You can now set your Halloween festing plans in stone – the Hulaween lineup is here at last! Things have been tumultuous behind the scenes since last year’s event, but the Spirit of Suwannee has delivered a satisfying array of artists for what many agree is the coolest Halloween party in the country.
Comparisons as the “Electric Forest of the South” are even more astute this year with Bassnectar as a headliner. If his presence was pulling you towards Voodoo Fest, which is more about the musical acts, now you can get that sweet, sweet nectar at the festival that’s more about the experience. Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals will put on one hell of a hip-hop and soul-funk show, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit add folksy, alternative country-rock, and as this is The String Cheese Incident‘s festival, the dynamic variety-jam legends will play something like seven sets across the four days of October 24-27.
Flying Lotus and CharlesTheFirst explore psychedelic, experimental hip-hop-influenced electronica while Big Wild, Jai Wolf, Whethan and MEMBA bring chiller, melodic electronic vibes. Walker & Royce and J. Worra pump the tech house, Tchami swings across future/bass house and CloZee bumps her unique world bass sound. PEEKABOO unleashes heavy bass dub, Whipped Cream and Vampa throw down standard dubstep while Snails classifies his heavy dub as vomitstep. The Funk Hunters and Marvel Years spin electronic funk, SoDown mixes between heavy, chill and groovy electronic tunes, Manic Focus plays electronic rock and funk, and EOTO is a prime example of an electronic jam band.
Hulaween serves as a haven of jam bands and bands in adjacent genres, so you can get jammy-wammy nearly all weekend or just when you feel like that kind of vibe. This year’s stacked selection includes STS9 (jamtronica), Lettuce (funk jams), Umphrey’s McGee (jam variety), Greensky Bluegrass (jam grass), Joe Russo’s Almost Dead (the preeminent Grateful Dead cover band), Pigeons Playing Ping Pong (funk jams), Billy Strings (freewheeling bluegrass), Ripe (funk jams), Pnuma (jamtronica), Circles Around the Sun (psychedelic jams), The Motet (funk jams), Tauk (psychedelic jams), Andy Frasco & the U.N. (blues-rock jams) and more.
One of the acts I’m most hyped for is Tom Morello, the guitarist from Rage Against the Machine, who’s amongst the greatest shredders living today. Maribou State promises a compelling set with its engaging blend of chill jamtronica and soulful trip-hop. The indie funk of Magic City Hippies recalls the psychedelic rock of Tame Impala but more relaxed and with a dash of Vampire Weekend. Steel Pulse raises reggae up high and Thundercat creates a surreal dream-state with his soothing funk-fusion.
Most attendees don wonderfully impressive costumes all four days, the open-area camping is an ideal festival campground and the Spirit Lake zone is the spooky equivalent of Sherwood Forest. It has a maze-like design to it and the cornucopia of interactive art installations reside in the same tier of mind-blowing art as Electric Forest. And since so many of the acts are jam bands, there’s a more laid-back pace overall.
Tier one tickets have already sold out. Tier two tickets are $319.79 after tax for a 3-day GA pass, $408.69 after tax for a 4-day GA pass, and $75 for a primitive car camping pass. View the full phase one lineup below and we’ll see you in Live Oak, FL in less than three months!
*Featured image via Suwannee Hulawee/Mandi Nulph*