As featured in Issue #02 of SIGT Magazine — and exclusive Q&A with Michael Berg, Partner & Talent Buyer at Suwannee Hulaween!
SIGT on Hulaween w/ Michael Berg —Thank you for making Hulaween happen this year! We all felt the fear together when we learned of Silver Wrapper was bidding farewell. What was this process like for you professionally and personally?
HULA: Well, thank you and the #HulaFam for sticking with us throughout a tumultuous time. It’s certainly been a challenging year both professionally and personally due to a myriad of reasons but Hula and the closing of Silver Wrapper are up at the top of the list. The process has been an emotional roller coaster of challenges & evolution, but here we are almost ready to go on year 7 so it’s all working itself out. I really miss the Silver Wrapper team both on Hulaween, and for the projects I’m working on in Chicago. The SW team was, still is, and will always be my family. Change is an inevitable part of life though, so onward we march in the never ending race to the finish line, or for now, Hula in just a few short weeks!
SIGT: What are you most excited about with the beginning of this new era?
HULA: That’s hard to fully detail, as we are still in the moment of the transition. With change comes newness & rebirth which can be refreshing but is also a bit scary. Sometimes it’s easier to look back at a time-frame down the line to really best understand what was happening in that era. The things we’re excited about as a team is forcing ourselves to analyze every detail, see how & where to improve or adjust, and learn to make the event more sustainable for a long time to come. It’s exciting to explore how we can be better as event producers, talent buyers & experiential curators without compromising the vibe.
SIGT: What can we expect from Spirit Lake this year? Are you bringing back the water-powered jet packs?
HULA: Spirit Lake will be back in full effect. Some new installations, and also some elements you’ll recognize from the past, but maybe notice something different about this time around. You’ll have to explore yourself as words do zero justice towards the Spirit Lake experience, as you or anyone who’s ever walked around it truly understands.
SIGT: There is so much love at Hulaween. What makes Hulaween so special for you as a talent buyer?
HULA: There is indeed so much love at Hulaween, also a lot of strong opinions (as we all see daily online). The internet and its legions of armchair quarterbacks can be ruthlessly unforgiving. That said, as a talent buyer, it’s special for us to feel so connected to the community that is Hula. We would come to this show as fans if it wasn’t ours. We are one with the Hula community. That is special and not every show gets to be like that.
SIGT: What are your “cannot-miss” sets?
HULA: I always forget to include acts that I (or you) wouldn’t want to miss when I answer these, but a few sets off the top of my head I’m excited for are Anderson .Paak, FlyLo, Thundercat, Marc Rebillet, Tycho, Greensky, Manic Focus, Tchami, Billy Strings, JRAD, Karina Rykman, Tom Morello, Walker & Royce, Lettuce, and Circles Around The Sun with very special guest Eric Krasno.
Michael Berg Hulaween Interview by Mitch Foster.
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