Hulaween Review – Hulaween 2017 One of My Best Festivals Ever

Hulaween Review – Hulaween 2017 One of My Best Festivals Ever

Wow Hulaween!! Brafuknvooooo, I am still flying high from your fest’s prolific energy a week later!  I have become a bit of a seasoned festival goer over the past 1.5 years. I have hit up 17 festivals since May 2016 and Hulaween 2017 was by far one of the best I ever attended!! It is now my second favorite fest after the vaunted Electric Forest.The lineup was stellar, the people were ridiculously warm and fun and the production was enchanting. I am going to walk you through my highlights for this Hulaween Review…

Hulaween Review – Thursday

The absolute highlight of Hulaween 2017 for me was AUpaya & The Magick Solar Suitcases. He literally blew my mind to smithereens over and over again. I never met a person who was so brilliant and hilarious at the same time. He was aet up at the Alien by Spirit Lake the first 2 nights and in The Oasis the final 2 nights playing music and dropping wisdom from his suitcases. We sat down Thursday night to chill and he started playing trippy DMT tunnel music, I turned to him and asked “How much DMT do you smoke” and he played me entire song about majestic DMT. It was instant love!

His sets are based on people asking questions and he freestyles into a microphone in different funny voices. He is a comedian, so prepare to laugh your ass off. What was far more impressive was the brilliance and insights he shares. I hung out here most of the fest. Hopefully he will be back at Okee this year too!

Phierce Photo | Keith Griner

Thursday was super jam heavy with Spafford, Lettuce and Umphrey’s Mcgee rocking out haaaaard. All were quite enjoyable, but it was Joe Russo’s Almost Dead that hit me most poignantly. Their second set started out with beautiful Jazz like music before they shredded some of the best Dead’s best songs and jam sessions. There is something so freaking beautiful about the Dead’s music that I have only begun to appreciate. Joe Russo’s plays it a bit differently, but still stays true to its melodious and enchanting nature. Here is a snippet from their Hulaween 2015 set…

Another soulful band was Ecology who tore up the stage late Thursday night with their Geico Caveman look alike Sax player and supremely talented mates. I could not stop screaming Geicooooooooo while they were jamming out.


Hulaween Review – Friday

Friday started out funky as fuck with one of my fave funk bands Dumpstaphunk from Nola teeing off at 12:45. These boys have so much soul and will make you dance your costume off. If you got some time here is their full set from another phenomenal Suwanee fest Purple Hatter’s Ball..

I had never heard of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, but just the name got me amped for their set. I freaking adore horns and the more the merrier. While they were about short of a dozen it did not sound like it. Their rendition of Stevie Wonder’s Superstition might have been my fave song of the weekend.

Both Russ Liquid and Big Wild who I’ve seen before put on fantastic shows that day too, but it was the light show for Manic Focus that sticks with me. Manic Focus is one of my fave artists. Their Hula set was lot dirtier than normal, which I do not prefer, but the lights they put on took our trips to the stratosphere. They had a full band that night and were unleashed. Here is a clip of the actual set, although it is too close to appreciate the insane lights:

Lettuce put on one of my Top 5 sets with trippy AF visuals and phenomenal tunes. Another clip from their actual set…

Want to discover amazing new music? then skip any Bassnectar and the band playing opposite will soothe your ears. I like some of Nectar’s music, but have yet to see a live set of his that I enjoyed. I discovered glorious Twiddle while he “played” at Camp Bisco and this year The New Mastersounds played an astonishing set while people head banged to whatever it is Nectar “plays”. The cheeky British Blokes were so entertaining and talented. Can not wait to see them again…

Phierce Photo | Keith Griner

Let us take a moment to appreciate and experience how ridiculously amazing and cool Spirit Lake is.  Tucked into the back of the venue, a colorful demon mouth entrance greeted you into the colorful trippy wonderland of various art installations and two performance stages. Put on by the same art director as Burning Man, Spirit Lake is a testament to all that is unique individualistic art. “If you ever want to know what it’s like to trip on acid, just step inside Spirit Lake,” photographer ML Hobby stated.

