Organizers with the City of Madison and Frank Productions last week promised a higher-profile set of performers for the third annual Halloween Freakfest party on Saturday, November 1, and they certainly delivered. College-town favorites O.A.R. are headlining the festival, and will be joined on the main stage by Donovan Frankenreiter, The Dollyrots, Thriving Ivory, and The Hard Lessons. A second stage will feature local acts, meanwhile, including Blueheels, The Box Social, Awesome Car Funmaker, Natty Nation, and Mighty Short Bus, the latter two of which are respectively playing their second and third stints at the State Street costume party.
"This year, we've got the best line up of talent and activities that State Street Halloween has ever seen," says District 4 Alder Mike Verveer in a statement issued by Mayor Ciesliewicz's office about the party. "I'm confident that Freakfest will not only be safe and fun again this year, but will be a smashing success with record community participation given the caliber of local and national acts announced today." O.A.R. has long been a rumored and desired act for Freakfest, and already has a reputation for its Halloween shows, including one performance in costume as Guns N' Roses in 2004.
"O.A.R.'s performance is very exciting news both for the event and Madison at large," declares District 8 alder Eli Judge in the same statement. "While the increase in price is regrettable, I think the fact that we are getting such a headliner at this year's event will make this year's Freakfest something that everyone can get excited about."
Other entertainment slated for the revelry includes the Milwaukee DJ Will Calder and a "Freakfest Costume Extravaganza," continuing a contest tradition that was started at the 2007 edition of the party. Outdoor movies are also slated for a screen at the Buckeye Lot on Gorham Street, which will include Beetlejuice, Psycho, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Also as promised by organizers, prices will be increasing for Freakfest 2008, with tickets running $7 in advance and $10 on the day of the party. These will be available through Ticketmaster outlets on Saturday, September 27, as well as at numerous locations around Madison, including: the University Book Store on the UW Library Mall; Knuckleheads, B-Side Records, Goodwill, Land's End, and Chin's Asia Fresh on State Street; and Mallat's Pharmacy on Monroe Street.
One issue left unaddressed in a press release issued about this year's Freakfest party, or in any other statement by the city and other organizers about the event, is the issue of its date, which is Saturday, November 1. The Halloween revelries on State Street have traditionally fallen on the Saturday before October 31, not after this date. Though Freakfest was created and has been fostered by the city over the last several years as a response to four consecutive parties early in this decade that devolved into confrontations between revelers and police, it is conceivable, if not likely, that there will be numerous persons out celebrating along State Street on the holiday itself this year, which falls on a Friday night.