October 31, 2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the City of Madison's Halloween event "Freakfest". This event has become a tradition in the Madison area and draws people of all ages to the State Street area to dress in costume and listen to music. Freakfest is the biggest Halloween bash in the area where it draws tens of thousands of people.
The Madison Police Department, in partnership with many city agencies and our partners at DCSO, will be staffing the day's activities to bring together these exciting events in a family safe environment. MPD starts planning for this event from the end of last year's Freakfest event. This is a collaborative process with city staff and the event promoter (Frank Productions). The biggest challenge for the day will be traffic, so please plan ahead and review the information at the Freakfest website: http://host.madison.com/freakfest/
Not only is Saturday the 31st Freakfest, but there are also several other significant events taking place. Badger football hosts the Rutgers Scarlet Knights @ 11am; the Men's UW hockey team drops the puck at 7pm at the Kohl Center; and finally, a fitting musical at the Overture Center, the play "Wicked". It also happens to be the night when daylight saving times ends and we gain an extra hour (which unfortunately means an additional hour of "revelry").
Some key times and important information to remember:
- Freakfest starts at 7pm and ends at 1:30am
- Streets in the area will start to close at 4:45pm for set-up. View maps here: http://host.madison.com/freakfest/maps/
- Streets will start to re-open between 3-4am after clean-up
- Buses start to be re-routed at 4:50pm. See map and bus detour information here: http://www.cityofmadison.com/visit-play/halloween
- Parking information can be obtained here: http://host.madison.com/freakfest/news/
Our Special Event Teams (SET) and Mounted Horse Patrol will supplement our staffing needs. Our goal is simple: address dangerous behavior, eliminate the opportunity for injuries, watch for property damage and make sure everyone stays safe. Alcohol and Freakfest is a common theme. That said, we are hoping that those taking in this annual rite of fall will have fun and party responsibly.