Local Profile: Freakfest

Published on October 5th, 2016
By Jennifer Oppriecht

Freakfest will be held on October 29 from 7:30 PM to 1:30 AM along State Street from Frances Street to Johnson Street. Click here to view the Freakfest map.

Freakfest is an amazing event that’s not only an epic concert and costume bash, it’s also helped keep Madison safe.  In this interview, Frank Productions has provided us with additional insights and details about the upcoming event.

What is the history of Freakfest?
Photo Courtesy of Frank Productions.

Photo Courtesy of Frank Productions.

State Street on Halloween was previously an unregulated weekend until the City of Madison took control in 2006 and made it a ticketed event: Freakfest.

Freakfest was organized by the City of Madison, who partnered with Frank Productions (one of the nation’s largest independent concert promoters, based in Madison) in 2007 to bring in live music. Past headliners like Mac Miller, OK Go, Matt and Kim, All Time Low, and OAR have brought in gigantic crowds.

Freakfest has sold as many as 43,000+ tickets per year since its inception. It has become not only Madison’s biggest Halloween bash, but one that has the attention of the Midwest.

What is planned for this year’s Freakfest?
Photo Courtesy of Frank Productions.

Photo Courtesy of Frank Productions.

This year, Freakfest has three stages with six hours of live music.

The Steve Brown Apartments/96.3 Star Country Stage is headlined by Kip Moore and Jon Pardi and supported by Wheelhouse, Greta Van Fleet, and Adam Bartels.

The Mountain Dew Capitol Stage is headlined by Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, and features a soulful lineup from St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Har Mar Superstar, Diane Coffee, and Sweet Spirit.

The WSUM/Ian’s Pizza Stage has Chicago indie-rock act, The Kickback capping off a night full of the region’s leading hip-hop talent from Trapo, Mic Kellogg, Lucien Parker, and Rich Robbins.

There’s something for any fan of any genre!

Why do people freak over Freakfest?

People Freak over Freakfest

We take over State Street in the heart of downtown Madison on Halloween weekend and throw a gigantic party that anyone can enjoy. It’s also only $10 for top shelf entertainment.

Prior to 2006 before Freakfest began, State Street on Halloween weekend was unregulated and there was violence, vandalism, arrests, and it was overall looking grim. Since Freakfest began, the number of arrests have dipped to as low as nine last year, so we’ve done a lot to make State Street safe, but still an unforgettable party for the city.

Why is Freakfest such a great fit for the city?

There’s a lot to love about Madison, but it’s a city that loves music and is really supportive and enthusiastic about the talent Madison has and brings in.

The city has eclectic taste and Freakfest is an example of how broad that taste is: This year we have hip-hop, soul, indie-rock, and country spread across three stages and we’re seeing the excitement for each genre.

The local acts are also bringing in a lot of hype, too, so it’s affirming that Madison has pride in it’s own talent for the event.

Photo Courtesy of Frank Productions.

Photo Courtesy of Frank Productions.

How much are tickets and where do I buy them?

Advance tickets are available for $10 online, at the Alliant Energy Center Coliseum Box Office,  and our ticket outlets, which are listed below:

B-Side Records



Sunshine Daydream

University Book Store

Los Gemelos

Osaka House

The James – Leasing Office

The Statesider Apartments

The Soap Opera

Ian’s Pizza

Mallatt’s Pharmacy

Walgreens Pharmacy

Tickets are available for $15 at the gate.


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