It’s been 10 glorious years of Suwannee Hulaween! This year, the magic will happen Thursday, October 26 – Sunday, October 29, 2023 as the festival is returning home to the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida. As one of the last truly independent, large-scale music festivals thriving amongst today’s corporatized concert landscape and selling out its last five events, Hulaween will commemorate a decade of success with one of the most exciting editions yet. We’re super psyched!
Headliners for the 2023 edition include six sets from festival founders The String Cheese Incident, Trey Anastasio Band, Goose, John Summit, Elderbrook, Big Wild, Channel Tres, Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Smino, Dispatch, and an exclusive East Coast festival appearance from Pretty Lights with 2 sets. It’s going to be a dream, let me tell you!
Hulaween’s coveted Spirit Lake is heralded as one of the leading immersive art experiences across American festivals. Immerse yourself in the magic as you explore exhibitions from talented sculptors, fire/metal workers, painters, thespians, and lighting designers. Attendees can revel in lakefront projection mapping, hypnotizing light shows, interactive installations with both visual and performance art, and catch performances at Spirit Lake’s four stages. It’ll be beautiful!
To celebrate the decade milestone, Spirit Lake has unveiled a comprehensive list of art programming for the first time in Hulaween’s history. While the festival would typically keep all art programming a secret for attendees until they arrived on-site, this year each artist and art collective will be credited across the festival app, website, onsite signage, and more. That’s so cool! We love to hear all about it!
There are a number of Spirit Lake classics that will be returning for Hulaween’s 2023 edition including the highly-anticipated daily projection mapping from professionals Jasper & Shelby Mosher.
Hulaween fan-favorite and highly recognized art stage concept Incendia from Cory Glenn will return to once again ignite the dancefloor. Serving as one of the stages of Spirit Lake, Incendia’s unique design utilizes a proprietary fire-capturing technique to create an illuminating glow that provides an unparalleled ambiance for the crowd.
The infamous Frick Frack Black Jack led by Marvelous Marv will once again return to Hulaween as the no cash, no limit blackjack game. The Frick Frack brand has grown to land across various festivals across the United States and continues to provide an enthralling and quirky experience for attendees.
The Mural Maze collection originated at the debut edition of Hulaween and has continued to grow in size over the past decade. Sprawling across 15,000 square feet, this installation provides an immersive experience for attendees and exposure and growth for visual artists. This year’s Mural Maze will be led by Ania Amador. This year The Mural Maze is expanding to include lounge and workshop space Deliberate Creation Station, The Gallery displaying artwork, and the Hydration Station.
Paul Kuhn aka Twelve Limbs Art Studio will bring back the highly-captured large-scale sculptural pieces including the Witch, Ogres, The Ferryman, and more.
Duende Builds will bring back the sustainability-built Birdhouses to Hulaween which are crafted from locally harvested natural materials to create something organically beautiful for the festival’s vast art installation display.
Additional returning installations include Thomas Dambo’s The Spider, Efren Rebugio Jr & Chris Robertson’s Haunted House, Ashley Spero’s Spero Totems, Lost Creations’ House of Lost, and Spirit Lake deco design by RÜTS.
This year will feature a selection of 10 brand-new art installations and concepts that will contribute to making this the largest Spirit Lake ever.
Tyler Schrader will debut a double-sided, interactive, wooden LED sculpture known as The Cosmic Portal which will feature 5,000 LEDs with the other side projection-mapped. It is equipped with a device that detects electrical variations of plants, translating them into vibrations, audio, and visual experiences that encourage attendees to reconnect with nature through the use of technology.
Considered ambassadors of Mexico abroad, the monumental Alebrijes are created by mixing pictorial and sculptural elements of contemporary art by the artist Emanuel Zarate Ortiz. These breathtaking installations are meant to honor tales of traditional Mexican storytelling, and inspire spiritually expansive messages to the Hulaween attendees.
Essi Rhodes’ installation titled Chatterpillars will consist of two human-size caterpillars meant to inspire a change in perspective. Fans can interact with the installation by talking into the caterpillar’s mouth so that a friend or stranger on the other side can hear their thoughts, creating a sort of childhood playground nostalgia.
In an effort to recycle those old style tube televisions, Save the TV’s Irregular Scheduled Programming will utilize these electronics to breathe life into a new display that strives to make people think twice before discarding junk and old electronics.
Subloominal & Voxeleyes will showcase interactive bioluminescent mushrooms in their Bioshroom display which are created by growing and foraging real mushrooms that are 3D scanned and digitally sculpted to be 3D printed. The artists then add LEDs and proximity sensors that will lend a unique visual component to Spirit Lake for Hulaween patrons.
Fans can look forward to more installations such as Daniel Shields’ UV reactive Portal Prism, Charlie BlackCat Smith’s flame-infused interactive steel sculpture, The Fleeble Flobbler, Tyson Ayers’ The Sound Cave, Gnome Village Minis from John Grillo, a unique Campground Stage Design from Hannah Miller and Justin Bolognino, and brand design + illustration from Young & Sick.
At the helm of this new era for Spirit Lake is the new Creative Director, Justin Bolognino who is the CEO and co-founder of META. The company creates live, multi-sensory experiences that use technology, design, and storytelling to ignite the human senses and spirit. Bolognino‘s previous work consists of designing immersive artistic experiences in collaboration with artists such as Skrillex, Phish, Questlove, Porter Robinson, Tiësto, and many more. In addition to working with musical acts, META also has various brand clients such as Google, Spotify, Samsung, Vimeo, and more. Gearing up for his first Hulaween edition as Spirit Lake’s Creative Director, Bolognino has fortified the classic installations that fans have come to know and love as well as curating 10 additional installations and experiences.
Spirit Lake has become such a vital part of Hulaween’s identity with its staggering list of art installations and activities that keep fans mesmerized year after year. It’s neat to see they’ve shared this with us this year as it gives us more to look forward to!
Hulaween has also just released the official 2023 schedule including the newly-announced second set from electro-soul pioneer Pretty Lights who will perform The Meadow Stage’s closing set on both Saturday and Sunday evening.