It's been more than 100 days since the Halloween "Freakfest" parties on State Street last fall, and the city and other observers are taking some time to look back at the event, evaluating what worked and what didn't under the new regime of fences and tickets. The city conducted a debriefing of the event for downtown business owners at the end of January, with Bill Lueders reporting a week later that the city actually spent more money last year despite the revenue from admissions. Shortly thereafter, John Shoemaker released a film addressing the event.
His 10-minute documentary about the city's most notorious holiday follows below.
Shoemaker created this documentary for an advanced video production class at the UW. "The goal was to show the opposing opinions about how the Halloween celebrations should be handled and let the audience decide for themselves," he explains. "As the event got closer and unfolded, I changed my approach and ended up more or less reporting the events of the evening."
The city of Madison is already starting to plan for this year's Halloween party, which falls the weekend of Friday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27 (which is also the date for the UW-Madison Homecoming football game against Indiana). The downtown debriefing was followed shortly by another meeting aimed at UW students. More are in the pipeline. The city is also remaining active with regard to another major student-centered downtown event, the 2007 Mifflin Street Block Party, which will likely be held Saturday, May 5.
Shoemaker's documentary includes footage provided by The Daily Page. The original video clips and more details are available in our Madison Halloween 2006 coverage.