Hulaween, one of the country’s premier large-scale music festivals destinations, is set to return in just a few short weeks, for its tenth anniversary year. Taking place once again from October 26 through the 31st, Hulaween will also once again be turning The Spirit of Suwannee park in northwest Florida into a swirling, triptastic, visual and audio wonderland. Just a few days ago, the festival released its official schedule, and we’ve been salivating and planning over it ever since.
At the height of this year’s anticipation for the return of Hulaween is most certainly the not one but two scheduled sets of modern producer genius Pretty Lights, set for headlining slots on both Saturday and Sunday evening. If you’re not already aware, peek through the insane buzz surrounding PL’s current ongoing tour and how well he’s been performing recently, and get a sense why its such a big deal that’ll be at Hula later this month.
This is in addition of course to yearly Hulaween host artists The String Cheese Incident, who will be performing sixth sets across the weekend, including their truly larger than life, Saturday night extravaganza set. From the legendary Space set, to tributes to the 90s, studio 54, bluegrass superjams and more, Cheese’s Saturday night banger always ends up being one of the most talked about performances of the year.
But SCI and Pretty Lights are just the twin peaks of the massive iceberg that is another incredible Hulaween lineup, and the amount of other talents set to blow out Suwannee is once again impressive and, arguably, can’t-not-miss worthy. In the article below, take a read of just a few of the musical acts we’re most excited to see perform this year at Hulaween.
Check out Hulaween 2023’s full music schedule at the bottom of the article. Tickets for the festival are on sale now, and can be found along with all information about the weekend at their official website here.
Jams, Jams Taboose
For jamband lovers, Hulaween has really stepped up its game its year: in one weekend you’ll be served multiple sets of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, a coveted appearance from Les Claypool’s legendary project Flying Frog Brigade, plus exciting sets from newcomer hitters like local favorites Tand, Colorado groovers The Jauntee, Applachian americana jamband Kendall Street Company, and more.
And then, of course, there’s the back to back sets from a couple of jam scene giants, Trey Anastasio Band and Goose. The sets from these two are probable to be epic all own their own. But those invested in the scene certainly know of the historic collaboration of late that has taken place between TAB and Goose, and how beautifully, musically powerful that has been. While we can’t predict any collaboration either which way will happen at Hulaween this year–you never know?
New and Newish Players
There are some very cool musical artists making their Hulaween debut this year, as well as some up and comers making a very anticipated return. One of the debuts we’re most psyched for is Turkish psychedelic rock outfit Altin Gun. Just go and don some headphones and spin this band’s colorfully gritty, mind-bending world beats. Then go dance to it deep in the Suwannee forest for a truly mad experience.
On the flip side of things, we at The Jamwich are grateful for any amount of bluegrass we get at giant, multi-faceted festivals like this, and thankfully this year Hulaween has some choice acts prepared in this regard. One such choice to absolutely not miss is Kitchen Dwellers, one of the leading jamgrass groups of today. Hitting the stage just after midnight on Thursday, Dwellers will round out night one with some of the most diabolically tight, and improvisationally inspiring, bluegrass chops to be heard.
Not a debut, but dark dance minions Lespecial will be making their return to Hulaween, and this year they have been upgraded to a ninety minute late night throwdown, scheduled to close out Friday night. Throw on their new album Odd Times and it should be instantly clear why this power trio’s thrashing, swarming crowd at Hulaween this October will be one of the most fun ones to join.
Lots and Lots of Funk
It’d be unusual if they didn’t, but Hulaween is delivering double this year on the amount of first-rate funk bands. If you like your funk a little refined? Suave, pop funk artists like Melt and Couch will be making a debut in the forest this year. Meanwhile, Baltimore party time favorites Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, and NOLA supergorup Ghost Note are set to play back to back, two-hour late night sets at the apex of Saturday night. That alone is going to be a lot of non-stop furious funk action.
On Sunday night, you can see yourself out of the festival with what are sure to be two very unique weekend closing sets of collaborative funk. First up, on Spirit Lake, The Nth Power will be The Jenth Power, meaning they will be jamming a set with TAB’s secret weapon, trumpeter and vocalist Jennifer Hartswick. After that, as the end off, New Mastersounds phenom fusion jazz guitarist Eddie Roberts will be jamming with brand new project, The Lucky Strikes.