The first day of Suwannee’s Hulaween helped create an unforgettable experience for tens of thousands of people. It was filled with beautiful art, radiant music, and the most earnest and passionate people you’ll ever meet. That was only the first day though. The rest of the weekend continued to bear phenomenal outcomes. The recollections I’m writing reflect my personal experience at the festival, but, nonetheless, here’s another glimpse into the other worldly ordeal that was Hulaween.
I woke up early to try and make use of a signal or Wi-Fi connection on day two, but to no avail. After this fell through, I headed back to camp to cook breakfast for a few camp members who were willing to eat. Another member of my camp and I were ready before the rest of our mates, so we went on into the festival grounds to catch Louis Futon at around 2:30PM. Futon’s upbeat mellow funk music was the perfect way to start off the second day. We then explored the vendors in the area between the mainstage as we waited for Manic Focus to come on at 4:30PM. Once they were on, they blew the roof off the amphitheater with their fusion of live and electronic music. About midway through their set, they brought on Ryan Zoidis from Lettuce and he made the remainder of their set one of the saxiest things you’d catch all weekend. From there, we left the Amp and went to explore Spirit Lake during the daylight.
The art at Spirit Lake was so unparalleled from last year’s, just as next year’s art will be. During Hulaween, it’s one of the most serene places in the entire world to be. Because of the Lotus’ installation this year was definitely one of the highlights. During the night, the use of bio feedback art was breathtaking. I mean, using brain waves to control lasers on an art installation? That’s the kind of stuff our parents could only dream about at events like this. The Samhain Alter was also something to keep you in awe around the Lake. It’s one of the oldest origins of Halloween recorded by the Celtics. It was a symbol of the coming of winter and the stretching of life and death that came with the colder season. A cool little piece of history to keep us in touch with our Paganistic roots amongst the contemporary and commercialized Halloween we experience now. The live performers around Spirit Lake were also a sight to witness. Creatures of folk lore taller than three men, some that could move above us on the wind. It was truly a bewitching place. Then it was time for us to travel onward to see Jesus Coomes and Lettuce.
We meandered back to the amphitheater to see Lettuce at 6:45PM. Once they came on, no matter what those in the crowd or passersby were up to, everyone immediately got down. It was one of the most unified grooves of the weekend. The magic of Lettuce was soon over though and it was time for the String Cheese Incident’s special 80’s set. Everyone had been waiting all weekend for the Stranger Things 80’s set and it had finally come. It was chock full of everyone’s favorite throwback jams and the whole crowd sang every word to every song. Nothing but smiles surrounded you everywhere you looked. String Cheese run this festival for a reason. After the 80’s set, we went back to camp to settle before it was time to get intergalactic with Sound Tribe Sector 9 at 11PM.
The space influenced quintet blasted everyone off as soon as they took the stage. The thing about STS9 that I’ve always loved, is the reason I believe they got their name. Personally, every Tribe set I see makes me feel like I’m on a different planet in the universe. No two sets are alike and they always take you someplace else. It’s why they’re one of the most anomalous groups in existence. They were not the highlight of the night, however. After the Tribe finished at the Patch, Disclosure took the main stage at 12:30AM. The two brothers from Surrey are perhaps one of the world’s most successful musicians to date, and after seeing them perform, it’s not hard to understand why. The way their set flows and the choice they make of their own and others’ music makes their performances pure ecstasy. I don’t think there was an artist I enjoyed more the entire weekend than Disclosure. Musicians with raw talent and skill like the Lawrence brothers only come around once every blue moon. If you’ve never seen them, I urge you to make an attempt at it whenever they’re close to your home. After Disclosure, we wandered back to camp and rested for day three.