Way down the Suwannee River is a little slice of heaven that not just us local Floridians call home. Every October all the goblins and witches from all over the world gather for a weekend full of magic and jams. Theres no doubt about it that if you’ve experienced the pure energy that the Suwannee Hulaween holds that you will become annual attendee for years to come. Variety is what Hulaween specializes in, from the people, to the art, to the music. Let’s dive right in and unleash the magic laying under the the pine and cypress trees.
Text and photos by Emily Harvey (Basswave Media)
Suwannee Hulaween (photo by Emily Harvey / Basswave Media)
Spirit lake is what we all anticipate every year. Not only does the festival themselves take a lot of time and effort into making an adult wonderland full of games, mysteries, and more, but real live artist from all over come and put their heart and soul into giving you murals that you will remember forever. With the span of 6 years over 6000 square feet has been painted by over 40 artists. A beautiful tradition Hulaween has started. Jam bands
Umphrey’s Mcgee (photo by Emily Harvey / Basswave Media)
When you’re talking jamming there isn’t much you can leave out. Hulaween does not play around. One things forsure, you better like to get stringy, with The infamous String Cheese Incident
playing 7 times through-out the weekend. You will be covered in cheese by the time you drive out of the park. SCI isn’t the only ones jammin’ out during the weekend. Thursday, we came in hot with favorites like Umphrey’s Mcgee
, Greensky Bluegrass,
What a way to get movin’ on a Thursday. The Motet
opened The Meadow Friday with the sun shining on us. But that didn’t slow us down. The bands came to get weird in the woods because all day we had amazing acts like Lettuce, Tom Morello, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong,
and of course some more String Cheese! Saturday comes with a little rain and a lot of humidity but that didn’t stop us. Steel Pulse
got us back on our feet, along with Manic Focus, Flying Lotus,
and The Hip Abduction.
As night falls and everyone is walking around in their costumes, we all wait for the best set of the whole weekend. String Cheese’s 90’s “it Smells like Teen Spirit” themed set. SCI walks out in Men in Black suits as the crowd goes wild. Vocalist Rhonda Thomas and Tony White took the stage for most of the 90’s cover set. Covering classic 90’s favorites like Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Give it away” Sublimes “Santeria.” SCI then busted out for the first time since Halloween of 2002, Nirvana’s
“Smells like Teen Spirit.” Following by Beck’s
“Loser” and Alanis Morrissette’s
“one hand in my pocket”. Bringing out another song from the vault SCI plays “Wedge” by Phish.
They haven’t covered that song since 2000. Before we dove straight into a hip hop mash up they finished rocking out with Radiohead’s
“Creep” and Pearl Jam’s
String Cheese Incident Smells like Teen Spirit set (photo by Emily Harvey / Basswave Media)
Coming at us with a mix of TLC
’s “Dont go chasing waterfalls”, Blackstreet
’s “No dignity” Tupac
’s “California Love” Montell Jordan
’s “This is How We Do it” Will Smith
’s “Gettin’ Jiggy With it” and MC Hammer
’s “U can’t Touch This” we all moved and grooved all night under the stars. As the close the set with Deee-Lite
’s “Groove is in the Heart.” The String Cheese Incident
didn’t hold back with all the nostalgic bangers we all know and love. There wasn’t a person in sight that wasn’t soul dancing under the swampy oaks. Closing out Saturday night the famous Anderson Paak and the Free Nationals
switching it up a bit with some soulful melodies. We can’t forget about Sunday, Hulaween
didn’t forget the jams for us on Sunday with Two sets of Joe Russos Almost Dead
, Billy Strings, Ripe, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
, and the final String Cheese Incident
set of the weekend. Traditionally speaking Hulaween has kept the jam band love alive and well giving us a stacked line up of some of the most talented musicians in the planet.
Pigeons Playin Ping Pong (photo by Emily Harvey / Basswave Media)
Even though we have already discussed a whole line up of jam bands we still have some incredibly talented producers to talk about that came out to play with the creatures of the spirit. Thursday came in at full speed at the Spirit Lake stage hosting artist like Holly Woods, Marvel Years, Whipped Cream, Peekaboo,
and the vomit squad kind Snails.
A lot of bass to go around for the first day out in the woods. Marvel Years
switched it up for us giving us some experimental bass melody vibes. Snails
breaking necks and rails closing the stage out for the night. But not before we got to see Whipped Cream
do their things. Friday held some legendary names like Jai Wolf, Bassnectar
Marvel Years (photo by Emily Harvey / Basswave Media)
ending his set with his Griztronics Remix and closing melting everyone at the Amphitheatre right as the night was getting started. The energy was in the air. Friday was full of diversity and all kinds of energies coming together as one. Showcasing all different talents Saturday, we had Big Wild
with his live vocals, Sodown
with his funky jams and Sax, CharlestheFirst
bringing in their own unique vibe to keep everyone’s dancing feet alive. Sunday fun day brought us some classic house party vibes with Walker & Royce
and French producer Tchami
closing out the weekend at the Amphitheatre.
Tchami (photo by Emily Harvey / Basswave Media)
Any corner you turned there was people creating magic and family within Hulaween.
The variety of life lives on underneath the Florida sun as Hulaween roars through 2019 with its diverse stacked line up. Thank you to all the hard working people who helped make Hulaween whole. The workers, the event staff, the musical talent, the artist, the family and friends that gather in the woods for Halloween weekend to make magic come alive. There truly is no other place like the Spirit of the Suwannee.