Following weeks of planning, ongoing meetings, and more than a few leaks, the complete lineup for the Freakfest Halloween festivities in downtown Madison were released tonight by Frank Productions. This includes three stages of bands, both local and national, the brick-and-mortar for purchasing tickets, and locations of the gates for entry to and exit from State Street for the party, among other details.
Though the city will be buzzing through the entire final weekend of October -- with the Badger football homecoming game against Indiana and a busy concert lineup at venues all over town -- the Freakfest party will be held on a single night, Saturday, October 27. A collection of gates ringing State Street will close early that evening, with tickets required for access from 7 p.m. until the event ends early Sunday morning before bar time. Advance tickets will cost $5, same day will be $7, and there is a $1.50 service charge for online purchases; residents, business owners, and employees on State Street will be receiving complimentary access like last year. Capacity will be limited to 50,000 persons.
As emphasized by the city and Frank Productions, though, the emphasis this year will be on entertainment, to provide an activity at the party beyond drinking and costume-watching.
There are a few surprises in tonight's announcement. Appearances by touring artists Lifehouse, Ky-Mani Marley, Matt Wertz, the Gabe Dixon Band, and David Barnes have already been announced by the acts themselves, as is also the case with Mighty Short Bus, Rob Dz, and Mike Droho, all musicians with Madison ties. These aren't the only bands playing Freakfest, though.
Madison expats Locksley are returning to town for the gathering, the garage rockers taking the stage following a trio of well-attended shows earlier this year at the Annex and the Union Terrace. Also lined up are the Canadian popsters The Midway State, who are currently touring with Lifehouse.
Similarly, organizers have already revealed plans for a costume contest on the local bands stage in Peace Park. This isn't the only audience participation in store at the party though. A round of Gomeroke and a performance by a campus Battle of the Bands winner is also planned for Freakfest.
Will this year's partying on State Street continue the new pattern established last year, with a relatively peaceable night of revelry ending smoothly, or is there a possibility that things will revert to the trouble seen early this decade? Will the ongoing combination of floodlights, loudspeakers, and mounted police put a damper on the festivity? Is this new emphasis on entertainment the kernel of a major new music festival in Madison? We'll see what happens.
Both the press release and a fact issued by Frank Productions on Monday night are available as PDFs in the related downloads at right, and also follow below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Madison's Biggest Party Details Announced!
FREAKFEST 2007 Brought to you by Mountain Dew
Tuesday, October 2, 2007 -- Madison -- Mountain Dew, Milio's Sandwiches, and Frank Productions are pleased to announce the details of this year's Freakfest. This year's event is slated for Saturday, October 27 on State Street in downtown Madison. Gates will open at 7:00 PM with tickets available at the gate for $7. $5 advance tickets go onsale this Friday, October 5 at 10:00 AM at the Coliseum box office, Ticketmaster, by phone at (608) 255-4646, online at www.frankproductions.com, or at several businesses in the State Street area. These business ticket outlets will be selling tickets through Friday, October 26 and there is no service charge at any of these locations. Participating businesses are designated with special multicolored posters with the Freakfest logo and the words "Freakfest Tickets Available Here." These outlets include: University Bookstore, Ragstock, B-Side, Knuckleheads, State Street Cash Mart all in the State Street area. Other businesses around Madison that will be selling the tickets include: Mallat's Pharmacy & Strictly Discs on Monroe Street. Tickets on the day of the event will be available at booths near the entrances beginning at Noon and continuing through the end of the event.
In addition to the already announced title Mountain Dew (courtesy of our local Pepsi Cola bottling company), local sandwich-maker Milio's has thrown in their support of this year's Freakfest as a sponsor. Milio's continues to grow and open up more stores across the region while maintaining their roots in the community. This is the first year of having corporate sponsors at Freakfest. Their support helps to underwrite some of the costs and helps to insure that this Madison tradition continues.
There will be a total of 3 stages with entertainment for the masses. A complete time schedule for performances will be available closer to the event. As for the performers and locations:
MOUNTAIN DEW STAGE
Top of State Street off Capitol Square
LIFEHOUSE -- This multi-platinum selling group first broke onto the scene in 2000 with No Name Face featuring the #1 alternative hit "Hanging By A Moment" which later crossed over to become Top 40's Most Played Song. The hitmaking continued in 2005 with "You and Me," the huge hit ballad that set a record by spending more than 60 weeks on Billboard's Hot 100 chart while managing to make its way into television shows and movie trailers to truly become a part of the audio landscape. Their latest effort Who We Are has yielded yet another hit "First Time" currently climbing the charts and allowing Lifehouse to be exactly who they are... a rock band with a gift for melodies and lyrics that touch people.
MATT WERTZ with Dave Barnes & Gabe Dixon -- The Two Birds/One Stone Tour makes a special stop on the Mountain Dew stage at Freakfest. As Wertz puts it, "Dave and I are hitting the road in an all out tag-team rock fest that's gonna be more fun than, well…usual." Doesn't that say it all? If not, here's more. Wertz, the Missouri-born soulful rocker, has been splitting time between his home in Nashville and hundreds of stages around the world for the past six years. His last appearance in Madison sold out well in advance with standing room only and people clamoring for the ducats. Wertz' fellow troubadour is sometime songwriting partner Dave Barnes who has gained fans like John Mayer and written songs for and with Wertz, Marc Broussard, and Josh Hoge among others. Rounding out the group is keyboardist/vocalist/composer Gabe Dixon who has spent time behind the keyboards for artists as varied at Paul McCartney, Alison Krauss, and Loggins & Menssina while co-writing songs with Grammy award winning composers and continuing to develop his namesake band.
