If you were searching for the definition of the word confluence, you could look online or in a dictionary… but an example would be better. And there is no example better than Hulaween, the perfect merger of The String Cheese Incident, Hallowe’en, and the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park. Triumvirate. Trifecta. Triarchy. A perfect triangle.
The third iteration of Hulaween follows two wildly successful events at the park in 2013 and 2014. And The String Cheese Incident, Silver Wrapper and Purple Hat Productions know how to throw a party! First, offer up seven (count ‘em: 7) sets of SCI, invite some of the most influential musicians on the scene to join them, feature an expanded Spirit Lake collection of astounding multimedia art projects, and offer yoga, theme nights and workshops. And all of this at that 800-acre slice of heaven known as Spirit of Suwannee.
Festivities start with a pre-party on Thursday, October 29th, for early arrivals, featuring Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, with more music to be announced in upcoming weeks.
The SCI performances have as their centerpiece a “theatrical surprise cover-filled” three-set Hallowe’en night show. That should dovetail nicely with all of the costumed festival-goers and the interactive theme camps and most specially with Spirit Lake: “an experiential artistic glowing menagerie of multimedia metalwork, paintings, sculptures, light projections and live performances that morphs the prehistoric-looking forest into a vivid dream-like space.” (from the festival website)
Of great importance to fans who wish to maximize their musical experience, there are few overlapping sets, so the opportunity exists to hear a lot of music, visit with a lot of old friends, make a lot of new friends, and check out the workshops and yoga and interactive opportunities all weekend long. And maybe rest for a minute or two.
25 bands have been announced for the three-day festival (plus the Thursday pre-party), with more to come. Many of them have been prominent on the summer festival scene. Pretty Lights joins their Colorado SCI friends with his “electrohiphopsoul.” And then you have Primus, the weird beards of San Francisco, led by the king of weird, Les Claypool. And Chance the Rapper will augment his Chicago-style hip hop with his live band, The Social Experiment.
There is plenty of electronic/jamtronic music in store for Hulaweeners as well. STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector 9) represents the full band approach, as does Papadosio. And then there are the Hill brothers from Kansas, better know as The Floozies, and Detroit’s GRiZ, who embellishes his “electro-soul and future funk” with DJ trappings and saxophone. And don’t forget Odesza, touring the planet, returning just in time for their Hallowe’en set.
If a “fusion of folk, rock, reggae and blues with hip hop, funk, metal and punk” is what you need, Slighty Stoopid has got you covered. Funkmasters supreme Lettuce have bragging rights to the park with dozens of sets at numerous festivals there and will be melting faces, as usual.
For something completely different, Railroad Earth and the Sam Bush Band are leading exponents of the newgrass movement. RRE has been playing since 2001, and consider that Sam Bush was involved from the beginning with New Grass Revival in 1971. He, Bela Fleck, Dave Grisman and others birthed this Americana-based bluegrass movement. Elephant Revival belongs firmly in this conversation as well.
Another quartet of groups are also regulars at Spirit of Suwannee and are welcome additions to the lineup. The New Mastersounds are England’s contribution to the retro-funk-fusion sound, brilliantly presented. Dopapod offers the perfect blend of progressive rock and dance music. And there is powerful funk coming out of New Orleans. The Nth Power, featuring powerhouse Nikki Glaspie and fronted by Nick Cassarino, brands their music “LOVE,” a perfect mix of soul and funk with plenty of rock there, too. And Earphunk roars with its prog funk.
The rest of the lineup (so far!) includes: Future Rock, Goldfish, Sister Sparrow and the Dirtybirds, Turbo Suit, The Shook Twins, and Jon Stickley Trio. And last, but definitely not least, is Post Pluto from Pensacola. This quintet absolutely ripped it up at the Great Outdoors Jam.
For those new to the Spirit of Suwannee, amenities include a general store, restaurant, showers, indoor bathrooms and water stations. And it is the place many returnees refer to as heaven and as nirvana.
We will have more features as we get closer to that magical Hallowe’en weekend.
Now you have enough time to get your costumes planned out! See you there! And here is some costume-planning music!