For years Madison hosted one of the Midwest’s wildest unofficial Halloween gatherings, drawing tens of thousands of costumed students and revelers to State Street the Saturday before Oct. 31. Eventually that tradition got out of hand, with some years ending in a spray of tear gas amid rioting and broken windows, and 14 years ago, in an attempt to bring some order to the celebration, it got rebranded as a ticketed event dubbed Freakfest.
Longtime Madisonians are still sour about that change – charging people admission to a public street is always going to rub some people the wrong way – but at least they get some great music out of it in return. This year’s Freakfest features another impressive lineup with three stages of music, one of which is headlined by Lil Yachy. The Gin Blossoms are there, too, which is a charming backup option for attendees not into all the other solid rap music on the bill.
The complete 2019 lineup for this year’s Saturday, Oct. 27, blowout is below.
The Mountain Dew Stage at Capitol Square
Ian’s Pizza Stage at Gilman Street
German Art Students
No Love Dog
Lum Stage at Frances Street
Tickets go on sale Friday, Sept. 6, at 10 a.m. and are $10 in advance and $15 the day of the event. Tickets are available at madfreakfest.com or at the following locations: B-Side Records, Knuckleheads, Ragstock, Sunshine Daydream, The University Book Store, The Soap Opera, Community Pharmacy, Ian’s Pizza, Los Gemelos, The Orpheum Theater and The Sylvee Box Office.