10 Acts Not to Miss at Hulaween

Spirit of The Suwannee Music Park
Live Oak, FL

Words & Photos by Charla Harvey

On Thursday, October 26 - Sunday, October 29, 2023, Hulaween Festival will return to Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida. This will be their tenth anniversary celebration!

This festival will include incredible music from a vast range of genres! Festivalgoers go all out in well-planned, clever costumes and totems. It’s basically four days of Halloween! What could be better? Artists also come together and work tirelessly to produce out-of-this-world art installations throughout the park! Hulaween offers food and drinks using a cashless system (debit or credit only).

Arguably most importantly though is the incredible lineup! They have headliners such as String Cheese Incident (of course!), Big Wild, Goose, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Pretty Lights, Trey Anastasio Band, and so much more!

Here’s ten acts not to miss when we see you at Hulaween:

Trey Anastasio Band will grace Florida with their genius. Founded in 1998, this band consists of, obviously, Trey Anastasio (commonly known as lead vocalist and guitarist for Phish), Russ Lawton (drums), and Dezron Douglas (bass), Cyro Baptista (percussion), Ray Paczkowski (keys), Jennifer Hartswick (trumpet, vocals), Natalie Cressman (trombone, vocals), and James Casey (multi-instrumentalist). Trey has written and cowritten over 152 songs for Phish, and he brings his talent and magic to TAB with an entirely different set of equally talented musicians.

You will likely have ample opportunity to catch The String Cheese Incident, as Hulaween is their festival! All of their sets are different and full of surprises, so catch as many as you can! SCI is an awesome jam band that was formed in Crested Butte and Telluride, CO in 1993. The band is made up of Michael Kang (acoustic and electric mandolin, electric guitar, and violin), Michael Travis (drums and percussion, Bill Nershi (acoustic guitar, lap steel, and electric slide guitar), Kyle Hollingsworth (piano, organ, Rhodes, and accordion), and Keith Moseley (bass guitar), and, since 2004, Jason Hann (auxiliary percussion). All members of the band contribute to writing the music and they all sing! Each set is full of surprises!

Bill and Jilian Nershi (ft. Jason Hann) is one of The String Cheese’s many side projects! Guitarist and co-founder of SCI, Bill Nershi, and his wife, Jilian Nershi, form this beautiful duo act full of acoustic harmonies. When they’re on stage, they always make you feel like you’re family.

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead is coming back too! Also affectionately known as JRAD, this band has been around since they formed in Brooklyn, NY in 2013. They are a rock band full of talented musicians who mainly play Grateful Dead covers. Joe Russo (drummer), Ween’s bassist Dave Dreiwitz, Marco Benevento (keys), Scott Metzger (guitar and vocals), and Tom Hamilton from Brothers Past, Ghost Light, and American Babies (vocals and guitar).

Big Wild
is a perfect fit for the Hulaween lineup! Jackson Stell (Big Wild) is an American electronic producer, composer, vocalist, and sound engineer. He plays multiple instruments both on and off stage, and he is a joy to watch. He has plenty of original songs, but he also covers/mixes songs in such a unique way. My personal favorite is his remix of Sylvan Esso’s “Hey Mami.”

Kitchen Dwellers are an eclectic and inspiring bluegrass, folk, rock band. The four Dwellers are Shawn Swain (mandolin), Torrin Daniels (banjo), Joe Funk (upright bass), and Max Davies (acoustic guitar).

Lettuce is a funk band that formed in Boston, MA in 1992. Its members are Adam "Shmeeans" Smirnoff (guitar), Nigel Hall (keys/vocals), Adam Deitch (drums), Erick "Jesus" Coomes (bass), Ryan Zoidis (saxophone), and Eric "Benny" Bloom (trumpet). They are always a party!

Jon Stickley Trio is a joy to watch! From Asheville, NC, they play bluegrass, Gypsy Jazz, and “folk-punk.” Jon Stickley plays flat-pick guitar, Lyndsay Pruett plays violin, and Hunter Deacon plays drums!

Electric Kif
has been joining festival lineups all over the place! They are from Miami, and they combine, rock, jazz fusion, and electronic drum & bass. The band consists of Rodrigo Zambrano (bass), Jason Matthews (keys), Armando Lopez (drums), and Eric Escanes (guitar).

Last, but definitely not least: Lespecial! This badass, “Prog-tronic Power Trio” hails from Connecticut and was formed in 2005. The power trio is made up of Luke Bemand  (bass, synth, percussion, vocals), Jonathan Grusauskas  (guitar, synth, sampler, percussion, vocals), and Rory Dolan (drums, sampler, percussion, vocals). Lespecial plays an eclectic mix of music, ranging from “hip-hop to metal, prog to house, pensive indie-rock to apocalyptic dub, leaving room for head banging and hip swaying alike, while still presenting a unified sound and vision” (Lespecial)!

See you in the forest!



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