HULAWEEN – SPIRIT OF THE SUWANNEE MUSIC PARK

Suwanee Hulaween, a music and art festival at the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Fl, takes you to another world of exploding colors, sounds, lights, shapes, exotic costumes, encompassed with friendly faces. Creativity and imagination held no bars this year. Artists of all genres of music, art, landscape, dance, flow, yoga, electronic and science collectively expressed themselves taking the mind, body and soul experience to a new level of ecstasy.

The thousands of people who came to the second annual event were offered an experience at the Spirit Lake with a creative light show that moved over the water as if making it alive with color therefore mesmerizing the viewer. The colors were cast into the trees making them a grand illusion of rapture encircling the lake in which they embraced with every breeze of movement. You could feel part of the picture of which you were standing in. Art Director and Lighting Designer Andrew Carroll orchestrated Sprit Lake into a true masterpiece. Placing each artists’ talents to flow into one another transformed the experience of this place into wonder and fantasy.

The music and sounds captivated you to continue through the enchanting path around Sprit Lake feeling lost in the exotic shapes and colors engulfing you. Beautiful landscapes from the natural surroundings in the forest of the many species of trees; the flowers, rocks, earth, leaves, branches, light and water were the medium in which this artist created the sense of a mystical garden that took your breath away. The light mist flowing through gave a mysterious but enchanting feeling as you gazed at it’s beauty. The artist Jeroch Carlson titled it “Natural Mandala Art”.

Then the path through the spirit lake took you to a land of steel and iron with figures that were towering over you with a majestic look of an old an ancient time created by Charile Smith. Male and female torso figures rose above 25 feet each on their own 4 foot iron wheel housing. The overwhelming feeling captivates you by their dark and rugged crafted construction. The male figure was shaped as a gentlemen dressed in the early 1800’s with a long waisted jacket, vest, buttons in detail. He had no arms, legs or head as the wood burns brightly inside the structure. Sparks flew as the breeze gently blew through the decorative cut outs in the “shirt and jacket” of the man. The female figure was just as grand; a bustle dress formed from metal and polished with pattern details of the dress cut out from the metal. Her skirt was particularly creative with old keys of all different shapes and sizes, aligned in rows horizontally across held by a copper rod. The keys gave a sense of crochet laced skirt. The roaring burning wood fire coming out from where her arms and head would have been, brought the figure to life while accenting the detailed construction. The last piece was even grander rising over 30 feet tall. You were left in awe at it’s size. This metal Infinite Infant was happy yet you wondered when he would get up from his sitting position and rise up on the two bare feet in front of you. He would jet flames from the sides and top of his head smiling the whole time. I just imagine the “Iron Giant” coming to life and joining in the festivities as he shot flames 10 feet into the air! The detail expressed these artists’ passions with their creations.

The art murals all around spirit lake displayed gnomes, fairies, colorful mushrooms varying in shapes and sizes, fantasy landscapes, mystical art suspended from the trees and interactive 3 dimensional art illusions. These artistic visions were enhanced by movement, video projections, a mix of light, bright neon colors bringing the experience to a new visual perception. This art enhanced one’s imagination to where you felt lost in all its beauty while giving you a sense of movement into another time and place. This place was alive with the creativity of each artist. You could spend hours soaking in the feeling of each creative piece, losing yourself within the view, without even realizing it. Carey Thompson, Kicken It Crew, Bryan Scroggie, James True, Bean Spence, Robern Glen Wilkenson, Dillon Endico and Danny Gordon were the artists who created the vision by which all could be absorbed and inspired with the beauty.

Christopher Janney was the creator of the Sonic Forest. An area that would cross your path was a forest of circular lighted pillars in red and white with 12 openings. Four openings at the top and four openings bottom with speakers to project the sound. Four around the middle in which the participant would wave their hands to create a variety of sounds. Each pillar operated independently and lit up as it make musical tones in various tonal ranges. People had a great time creating their own music as individuals or a group to express their creativity.

The music stage in the Spirit Lake area created by Libre Brousserau, (the smallest of three stages) was bursting with artists and bands playing to happy, dancing and singing crowds from afternoon until the early morning hours. People of all ages, dressed in imaginative costumes from animals and fantasy characters, to icons, dancers, leaf blowers, fruits and vegetables and creative colorful afterlife visuals, enjoyed the music and let their feet speak the music. They loved posing for pictures as if they were going to be on the cover of the latest relix magazine cover acting out the character they portrayed, sharing their feelings of fun and happiness to all.

In the presentation of 18 flow artists and 11 yoga artists with a real acrobatics showing colors and strength beauty of the human body. Aerialist Hilary Pokrywka was extremely talented as well as the Circus Arts, The Aerial Dragons, Celestial Dimensions and The Amazing Giants. These performers created a live art presentation for all to admire and enjoy. These talented artists would fall from streams of colorful fabrics, swing with rope and rings while suspending themselves several feet about the ground. The Treasure Coast Fire Troupe lit up the stage with balancing, juggling and dance with fire hoops, flaming batons and spinning balls of fire. Lighting and music effects would enhance the experience of the viewer. Hooping was performed by the Hoola Monsters. Also, people could participate and learn these techniques in yoga, hula hoop and hoop jam in classes scheduled throughout the day. This was a great way to exercise creatively as well as a meditation tool. This was all directed by Joan Isaac.

Silver Wrapper and Purple Hat Productions coordinated nearly 100 artists just for the Spirit Lake experience alone. The quality of talent and the coordination of all the moving parts was executed flawlessly. I cannot wait to see what next year brings!

As you left the Spirit Lake World, you would enter into another one of more costumes, music and artists painting to the music with colorful hoops and balls of light being juggled and artistically moving to the music. Smiles were everywhere at the largest costume ball ever at Hulaween music and art festival with the four days of musicians and bands from all over the United States. We are extremely blessed with the talent of headliner String Cheese Incident who did 7 sets and entertained with theatrical presentations, a light show that mesmerized you and music that your feet could not stop dancing to with your ears soaking in the sounds making you feel like it is the best day ever. Each set of music brought a performance better than the previous one leaving you saying to yourself “and I thought the last set was awesome, and yet they bring it even more. This is unbelievable!” String Cheese does bring the show to enthusiastic expectations and more. If leaves you wanting more and never ending.

Every band who played at this event gave each person a memory that will play in their head for days on end. It will be “trending” for months to come. Some of the other bands and musicians who stood out were, Thievery Corporation, Beats Antique, Rising Appalachia, Cope, The Soul Rebels, Conspirator, Big Gigantic and the pre-party Electron and Particle.

Other events included a silent disco, Frisbee Golf contest for free tickets to the next Hulaween 2015 to the winner. The campsite contest for best creative decorated area for a VIP upgrade was won by “Hometeam” managed by Cody Bean. The park also promoted recycling and landfill conservation with bins marked throughout the campgrounds for all to put plastics, cans and appropriate landfill trash to help the green effort. Vendors were conveniently located for food and beverages with merchandise and festival vendors.

About Sherrie Prendergast

One comment

  1. We have about 200 hula hoops we need to get rid of for dirt cheap if you want to buy them and sell them at the festival. They are poly flex handmade from small to extra large. Email [email protected]

october, 2021

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