Phierce Photo | Keith Griner

Phierce Photo | Keith Griner



Phierce Photo | Keith Griner

Hulaween review

Phierce Photo | Keith Griner

I lost a G of mushrooms to that hilarious blackjack dealer!

Hulaween Review – Saturday

Saturday started late for me and the unparalleled FKJ kicked it off . FKJ short for French Kiwi Juice is like no other. This guy is on stage alone cycling through every instrument up there. He sings, plays sax, guitar and piano!!!! He is funky, smooth and seriously unique…

Let us talk about Frameworks, this DJ puts together a live band with a violinist who plays on your soul’s chords. I was begging people to join me, but nobody wanted to miss Cheese. This was def a Top 7 set for me. Something about the violin makes my soul gush with soulgasms. It was also their first time ever playing together, but you never would have known it. Here is a snip and I suggest you dive in on soundcloud

I never miss my Goddess Zoe from Beats Antique who will hypnotize and own you after her show. I rarely ride the rail but for Zoe I am always front and center. She rewarded me with the pinata they threw out into the crowd, which I caught. Here is the immaculate Zoe…

Phierce Photo | Keith Griner

Another phenom set was the Cheese’s ode to Love Saturday night. This is their big one with all the fun stuff released onto the crowd. It was called “Night Of The Loving Dead.” and covered an eclectic range of covers. This was the best cover set I ever saw with a deft set list and seamless yet unbelievable transitions:

Stevie Wonder’s “Did I Hear You Say You Love Me,”

Al Green’s “Love And Happiness”,

Jackie Wilson’s soul classic “Higher & Higher.”

Huey Lewis & The News’ “The Power Of Love,”

Sting’s “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free,”

Bob Marley & The Wailers’ “Is This Love.”

“Let Love Rule,” from Lenny Kravitz’s

Sublime’s “What I Got,”

Beyonce’s mega-hit “Crazy In Love”

Black Eyed Peas “Where Is the Love,”

 Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”

back to “Crazy In Love” to close out the set.

Here is an actual taste of the end:

Let us take a moment and talk about the plethora of wonderful souls frolicking around Hulaween, I float around blessing and gifting people with my peacock feathers like an ADHD butterfly, so I always meet hundreds and hundreds. These Hulaween 2017 souls were some of my fave, Lovers, dancers, comics, artists, powerful huggers, surreal costumes and soooooo much love.

Shout out to my RV mates Bri and Brandon, Luke from Colorado, Jon from Circle of Love, Yanka, Andrew and Dee from KFC and my new Tampa crew of Brauny, Jade, Justin,Shane….. Was beyond a joy!!!!

I am still looking for the girl with black eyes bugging everyone out and the girl with the lil squeakers who put them in her tits and let ppl squeak away.

Here are more beautiful Hula souls…

Phierce Photo | Keith Griner

Phierce Photo | Keith Griner

Phierce Photo | Keith Griner

Hulaween review

Sunday is always a lil sad since it is the last day. 3 bands made this day extar superb for me. Let us start with Tauk, my fave jam band. Discovered these guys at The Forest in June and instantly fell in love. Melodious, infallible and will take your ears and soul on epic journeys. It is insane that there are only 4 members, sounds like 6 at least. Matt might be my fave guitarist.

Portugal the Man destroyed it as well. First time seeing them and can not wait for the next. Def in my top 3 sets. They opened up with Metallica and even threw some Pink Floyd and Wu Tang in there!!! Here is the actual set:

Hulaween review

Probably my fave set was Goldfish though. Unreal!!! They play a bunch of diff instruments including an adorable baby sax and are so talented and groovy. They were upbeat, symphonic and had the entire crowd blistering. Been dancing to them all week since I have been back…

Oh Hulaween you were beyond marvelous!! You have etched a special place in my heart and I can not wait to return next year, but I will def be at Spirit Lake sooner, possible for Wanee Fest !  Thank You Hualween, Suwanee and all who participated. Hope you enjoyed this Hulaween Review…


About Ari Kane

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Bouncing around the globe sharing the best pleasures, restaurants, hotels, tours and festivals...

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