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Monday, March 04, 2024

Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park prepares to get into Hulaween spirit


Suwannee Hulaween will return to the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida, this weekend for its fourth annual festival.

Produced by Silver Wrapper and Purple Hat Productions, the festival will feature dozens of musical performances as well as workshops, art exhibits and contests over the course of three days.

Although this will be the fourth Suwannee Hulaween to come to Live Oak, festival producers have been actively working year-round to bring new elements to this weekend’s event.

“This year we have added a new stage … (and) a lot more surprises and installations,” said Destiny Beck, the publicist for the festival.

More than 60 musical artists, DJs and bands are set to perform throughout the weekend. Performing acts include The String Cheese Incident, Grammy-nominated duo Disclosure, electronic duo Big Gigantic, techno music producer Claude VonStroke, London-based duo Oh Wonder, reggae rock group Rebelution, Gainesville’s Locochino and German music producer Boys Noize.

“We're incredibly excited to be back at Suwannee,” said Luke Sipka of Bells and Robes, one of the festival’s returning musical performers. “The music and decorations at Hulaween are unlike any other festival.”

In addition to several Hulaween veterans, this year’s lineup includes various artists who will be making their first appearances on the Hulaween stage, such as rapper Logic, Canadian duo Bob Moses and producer Slow Magic.

“We are excited to get some stage play this year,” said Charles Weinert, half of the electric-mix duo MZG, one of Saturday’s performers. “We’ve been working toward it for a while now, and it feels great to have achieved it.”

As per tradition, among the musical acts will be a special performance by The String Cheese Incident, who is hosting the event.

“Every year, String Cheese performs a themed Halloween set featuring several cover debuts, costumes and other surprises,” Beck said.

This year’s theme is based on Netflix’s hit show “Stranger Things.”

In between musical performances, guests will have the option to attend workshops. Each day will offer classes in dance, yoga, healing and meditation.

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Suwannee Hulaween also offers several contests. One example is the “Stranger Things” costume contest to win a pair of passes for the event.

Another is the campsite-decorating contest. For the festival’s weekend campers, a VIP upgrade will be given to whoever has the most festive and creative campsite. The upgrade includes discounted drinks, massage services, viewing areas by the main stage, shuttle services and a catered meal.

In addition to music and activities, Suwannee Hulaween will offer guests a unique visual experience. Spirit Lake, a creative project to decorate the waterfront area of the park, will call on sculptors, painters and light designers to transform the park for Hulaween festivities.

For this weekend’s festival, Spirit Lake will be expanded to a larger scale than in years past, Beck said.

A silent disco and other surprise activities are scheduled to take place during the festival to showcase Spirit Lake.

Suwannee Hulaween will continue its annual greening program, as an important part of the festival is to be sustainable and connect with nature. According to the festival’s website, the project is a collaboration between Hulaween and the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park to enact and promote recycling and composting throughout the weekend.

The program’s Green Team will offer games, prizes and sustainability tips to festival attendants.

Suwannee Hulaween is also partnering with the Suwannee Music Foundation and Conscious Alliance for its inaugural food drive. Festival guests are asked to bring nonperishable foods items or monetary donations in support of the Love Inc. Food Pantry in Live Oak.

The first 600 people to donate 20 food items will receive a limited-edition event poster.

Beck said 2015’s Hulaween festival saw more than 21,000 guests.

“There is a great blend of all demographics with everyone having one key similarity: a love for music, friendship and culture,” Weinert said.

Suwannee Hulaween will start Friday, and the festivities will run until Sunday, with an official pre-party Thursday. Tickets, ranging from day passes to weekend passes, can be purchased at, over the phone or at the festival gate.

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