by Laura Kocum
on Thursday, October 26th, 2017 at 7:30pm.
Downtown Madison already had their Family Halloween earlier this week. Now, it's gearing up for its next big event: Freakfest. The festival is an annual tradition, and has grown to become the largest Halloween party in the region. What once was just streets filled with costumed adults has become a vibrant festival, with three music stages, plenty of people-watching and good business for the downtown shops and restaurants. In addition, the safety of the event has become a key highlight. The City of Madison stepped in and made it a ticketed event in 2006. Frank Productions added live music in 2007. Since then, the event has had a very good safety record, with Madison Police and private security on hand to ensure the event's success.
"Most of the event's attendees come from the Madison area, but Freakfest does draw statewide and some people even come from surrounding states," says Renee Frank, media contact for the event. For a taste of what is planned, see last year's success:
This year's Freakfest is sponsored by Frank Productions, Mountain Dew and Steve Brown Apartments. You can buy tickets for $10 in advance, or for $15 the day of the event. The fun begins at 7 p.m. and continues until 1:30 a.m. Attendees can enjoy musical acts at any of the three stages. The Mountain Dew Capitol Stage is on State Street. The Steve Brown/Green Cab/Z104 Stage is on Gilman Street, and the WSUM/Ian's Pizza Stage on Francis Street. The full line-up of musicians can be found here.
Costumes are encouraged, but organizers have a few rules to make the event enjoyable for all. First, plan to enjoy refreshments at one of the many restaurants downtown. After all, that's part of the fun! Then, know that the following are prohibited:
• All firearms • Facsimile weapons or other items that could cause harm to others (ie: baseball bats, chain saws, etc) • No Alcohol/carry ins • No glass containers of any sort • Any item security and/or police determine to be dangerous (ie: fireworks, lengths of chain, etc)
Freakfest offers an opportunity to peruse Downtown Madison, familiarize yourself with the many specialty shops and restaurants in the area, and enjoy the creativity of the costumed participants. Its growing success continues to attract thousands of people downtown each year.