Festival Preview Festivals Hulaween

The Magic of the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park

Suwannee Hulaween

There’s something truly indescribable about this place. The first glimpse of the draping Spanish Moss triggers the overwhelming feeling that Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is unlike any other. The name speaks for itself. These woods breathe as much life as the souls that fill its campgrounds year round. From the swaying Cypress trees to the pulsating energy of Spirit Lake, to experience a music festival on these grounds is a truly meaningful adventure.

In anticipation of Suwannee Hulaween, we want to reciprocate the love this venue has shown us with a tribute to just exactly what it is that makes this place so special.

Spirit Lake

Suwannee Hulaween - Spirit Lake
Photo © Dave Vann 2016 / Suwannee Hulaween

Spirit Lake serves as the heart of these grounds. It lives as a serene oasis beneath the trees by day and is transformed into a surreal world touched by technicolor at night. You might compare Spirit Lake to the likings of the Sherwood Forest. Amongst the dreamlike installations and performers tucked away in every corner, you encounter the same sense of feeling that you just might drift away.

The venue is intimate in comparison but makes the nature of the whole experience seclusive and memorable. Though the installations may vary by year and event, one can almost certainly count on the siren of the lights dancing across the water all night…and someone riding a tricycle through the jelly fish dome swings around 4 am.

The Amphitheater

Hulaween Amphitheater
Photo by Keith Griner / Suwannee Hulaween

The Amphitheater Stage in Suwannee isn’t just any regular concert viewing experience. You don’t just stroll up to a stage. You enter into the layers of the amphitheater’s own little world. A different experience lives in every angle. At top of the hill, the bear statue mans its post, keeping an eye on the sea of surrounding hammocks. Everything needed for a day of tunes lies just within reach, off Shakedown. Make your way closer to the stage, and you’ll find steps forming into the hill. Here, usually adjacent to the sound board, the land of visual and performing artists set up shop, contributing to the magic in their own special way.

You won’t find a bad seat in the house, and there’s even a corner to relax in readily available any time of day. With these luxuries at your disposable, what a burden to even leave your hammock. However, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t soak in at least one late night pit experience.

Camping That’s Second to None

Suwannee Hulaween - Phierce Photo
Photo by Phierce Photo / Suwannee Hulaween

It doesn’t get any better than the primitive camping situation down in Suwannee. Forget parking bumper to bumper in a field like most festivals. At the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park, you have the freedom to drive around the 700 acres of shaded camping areas and choose your spot. Though a godsend for OG campers and groups arriving at different times, the layout can be disorienting to first timers. So if you’re a newbie be sure to arrive in daylight with some time to explore.

Tree coverage shades most camping areas, making pop-up tents not even a necessity. Most campers don’t even bring tents and opt for a hammock option instead. Bath houses and shower stalls are stationed throughout the campgrounds, available to everyone…and free of charge. We’re talking no $7 showers in Live Oak, people. Cars allowed into the grounds this year will be maxed out. So carpool if you can, spring for the car pass, and get ready for a camping experience you’ll never forget.

The Magic Doesn’t Have to End

Spirit Lake - Suwannee Hulaween
Photo Courtesy of Official Hulaween Facebook Page / Suwannee Hulaween

The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park hosts events throughout the year. The most famous being Wanee, where some of the greats including The Allman Bros and members of The Grateful Dead have graced the stage. Purple Hatter’s Ball is a staple jam/funk gathering, usually scheduled for May or early June. The Tipper and Friends Nocturnal Edition has become a can’t miss event as well, combining visual art and music for an extrasensory experience.

Why not dedicate the whole month of October to Live Oak, and get warmed up with the Suwannee Roots Revival going down just two weeks before Hula? Though the future of some of our most treasured Suwannee festivals is uncertain (Aura and Bear Creek), you can be assured the music will never stop.

Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park truly has a special place in our hearts, and we’re ready to be home again in just a few short weeks. Get your tickets for Suwannee Hulaween today, and we’ll see you down in Live Oak.


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