A collection of photos from Hulaween 2018. See my blog post about it here.
We arrived on Thursday afternoon. I think we were a little anxious about finding a good camping spot for ourselves. We ended up finding a great site with tree cover.
This is a picture of the main stage. We were a little underwhelmed with the festival on Thursday. Only a portion of the attendees were actually there on Thursday, so everything seemed a little...deflated. We were happy to see the attendance and energy pick up on the next day.
Hulaween had a good balance of jam bands, which we could listen to while sitting and relaxing during the day, and electronic music, which was fun and energetic at night. We took this picture while sitting at the tree line near the main stage.
Spirit Lake is an area within the venue with a lot of trees and art installations. It was a lot like the Forest at the Electric Forest festival. Spirit Lake contained two stages within, so there was almost always music playing. The art and structures were intriguing, impressive, playful, and sometimes interactive.
This guy was dressed up as a tree. I asked him his name, and he said it was “The Tree of Life”. He moved around really slowly, and spoke in a deep (but friendly) voice. I’m not sure if he was an attendee or a performer. Either way, it was a well done costume.
My description of Spirit Lake makes it sound like a weird place. And that's true - it's a weird place. But let me assure you, it’s much more normal during the daytime than at night.
Some of the wooden structures made for nice photo ops. Others made good places to sit and hang out.
At night, everything comes alive with a lot of colorful lights, lasers, flames, and smoke.
On Friday evening, while we were strolling through Spirit Lake, I asked Jess to marry me. It was a really exciting moment. We both cried. I love you, Jess!
It could get pretty cold at night. It seemed like Spirit Lake was always a few degrees warmer than other parts of the venue. That was probably because there were a few gas fire-emitting art installations, plus a few actual wood-burning art installations.
I asked a friendly nearby stranger to take our photos. She did a good job. Trust me, taking photos at Spirit Lake isn’t easy.
By the way, we were wearing our home-made skeleton costumes at the time.
It might sound silly, but music festivals have been really impactful to our relationship over the past few years. They are a great opportunity to get away from the pressures of the real world, have fun, and show your significant-other a lot of love. Later on Friday night, we serendipitously met with Kyle Hollingsworth of The String Cheese Incident (SCI) while standing in this pavilion. While Jess and I aren’t super-fans of SCI music, we are fans of the festivals that SCI have created (Electric Forest and Hulaween). We had a nice conversation with Kyle, learned about their inspirations and visions for these festivals, and we were able to thank him. We told him we just got engaged, and he told us the story of his own engagement. He was a nice guy.
There were five stages at Hulaween. I think the Amphitheater stage was the most picturesque. The amount of people who crowded into this stage for some of the bigger artists was really crazy.
Here is another picture of the Amphitheater, from a different angle.
During the daytime, security tried to keep people off of the HULA sign. I think they gave up at night.
Here is Skeleton Jess standing in front of the main stage. This picture was taken at 12:20, about 10 minutes before Odesza, the headline act for Friday, started their set. Entertainment went until 5 AM every night except Sunday. Jess and I didn’t ever make it to 5 AM, but it’s nice not having the entire venue shut down on you while you’re still having fun.
Above all, Hulaween is weird. It’s a good thing. People feel safe to be themselves, even if that means wearing a tie dye Snuggie and a cowboy hat while juggling a bunch of glowing orbs. This picture shows a little area where people were painting at 1 AM while overlooking the headliners perform at the main stage.
Speaking of being weird, Jess and I loved sitting in Spirit Lake or at a stage and people watching. Not in a judgey way; we just liked to see everyone’s costumes. We liked to see people having fun and being themselves.
It was sad to pack up and leave at the end of the weekend. We had a great time. But we also had our work lurking in the back of our minds. We both had zero cell signal, so we couldn’t even check in with the real world. In some ways, the forced disconnection was nice - but it did make my stomach sink from time to time. Leaving reality can be hard.
© 2017. All rights reserved.