Featured Photo shot by Patrick Hughs.
Hulaween 2021 can’t be summarized in just a few words. Between the incredible music, the beautiful art scattered amongst the trees, and the amazing people dancing into the night — Hulaween 2021 left us filled with love, and eager to return.
Suwannee Hulaween takes place in magical Live Oak, Florida at the Spirit of Suwanee Music Park. For four days and nights, the trees inside Suwanee are lit with an otherworldly aura and various genres of music fill the air. We’ve always labeled events where you can listen to jam, hip-hop, electro-soul, house, and dubstep all in the same day as different from the rest. It’s a call to action aimed at music lovers with different backgrounds to come together; connected by the soundwaves bouncing between the trees. This is where Hula flexes.
As we made our way inside the campgrounds, we anxiously waited for a dry spell to set up camp. Rain hit the area hard at night, and well into the afternoon, but thankfully died down long enough for us to set up shop. We camped in A2, next to some of the amazing people with DanceSafe, and about an 8-minute walk down the infamous ‘Hippy Trail’ to Spirit Lake. After a much-needed nap and a quick bite to eat, we beelined it to the Hallows Stage for the Deadbeats takeover.
There is no better way to start off a festival than with a Wreckno set. Full of high-energy bad bitch vibes, the crowd really showed out at 5 pm for Wreckno. Throughout his set, Wreckno teased several unreleased collaborations with Liquid Stranger, sfam & Boogie T, Of The Trees, and Zeke Beats. So obviously he’s been busy and there must be tons of new music on the way soon.
Next, GG Magree brought us a classic set; playing everything from Excision, old school Zeds Dead, bass house, DnB, some unreleased music, and more. Her set was incredibly fun and reminded us of all of the amazing music that made us fall in love with Deadbeats in the first place.
Deathpact was up next and it was both of our first times seeing them. Their signature dark sound had the crowd entranced from start to finish. The set even included some live instrumentation, which proved as an added bonus.
Taking a slight detour from the Deadbeats takeover, LSDream followed suit with an always epic set. His infectious demeanor is always shining, especially during his live performances. By performing most of the set without saying a word on the mic; he let the music do all the talking. From classic hits to unreleased IDs, LSDream had the crowd enamored. He even rinsed out a flip from our very own EH-managed artist, Zingara. Zingara’s “Potions” x “Yonce” edit went viral on Tiktok, so much so that LSDream made it a staple in his sets over Halloween weekend. Listen to the flip below.
What a cinematic experience. The Boys could never disappoint, but this set was truly magical. After starting with a healthy dose of DnB and a “Rude Boy” edit, just a few songs in, rain began to fall and the crowd erupted in cheer. It was the perfect kind of rain. Light enough to cool you down, yet heavy enough to look like glitter was falling from the sky.
The set was filled with classics like “Frontlines,” “You Know,” and “Collapse.” Their smash hit, “Lift You Up,” with Delta Heavy got the crowd bouncing, and unknowingly set the foundation for DnB’s presence at Hulaween. We read somewhere that the volume was an issue towards the back of the crowd, but these two Deadbeats were on the middle rail so the sound wasn’t an issue for us in the slightest.
We’ll leave you with this clip, and let you imagine the rest. Another jaw-dropping performance from the Deadbeat Daddiez.
After Zeds Dead, we attempted to head back to camp, but we went through the Hulaween initiation of getting totally and completely lost in the campground. Something that’s different about Hulaween is that it takes place at an actual campground. Meaning, there is no lighting on the pathways except for the ones the campers bring. Therefore, it’s pitch black, so if you plan on attending in 2022, make sure to pack a flashlight.
Somehow we ended up back inside the venue after a wrong turn, but thanks to the incredible staff at Suwannee, we got some proper guidance and finally made it back to camp. Exhausted from our first festival in almost 2 years, we were eager to rest up for Day 2.
