JBO: What inspired you guys to do this Hulaween festival with SCI?
Paul: Well I’ve worked with Sting Cheese since the 90s. I used to live in Colorado, so we all knew each other and used to go to shows together back in the day. Years later, I some how ended up here at the Spirit of the Suwannee and have been lucky enough to work with Bear Creek, Suwannee Spring Fest and most of the other events here and over the years where we have had many of the SCI members side projects play at some of these festivals, so I have talked about the idea to have a String Cheese fest for a few years.
JBO: Yes, I heard that SCI played either Magnolia Fest or Spring Fest at one point but have never headlined at Suwannee until now?
Paul: Yes, but that was a really long tome ago and I’ve talked with the guys from time to time about putting something together here and have also talked with Madison House, because they work with String Cheese too, but the timing wasn’t right, but it seems that recently the guys from the band really got in there head that they’d like to do something here so the momentum started building toward it and after working things out with my partners, we decided that 2013 was going to be when we do something . So we are thankful we were able to find time that would make sense for everyone’s schedule. We didn’t know it was going to be Hulaween, but it just so happened it makes sense for there schedule and it makes sense for us and the stars aligned.
JBO: Awesome. I have been a fan of there’s for over 10 years and I have been to a lot of Hulaweens, but it usually involves them playing one show or a 2 night run like at Hampton 3 years ago, but this is going to be so unique considering it’s a Hulaween festival and the sky is the limit as to what can go down this weekend. I might be wrong, but I think Phish might be the only other popular jam band that did a Halloween fest back in 09, but the venue they played is NOTHING like the Spirit of the SuwanneePark with all the beautiful trees, the lake, the river and the camping areas. It’s going to be a magical weekend for die-hard Cheese Heads and new fans alike.
Paul: Well, we feel the same way and this venue is so special and you know this holiday is special and the band is so creative that the possibilities of things we could do together was very exciting for everybody.
JBO: I so agree. Do you think they might have some other String Cheese festivals there in the future?
Paul: Well, nothing is set in stone, but part of the conversation early on was that since Halloween falls on a Thursday this year that means it will fall on a Friday next year and the year after hat it falls on a Saturday. So if things go well, we certainly can envision this happening again. That’s still to be determined, but I am sure if we have a successful event that the energy will carry on with high hopes to do it again. But even when Halloween doesn’t fall on a weekend, we hope that String Cheese would want to play at the park every year whether as a festival or not. I feel that we are just known as a festival venue but we would like it if other large jam bands like Phish or Widespread Panic would play at the park for a weekend while on tour. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a festival to have an incredible weekend event. I like to think of the park like Red Rocks, but with way batter camping.
JBO: Well, I can say first hand that I am very grateful for that venue. I have been there a few times. There is just such a great energy and vibe and everybody is in such a good mood with a really nice staff too. You definitely don’t have that negative security angry vibe that you can see at some festivals like Gnarnia last year wear they had police busting people undercover. Your energy is great and so is SCI’s, so it’s going to be a great combination. I just know it will be awesome. Thank you so much for your time.