Suwannee Hulaween: Festival Topped By Bobby Weir / String Cheese Collab, New Ownership Partners Announced


Suwannee Hulaween festival returns to Live Oak, Florida, Oct. 24-27, for its 11th edition with a music lineup topped by longtime host band String Cheese Incident who will do a special exclusive collaborative performance with Grateful Dead co-founder Bobby Weir.

The “Bobby Weir Incident,” the only planned collaboration between the two festival favorites, will play two consecutive sets to close out the festival on Sunday, billed as three hours of Grateful Dead classics.

Along with the jammy collab, the Hulaween lineup features Black Pumas, Sublime (with Eric & Bud feat Jakob Nowell), Chris Lake, Killer Mike, Tipper, Tash Sultana, Chase & Status, CloZee, Greensky Bluegrass, Liquid Stranger, Nora En Pure, Of The Trees, Umphrey’s McGee, and more.

Tickets go on sale Thursday, June 20 at 10 a.m. EST, with an exclusive pre-sale for members of the 2024 Hula Waitlist community starting at 9:30 a.m.

The lineup drop follows the event’s sold-out 10-year anniversary in 2023, which also took place at the picturesque Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, and a sold-out blind presale for this year’s anticipated event, an established destination festival offering a unique setting and camping environment leading into Halloween.

However, this year’s event is being called a turning point as festival co-founder Michael Berg has fully acquired the festival along with new Hulaween partners Chris den Uijl and Aaron Ampudia, the duo known for creating and producing the popular Baja Beach Fest and Suenos Festivals. 

Berg and den Uijl are partners in independent concert promotions company Collectiv Presents.

“Chris was at Hulaween in 2021 and was able to see the magic about it,” said Berg. “He’s an incredible partner and had my back on it and was able to step up and rally Aaron to help us connect the dots.” Berg and co-founder Paul Levine started the event in 2013, which was sold in 2018.

He calls the reacquisition of the festival a “peaceful transfer of power” where the festival team largely remains intact with key players retaining their roles for the event.

He is bullish on the event and says the key to finding success and reaching fans is to remain focused and stick to the tried and true.

“Our booking strategy for everything we’ve done this year is really just going down the middle of the lane, not too far left or right of center, and truly being in tune with what the fans and the community surrounding each event are looking for,” said Berg, who also produces the North Coast Music Festival in Chicago, which leans heavily EDM. “If you deliver the lineup and the experience that people are looking for, there still is plenty of business to be done.”

For Hulaween, Berg says he’s pleased with the lineup, which features special one-offs and experiences , including the Spirit Lake immersive art experience featuring sculptors, fire/metal workers, painters, performance art thespians and more.

A successful blind presale shows the strength of the brand. 

“I was happy that we sold as many tickets as we did without a lineup,” Berg said. “In the post-COVID world, it’s a big ask when people don’t know what they’re signing up for. It’s a true testament to the brand, the experience, the park, the community, and people who want make their annual friends trip there together every year.”