Since January, Suwannee Hulaween fans have worried and speculated whether the pre-eminent Halloween festival would return in 2019, following news that many artists had still not been paid several months after the 2018 edition. The official reason founder Paul Levine and other organizers gave for this was “a number of accounting errors led to the show going grossly over budget.” The concert promotion company behind Hula, Silver Wrapper, even dissolved after 20 years in business. As organizers sought new investors to pay off their debts, the future looked uncertain.
A month ago, talent buyer Michael Berg and Levine issued a statement saying “many of the outstanding 2018 Hula bills have indeed been paid, and arrangements towards the others are being handled currently, thanks to our new financial partner.” They reassured Hulaween was still a go for this year, though announcements were delayed until “we made things right with the people who were/are owed money.” It seems like they finally accomplished that, as the first posts since December to the festival’s social media channels confirm the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL will host the seventh year of Hulaween October 24-27.
It’s still a mystery as to whom the new financiers are, but rumors of Live Nation buying in have been debunked. Hulaween will announce a blind pre-sale “VERY soon” according to their Twitter account, followed by the general on-sale and line up not long after. Often referred to as the “Electric Forest of the South”, Hulaween is hosted by jam band extraordinaires String Cheese Incident, bringing together a variety of musical acts with a focus on jam bands and EDM. The whole Spirit Lake area of Suwannee brims with magical art installations and the spectacle of costumes on display at Hula tops any festival all year, so the survival of this iconic event is a real relief for the festival community.
*Featured image via Suwannee Hulaween/Keith Griner*