presents is a staple production company in Texas and throughout the Southeast – throwing festivals like Ubbi Dubbi, Sunset, and Freaky Deaky. Replacing Houston’s Something Wicked as a Halloween festival, Freaky Deaky is now Texas’ staple Halloween weekend event. Taking place over 2 days outside Houston, Freaky Deaky brought a lineup that did not disappoint. With good weather, lots of sunshine, and a plethora of Halloween costumes; the weekend went off with a bang.
The lineup of Freaky Deaky is what really stood out about this festival and made it a contender against all the other Halloween festivals happening the same weekend. They had solid talent across a ton of genres, including tech house, deep house, psytrance, bass and dnb. The Crypt was the bass stage all weekend, The Big Top was the house stage all weekend, The Shrine (the main stage) had a mix of both, and the Haunted Hollow was psytrance and dnb on Saturday and hardstyle on Sunday. The Rising was the stage for local talent and had acts across all genres. Saturday saw artists like REZZ, Tchami, Malaa, Fisher, Shiba San, Walker & Royce, Getter, Space Jesus, Lane 8, Yotto, Luttrell, Christoph, Planet of the Drums, Delta Heavy, Simon Patterson, Will Atkinson, John Askew, Desert Dwellers, and many more. Sunday saw Martin Garrix, Armin van Buuren, Spencer Brown, Ganja White Night, CloZee, CharlestheFirst, Green Velvet, AC Slater, Chris Lorenzo, Dombresky, Mason Maynard, Volac b2b Phlegmatic Dogs, Tim Baresko, VNSSA, Da Tweekaz, and many more.
The Shrine was the main stage for the weekend. It was the farthest stage from the entrance and was out in a grassy open area. The stage was essentially a big LED square with Freaky Deaky written in dripping letters across the top and then mirrored upside down on the bottom. Saturday saw a ton of house on this stage with Shiba San b2b Walker & Royce into Fisher into Malaa into Tchami. Sunday was more trance, starting off with Cosmic Gate and Spencer Brown, and then transitioned into some main stage house with Steve Aoki and Martin Garrix.
The Crypt was almost the exact same stage setup as the Shrine, just to the right of the Shrine and separated by the Rising stage and some art installations. The Crypt stage was the bass stage for the weekend. Saturday saw TVBOO, Subdocta, The Crystal Method, Kai Wachi, ATLiens, Blunts & Blondes, Space Jesus, Borgore and Getter. Sunday saw CharlestheFirst, CloZee, Kill the Noise, Black Tiger Sex Machine and Ganja White Night.
The Big Top
The Big Top was the house stage for the weekend and was enclosed in a pointed circular tent, a literal big top. The crowd radiated out around the stage, spilling out in the 5 entrance holes leading into the stage. The stage was backed with shipping containers to block the noise bleed from The Shrine stage. However, these shipping containers also bounced back the soundwaves so if you were standing in front of them you could hear a clapback. This stage was also muddier than most of the others, so Freaky Deaky laid down a bunch of hay to absorb the mud. But the hay was thick and almost impossible to dance in! Everyone was ankle deep in the hay/mud combo. Atleast the festival reacted to the mud situation on Saturday and put down the hay around this stage and around the bathrooms and food vendors. It’s better to have hay that you’re getting bogged down in than mud. This stage had better sound quality than The Shrine and The Crypt (if you were underneath the tent). It was my favorite stage of the weekend, but maybe this is just because my favorite type of electronic music is tech house. Saturday saw deep house legends like Luttrell, Christoph, Yotto and Lane 8 while Sunday saw tech house like VNSSA, Tim Baresko, Russian Style (Volac b2b Phlegmatic Dogs), Mason Maynard, Dombresky, Chris Lorenzo, AC Slater and Green Velvet.
The Haunted Hollow was a small covered stage right by the entrance. This stage was so fun as it was super small, but cranking the volume, and filled with artists of “not typical” genres. Saturday saw the day start off with psytrance from John Askew, Will Atkinson and Simon Patterson and then transitioned into some drum n bass from Delta Heavy and Planet of the Drums. Sunday was mostly hardstyle with artists like Lady Faith, Junkie Kid, Da Tweekaz, Coone, Tweekacore, and Lil Texas.
This year the festival was located at the Houston Raceway, a solid hour and a half outside of Houston. Previous years had been held at the Sam Houston Park, which was much closer to the city. Because of how far the festival was from Houston, it was almost impossible to get an uber. Or if you could get one there, the surge and lack of phone service made it near impossible to get one back. I saw loads of people trying to find rides or hitchhike back at the end of the night. This forced people to drive themselves, since there was no ride share or public transit option.
Lines/Entrance + Exit
The lines getting into and out of the festival were quite ridiculous. The line to drop people off or get into parking was backed up off the highway. Each day took about an hour of waiting in line from “arriving” at the festival. Then after waiting in line to park, you had to wait in line to go through security – another 45 minutes roughly. Then, on the way out you also had to wait in lines. Leaving the parking area after the festival took over another hour to an hour and a half. There was only one exit point for the entire parking lot. I think the logistics weren’t down pact because of the new location, but a festival should be able to predict and mitigate lines like these much better, especially festivals thrown by companies like Disco Donnie – who have been doing festivals for years.
Freaky Deaky had a good amount of official pre parties and after parties – including one after party each night that was on site. This saved a lot of people from having to drive into downtown Houston. You walked straight out of the festival and across the street into a pop up tent that was the stage. Saturday night saw Space Jesus with support from Esseks and Huxley Anne at the onsite stage and Sunday saw Green Velvet with support from Mason Maynard. Other after parties included Tchami and Malaa at Spire, Fisher at Clé, and Steve Aoki at Spire. There was even a Getter pre party at Clé on Friday night. Clé and Spire are fancier clubs with dress codes so it was good that they created an on-site after party for the people coming straight out of the festival and still going full wook.