THE MIGHTY SHORT BUS -- This five piece rock band has been gaining fans in it's hometown of Madison as well as across the region. They have performed in over 350 shows including stints at Summerfest, Waterfest, The Taste of Madison, numeorous opening slots for national acts, and last year's Freakfest. They have been compared to southern rock bands a la The Black Crowes and Lynyrd Skynyrd, but their sound transcends that box. Ben Stitgen, Rob Junceau, Josh Smith, Nic Adamany, and Frank Busch make up the band and get the fans on their feet.
THE MIDWAY STATE -- Piano driven music from north of Toronto. On tour with Lifehouse.
Gorham Street-Buckeye Lot-next to Pizzeria Uno
KY-MANI MARLEY -- Ky-Mani Marley is the second youngest of Bob Marley's eleven children, but while bearing the surname of Jamaican Musical Royalty his childhood was one of a modest urban-lifestyle upbringing. As a child, Ky-mani had no interest in following in the footsteps of his father and instead developed a great love of sports. He had toyed with rapping and deejaying, but it wasn't until 1997 when he collaborated with Pras of The Fugees on Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue" that the musical seed sprouted. Now he is an artist with no limits incorporating world music, hip hop, blues, rock and a grass roots sound to his music. Marley is also slated to appear in an upcoming reality series on BET.
LOCKSLEY -- A real treat for the Freakfest audience, we are bringing Locksley back from their newly adopted home in Brooklyn New York and fresh from appearances on Conan O'Brien and off the road with Hanson on a national tour. They combine the melody, harmony and songwriting ethos of the '60s with the performance sensibilities of early American Punk and the work ethic of modern emo bands. After releasing a 5 song EP in 2005, Locksley were labeled "the show to see" by the New York Daily News, one of Alternative Press' best unsigned bands in the country and Billboard Magazine "Hot New Artist." They also secured deals with the STARZ movie channel, Payless Shoes for national television spots. This latest round of touring with Hanson is in support of their first LP: Don't Make Me Wait on their own Feature Records, a label they created with revenue generated from publishing and touring.
ROB DZ -- Born Robert Franklin in nearby Beloit Wisconsin, Rob Dz has gone on to gain quite a local following for what he describes as his "own genre of hip hop." Dz last appearance was with "The Rob Dz Experience" and he has since moved on to a new project with a brand new record out this month and an exciting new live performance show with a band. Another homecoming not to be missed.
MIKE DROHO -- After tremendously entertaining sets opening for Ben Kweller and headlining at the Union Terrace, Mike Droho welcomes Freakfest revelers to the Milio's Stage. His minions of fans have continued to grow in colleges across the Midwest region as he continues the formula he worked on when he was with the now defunct Madison based band The Profits... making a minimum of 400 or so new friends in each new market he travels to and slowly converting them to rabid fans. Droho has managed to weave influences including rock, hip-hop, R&B, blues, acoustic, classical, and country into an eclectic entertaining sound that raises the human spirit to new heights.
THE SOON TO BE LEGENDARY FREAKFEST COSTUME CONTEST!
A return to the tradition of the old Library Mall Halloween parties with a costume contest judged by locals, featuring locals, fishnet stockings on hairy legs, the latest celebrity horror story come to life, all in vivid living color with prizes to the winners! More details to come out soon.
THE GOMERS' GOMEROKE "A full-on, balls-out God Squad of Rock." -- The sensational interactive event that has graced the stage of the High Noon Saloon every Tuesday night for the past couple of year's gets supersized for Freakfest! Professional sound system, talented backing band The Gomers, all that's missing is you and your favorite hit song!
FREAKFEST BATTLE OF THE BANDS WINNER -- The UW ASM will be sponsoring a Battle of the Bands with the winning band performing live at Freakfest on the Peace Park stage! Local bands with original material are invited to submit press kits with music samples to the ASM office on the 5th floor of the UW Union. The ASM committee will be choosing semi-finalists to perform at a Battle Royale on Wednesday, October 24 at 7:30 PM at the newly reopened Majestic Theatre on King Street in Madison. Friends and fans are welcome to attend the battle. Tickets will be available at the door for $3 each. The winning band will be announced that night and featured on the Peace Park stage at Freakfest.
Watch for more announcements, maps, and the introduction of a brand new web destination for the event all coming in the next few weeks!
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FREAKFEST 2007 BROUGHT TO YOU BY MOUNTAIN DEW FACT SHEET
Saturday, October 27
State Street, Downtown Madison
Gates Open at 7:00 PM
$7 Day of Event, $5 Advance
Tickets on sale Friday, October 5 at 10:00 AM with no service charge at Madison business outlets including:
State Street Cash Mart,
Coliseum box office
Locations will all feature a special 'Freakfest Tickets on sale here' poster.
Tickets also available at Ticketmaster, by phone at (608) 255-4646, or online at www.frankproductions.com
3 Stages of Entertainment
Mountain Dew Stage
Matt Wertz with Dave Barnes & Gabe Dixon
The Mighty Short Bus
The Midway State
Peace Park Stage (To be named later)
Freakfest Costume Contest
Battle of the Bands Winner
More to come...
Battle of the Bands
Wednesday, October 24
$3 at the door
Local bands with original material submit press kits to the UW ASM office on the 5th floor of the UW Union by October 15 at 5:00 PM
Semi-finalists will perform at the Majestic
Winner from there will go on to perform on the Peace Park stage at Freakfest
Less than four weeks remain until the revelry set for the last weekend of October. More information about the second annual Freakfest on State Street and other Halloween festivities will continue to be reported on The Daily Page up to and through the event.