There may be trouble in paradise down in the swamplands of Suwannee Lake. That’s the case at least for the musical playground’s halloween gathering, Hulaween, which has appeared to be one of the country’s most solid yearly gatherings — until now.
The Silver Wrapper produced event has just capped its sixth year at central Florida’s Spirit of Suwannee Music Park, which featured headliners in The String Cheese Incident, ODESZA, Jamiroquai, and Janelle Monáe. But recent reports have uncovered that the festival may be falling on hard financial times, according to Twitter’s @TheFestiveOwl, who made one disgruntled artist’s complaint public over the festival failing to pay him for over two months.
The artist, Justin Casey, clarified that it was the fault of the Hulaween staff, whom he says he loves and respects. “To be clear this all comes down to the promoters,” says Casey. “We performed at the highest professional level to only be left out in the cold when it was time to cut the check.”
After the story broke, Hulaween issued a statement claiming the festival lost money from 2018 due to budgeting miscalculations that led to gross overspending. Paul Levine, one of the curators and founders of the festival, claimed they “gutted, embarrassed, and apologetic” for not having fulfilled their full contractual obligations to members of the artist community. Read Levine’s full statement below.
It’s uncertain what the state of Hulaween will be moving into October 2019. Short of a buy out from a huge corporate live music venture capital company like Live Nation, the future of Hulaween may be going the way of Okeechobee and so many other festivals that hit the graveyard in 2018.