A collection of photos from Hulaween 2019.
Going to a camping festival isn’t easy. You need to pack all your camping shit into suitcases, lug those suitcases through the airport, get a rental car, stock up on disposables and consumables at Walmart, set up camp - and after all that, you spend all day walking and all night dancing. But there’s a certain combination of anticipation, relaxation, and exhilaration that makes it worthwhile. On our way into the campground, we saw this “Cheese Love” sign, referring to the jam band The String Cheese Incident. Cheese played seven sets throughout the weekend. Their infamous Saturday night set featured various 90’s covers, and I am convinced that it was the biggest and craziest party in the world between the hours of 10 and 11 pm. I was personally blown away by their cover of the west-coast rap ballad ‘California Love’, which had me questioning not only the capabilities of The String Cheese Incident, but also reality itself. Cheese Love indeed.
After getting our camp set up on Thursday afternoon, we made our way into the venue to see the melodic electronic virtuoso Tycho Perform at the Amphitheater stage. I’ve come to believe that the Amphitheater at Hulaween is one of the greatest stages ever made. It’s gorgeous, it has great sound quality, the artists love it, it feels both intimate and substantial. The only drawback is that it’s very difficult to get out of the crowd. Anyways, Tycho was amazing; everything was played live, plus he brought out the vocalist Saint Sinner for a few tracks and she was terrific. Since this was on Thursday, we were able to zig-zag our way real close to the stage for the last few songs - it was foggy and vibey up there and we loved it.
Speaking of the Amphitheater, I must mention French DJ & producer Clozee, who performed a very fun set on Friday night. Clozee’s music has a neat ethnic sound, she tends to go a little harder than what Jess and I typically listen to - but we raged it out during this set and it was great.
Ok, I’m not done talking about the Amphitheater. We saw Big Wild play here on Saturday night and it was next level. This was also a live band set. Big Wild’s music is hard to describe - it feels like the soundtrack to a safari mixed with some catchy dance grooves. We watched this from a distance, so we could admire the trees, lights, crowd, and stage all interacting.
I’m contractually obligated to write about Spirit Lake, the attraction area jam packed with lights, art installations, interactive entertainment, and three music stages. I was very nervous that Spirit Lake would be dialed-back this year due to the financial issues that the festival was experiencing. But, it wasn’t dialed back at all. We saw posters advertising “Sad Songs” at one of the spirit lake stages on Friday night. We checked it out, and discovered it was a group playing emo songs from the ‘90s. It was a bizarre experience, we loved it.
One night, while exploring a “village” of houses in Spirit Lake, Jess and I discovered that a fireplace in one of the houses didn’t have a wall on the inside. We ducked through the fireplace into a small hallway, and questioned if we stumbled into an off-limits area or a special hidden gem. We followed the maze-like hallway into a very strange dining room with walls lined with greenery. It felt surreal. Oh, and we were wearing our skeleton costumes.
The “theme” at Hulaween this year was the ‘90s. This was a good theme because a large slice of attendees, like us, grew up in the ‘90s. Here we are wearing Green Monkey shirts from the Nickelodeon TV show Legends of the Hidden Temple. We saw many other attendees wearing similar shirts. We also saw a totem of a glowing “Aggro Crag” from Nickelodeon GUTS. Good stuff, fam.
This was a really cool moment. While walking through spirit lake, we saw a big crowd around one of the tables in the “casino" area. One of the band members from The String Cheese Incident was at the blackjack table, and his wager was a backstage pass. It was a tense and boisterous moment, and I'm sad to say that I couldn't follow the ultimate outcome of the hand among all of the commotion.
There was a giant witch stirring a giant pot in spirit lake. The inside of the pot was a circular smoke-filled seating area for about 8 people. Here's a picture of Jess sitting in the witch's brew.
This was the view from our tent when looking upwards. Unlike most festivals, the camping at Hulaween is in the woods. The campground is really beautiful, particularly at night when it gets pitch-black except for the scattered lights of campsites, flashlights, and the occasional glow stick.
We closed out our weekend with a trip to Disney! We went to Magic Kingdom for a special Halloween event, "Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween", which ran until midnight on Sunday! It was fun to walk around the park, and we even had time to go on some rides. We got to our hotel near the airport around 2am, then flew back to Boston the next morning.
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