Today we really got to explore Spirit Lake and all of the magic and art it holds. Full of top-notch art installations and immersive experiences, Spirit Lake is the heart and soul of Hulaween. During the day, the area is peaceful and quaint. At night, the area becomes an oasis of expertly crafted installations, murals, and experiences made by world-renowned artists, local artists, and more.
The light show over Spirit Lake was incredible and provided a great moment for festival-goers to take a breather. The weather over the weekend was chilly, yet it added to the immersive experience of the light show over Spirit Lake. Viewers bundled up around the benches provided while ambient soundscapes were played, fully engaging the audience in the spooky visual light show. Fog lightly dusted the lake, reflecting the lasers in a kaleidoscope of ways.
The sets and music from Day 2 were unmatched. From Daily Bread to Bonobo, to String Cheese Theory and Skrillex — we definitely traveled through a variety of genres on Friday.
We went into Daily Bread with completely different experiences with his music. For one, it was our third time seeing DB live, and they knew what was in store. For the other, this turned out to be the sleeper set of the weekend. Because they had never listened to their music before, they had no idea what to expect — even with an earful from the other. Needless to say, they were extremely delighted and quickly learned what all the hype is about. It was the perfect set for fans old and new.
Teasing new music with Late Night Radio, and bringing some seriously stanky funk to the Hulaween forest dwellers, Daily Bread pulled an insane crowd. The Amphitheater was filled with beautiful people, hilarious totems, and flow artists as far as the eye could see. The ebb and flow between electro-funk and electro-soul kept us warm as we danced the shivers away. It was a memorable start to Day 2 of Hulaween.
After some insanely delicious crepes and a good flow session to SCI, we arrived at the Hallows Stage for some good ol’ fashioned house music. We’ve liked Bonobo for a while now but have never been super avid fans…until after this set. Full of tropical house vibes, the crowd never stopped moving. It was the perfect mood booster and Bonobo really curated a set that was just easy to have fun and dance to.
After Bonobo, Chris Lake kept the house party alive. Hits like “Operator (Ring Ring),” “Deceiver,” “Turn off the Lights,” and “I Want You” got rinsed, and the people at Hallows Stage collectively decided to wear their dancing shoes. It was the closest we’ve gotten to a sweaty dance party in ages, and it felt good to be back.
The OG Skrillex chose absolute violence this year at Hulaween. The weapon of choice? DnB — and plenty of it. There is a reason why Skrillex is where he is at today, and his set at Hula only furthered our understanding of him as the bass overlord.
Classics like “Chicken Soup,” “Bangarang,” and “Wild for the Night,” blew the speakers to shreds. “Febreeze,” “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites,” and even “Cinema” got rinsed, y’all. Need we say more? Skrill, my man, you can stand on our CDJs any day. Thank you for your service.
We now interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you an exclusive
Electric Hawk Pro Tip:
Don’t sleep at festivals, or you might miss something.
Ohh, sleep. It’s something we need to survive, yes, but is surviving worth missing 3 legends play a set together at 4 am? No, no it is not.
While we were asleep like idiots, we missed a legendary b2b2b at Hulaween’s Incendia stage. The stage is used specifically for secret sets, but this one is the type of collab you read about in fairytales. Chris Lake, Skrillex, and Bonobo got together and literally set the stage on fire. Peep the video below, then never mention this to either of us again. We are in pain.
Saturday started with breakfast burritos, and a cold and dark, yet uniquely bonding experience — the showers. Hearing each new presence realize the freezing cold temperatures and letting out an “Oh f**k,” or “Holy Shit,” was both hilarious, and unifying. We’ve never felt so much comradery.
We headed into Spirit Lake around 4 pm. Security was relaxed, and seemingly having more fun than any of us, so the vibes to start Day 3 were already immaculate. Thankfully, Black excellence would ensure that those vibes stayed on a high note.
Between opening with “Navajo,” making a song about mushrooms from scratch, and performing his smash hit with FKJ — Masego shattered our expectations. Part of our souls left our body when he played the sax riff on “Tadow,” and honestly, he can keep it. Consider it a gift from Electric Hawk, to you, Mr. Masego.
