Featured photo by Tara Gracer
It is everyone’s favorite time of the year! Halloween weekend means it it time for Hulaween! Everyone gathers their best costumes, rounds the troops for their campsite, and discusses what sets are the ones not to miss. In the 5 years I have attended Hulaween, there have been a handful of changes that have enhanced the experience for the attendees that help set the mood for the weekend at the Spirit of Suwannee!
If you have previously attended Hulaween before, you know that the Meadow is untouched Thursday night. This year was special since Fisher was the only artist slated to perform at the Meadow late Thursday night. It was a sight to see how PACKED the Meadow was! The crowd was going wild and the sound was so loud that once you cleared the back hill by the vendors, you definitely needed to put your earplugs in. The production was incredible mixed with lights, lasers, and visuals of Fisher’s dance moves. If this was the first set to set the tone for the weekend, a select handful of other sets at the Meadow were memorable ones.
Another set that was one to remember was Louis the Child. I remember meeting the duo back in 2016 on tour in Atlanta and they were selling out the smaller venues around the US. I also recall the last time Louis the Child was at Hulaween was 2016 at the Patch stage. During their set I had flashbacks of following this duo around playing their remixes and their select few singles. The fact that Louis the Child is selling out historic venues such as Red Rocks and Belly Up as well as headlining major festivals is such an exhilarating feeling. Congrats to Robbie and Freddy for their climb to the top!
For anyone unfamiliar with Spirit Lake, it is the place to be once the sun sets for the day. The combination of shade from the trees and Spanish moss to the lights, lasers, and live music happening makes it a place you want to get lost. Speaking of lost, did anyone get a chance to check out the House of the Lost and attend church? Over the course of the 5 Hulaween’s I have attended, Spirit Lake has had a handful of changes that were for the better! From the art installations to Frick Frack Blackjack to the water hologram, Spirit Lake is definitely a place to not miss out on exploring!
A great way to kick off Hulaween weekend was the Wakaan Takeover at Spirit Lake. The lineup for the day consisted of Tape B, Zingara, Canabliss, Ravenscoon, Tripp St., Jantsen, and Liquid Stranger. The last time Liquid Stranger graced us with his presence at Hulaween was in 2017 at the Patch stage (that I sadly missed, but only heard great things about his set for the pre-party). If you were concerned about how the crowd control was going to be at Spirit Lake for a jam packed day of dubstep, the newer layout of the Spirit Lake stage was perfect. Not only did the stage not feel jam packed, but the new sound system brought the BASS. I spent my entire Thursday posted up for this Wakaan Takeover and it did not disappoint as Liquid Stranger took us all to Deep Space!
Five Years Strong!
Every year that I attend Hulaween, there are always great memories that are made with the friends I have met from previous years. The 5 years I have spent at Suwannee always makes it tougher to leave after the weekend is over. Every year there is always a specific moment that you will recall and tell your pals years down the road.
Speaking of the number 5, here is my top 5 sets from all 5 Hulaween’s (in no specific order):
- ODESZA 2015 – Amphitheater Stage
- The String Cheese Incident 2021 – (Saturday set 3)
- Khruangbin 2021 – The Meadow
- GRiZ 2017 – The Meadow
- Liquid Stranger 2022 – Spirit Lake
If I have learned something over the 5 Hulaween’s I have been to, it is this list below:
- DO NOT MISS A STRING CHEESE INCIDENT SET! (Especially their shebang set Saturday night)
- Get to the Spirit of Suwannee early to get a prime spot for camping
- Bring earplugs!
- Prepare a fire pit for late night campfires (pending county fire bans)