The 10th year Anniversary of Hulaween Music Festival happened this past weekend and it was one for the Books! This festival is one of the best camping festivals in the country… if not the best. Now Let’s Dive into this Hulaween Festival Review from start to finish stage hoppers.
Getting There: Arrival/Departure
Getting to Suwannee Hulaween was a breeze coming from the Tampa Bay Area as it was only a 3 hour drive. Most of the festival goers I talked to and got to know came from Florida or from a 6 hour radius anywhere in the Southeast. Coming from farther away is a bit of a logistics battle as Suwannee Hulaween is located just outside of Live Oak, FL on the Suwannee River and there are no bigger metropolitan areas around and this is mainly a camping music festival. As a camping festival you are staying at the festival all day and all night so everyday rather than driving you have a simple 10-20min walk from your campsite to the venue itself. Walking can vary depending on where your campsite is and if you are not there early on Wednesday or Thursday I would be ready for a longer walk than most, but golf carts are allowed with a registration fee, as well as bicycles if you want! Leaving the festival was a breeze everyday and was just as easy when leaving the campgrounds as they had multiple exits for different sides of camp. All in all this festival was super easy going for arrival and departure to the festival and to the venue once you’re in the campgrounds.
Hulaween is held at the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL. Suwannee Music Park is no stranger to music events as it has a built in natural amphitheater, but the venue is transformed for the Hulaween Music Festival. The Moment you step in you are hit with the sound of music and can see the many stages and art installations that are added to the venue for this mystical festival. At its core you have Spirit Lake, which in my opinion is the best part of the whole festival as they put on aquatic lasers and light shows on the lake at night that are mystifying to festival goers. Something unique to this festival is that they stagger acts and which stages have an artist going on or not. I personally love this because you always get 2-3 acts on at the same time so you are not missing a vast majority of artists and the stages are not too packed. The Camping venue is well maintained, but quite large to navigate, especially at night when it is pitch black in most areas. Make sure to bring a flashlight and get ready for soundcamps/renegades that go on till the sun comes up in certain areas. One of the best features of Hulaweens campgrounds is that there are no set campsites like most festivals do. That’s right, it is first come first serve for you and your squad to rope off whatever space you need and set up. This is well known by most goers and everyone at hulaween is super nice about working together to all have space! All in all this is a great venue that is very easy to navigate when enjoying the festival.
Food and Drinks:
Hulaween offers a variety of food and drinks that a festival goer can choose from even in the campgrounds! I had pizza, teriyaki chicken, greek pita, and even grilled cheese. All of the food vendors were great and they even had more than I was able to try. Plus the lines were never long with that many options. Alcoholic Drinks are served widely throughout the venue and it varies from year to year what specialty cocktails they will carry. Overall it was quite easy to go up and grab any drink you needed as they had bars throughout the venue with multiple ordering stations. Hulaween even has bar cart vendors that can move about the crowds and festival grounds. Lastly do not forget to grab a smoothie or a coffee to start your morning off right!
Visuals, Sound, And Theme:
Although the stages are not meant for flashy edm visuals, this festival is a visual spectacle for all who attend. The Amphithear and the Spirit lake Stage are situated in the first perfectly to where you are underneath the tree canopy while music is blaring and lights/ lasers bounce off the leaves. Spirit Lake itself is one of the coolest festival art installations I have ever seen, and words do not do it justice. As mentioned briefly above Spirit lake is turned into an aquatic lightshow and laser spectacle that features many different visuals that appear in the middle of the lake which can be seen from all sides of the lake! The Sounds at each stage were amazing and luckily there was no sound bleed as the stages are spaced out enough and festival planners do an amazing job staggering acts and stages. You can also expect to hear multiple different genres of music from jam bands, house, experimental, soul, and much more. They will have something for almost everybody! The Theme of Hulaween is always Halloween as it takes place that weekend of Halloween every year. You can expect to hear “happy hula” and many festival goers bringing out their costumes each day!
Hulaween is an amazing festival that brings a wide variety of music for all to hear while having a 3 day halloween party. If you can make hulaween a festival on your yearly list I highly recommend you go and check this festival out!