Later in the night, we slipped by the Amphitheater again to catch Earthgang. Their set was fun and filled with momentum. Even after a 4-night run, their energy was through the roof and we commend them for bringing so much heat after so much traveling. Hearing “Baptize” from their collaborative album, Spilligion with JID made a memory that we won’t soon forget. We love a good hip-hop set.
Saturday Night Cheese
The night crescendoed with the ever epic Saturday Night set from String Cheese Incident. The theme of the night was meant to be a “monster mash” but in the band’s words “we’ve dealt with too many monsters recently” and decided to pivot to a dance-themed set. This set featured tracks like “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga, “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John, “Dancing Queen” by ABBA, and much much more. The finale of the set saw a sky full of glittering confetti, fireworks, and two giant inflatables of a dinosaur and a dragon. Music lovers of all generations celebrated and danced for the entirety of the set, and the overall vibe of the night was absolutely magical. SCI has built a strong community around the love of music, and we were so happy to get cheesed.
Day 4 was the day of the underground at Hulaween 2021. NotLö b2b Veil, Mize, and Mersiv all took the Spirit Lake stage by storm. NotLö b2b Veil brought infectious energy that had us hype for the last day of Hulaween 2021. Grimey and riddled with bass, this duo knew how to work the crowd and keep everyone moving. NotLö rinsed unreleased after unreleased like her collab with Conrank, her upcoming track “Pacman,” and some future 2022 releases. You would have never thought it was the last day of the festival with the energy the crowd had. There’s something about that crowd that just felt so right.
Following Notlö and Veil was a good friend of Electric Hawk’s, Mize. Personally, this was our first ever Mize set, and boy did it not disappoint. If there’s one thing he has, it’s stage presence.
Playing a mix of bass and DnB, this set was a journey. The crowd fed off of Mize’s infectious energy, and the underground community that showed out for this set really drove home the reason why we do what we do here at Electric Hawk. We started out by covering artists like Mize and NotLö in the infancy of their career, so seeing them play sets at festivals like Hulaween is endearing. Not to mention, Mize started his music journey because of a past experience at Hulaween, so this was a full-circle moment for us all.
Mersiv rounded out the weekend for us with a packed set. The small Spirit Lake stage probably saw the biggest crowd all weekend for this set. With a giant album just released, Mersiv came with an arsenal of tracks to rinse. By the end of this set, our bass needs were more than fulfilled. The set, unfortunately, got turned down about 20-30 minutes in, but that didn’t stop the bass prodigy from throwing down with lethal force. His beautifully filthy sound rang throughout the trees and brought the audience together for the love of bass music.
We ended our Hulaween journey with one last peruse around Spirit Lake, taking in the mystical and magical art and atmosphere one last time. There’s something almost weirdly nostalgic about walking through a festival for the last time. You built a temporary home here for a few days and became very settled and comfortable quickly. Shedding your mask that you use in the outside world, you can be you here. And that last walk through the festival really sees you, as you exit with new wonder and aspirations to take on upon your return to the “real world” again.
Hulaween 2021 reminded us of the love that is sewed into the fabric of this community. It guided us down the dirt paths and led us into a space for music lovers of all ages, creeds, and colors. If you’re on the fence about next year, our advice to you is simple; take the flight, plan the trip, make your preparations, and invite your friends.
We’ll see you next year at Hulaween 2022!
And if you’re looking for new music, keep up with our weekly Spotify Playlist, Fresh Hunts, or follow us on Twitch. Whether it’s the newest drops from all your favorite artists, some old school, or underground—we just want you to hear it.
November recognizes Native American Heritage Month. Since the first Europeans set foot in North America, Native Americans endured innumerable atrocities. From the genocide during colonization to the continued destruction of the land stolen from them. Native Americans face oppression to this day, as well as ongoing disrespect to places and practices that are sacred to their culture. Learn about the historical and modern issues Indigenous Americans face on the Native American Rights Fund website.