The end of festival season is upon us, and while we’re sad to see another year go, we like to look back at some of our better experiences of the year, namely Halloween weekend. If you didn’t know, Something Wicked is a fest held over Halloween weekend in Houston, Texas. Being from Houston I’m always down to take a trip back, and Something Wicked definitely shattered my expectations.
Something Wicked is a two-day event that is very modestly priced. GA tickets for the weekend started at $149 plus fees with VIP starting at $229 plus fees, making this an extremely affordable getaway in comparison to the many other festivals that share the same weekend. While the festival is non-camping, hotels were also surprisingly reasonable, and if you booked through their website you weren’t disappointed. But having said this, we all know lineup is key and the minute it came out we quite literally dropped all other plans, even selling our Voodoo tickets (no disrespect, of course). With artists like Marshmello, NGHTMRE, Seven Lions, Slander, Diplo, Excision, Slushii, and so many more, why would you NOT make this your Halloween destination?
As I previously mentioned, I’m from Houston, so going back can be exciting but can also make me uneasy. Houston can be overwhelming, between the sheer number of people, the traffic, and the insane highways. Thankfully our hotel was only minutes away, and getting there in the afternoon via Uber wasn’t a hassle by any means. Day one was nothing shy of amazing, the venue was conveniently located and while it does advertise as being hosted in the Sam Houston Raceway, it’s really in the grassy park area across the lot from the race way, which provided plenty of trees for shade and grass for comfortable down time. From the minute we walked in the energy was amazing, seriously, I can’t even begin to tell you the positive vibes that greeted us at the gates. When it comes down to it, positive vibes and good energy make or break your experience. No one wants to be around the drunk guy that doesn’t know his limits, who really only came here for Carnage. But while some degree of negativity is inevitable, it was few and far between. We stayed at the same stage for the better part of day one because the lineup was absolutely stacked. We did eventually venture off to find food and when you’ve been raving all day, let me tell you, there is nothing better than seeing the golden gates of an entire vendor dedicated to making grilled cheeses. We don’t typically eat too much at festivals, usually we’re so hyped up we literally forget to eat, but I would’ve paid an obscene amount for that grilled cheese. If I hadn’t been so completely out of my mind, I would have been throwing my money at them for another one. It was that good. Not to mention it’s not often you attend an event where you bond with someone over the smoothies next to the grilled cheeses, and end up making lifelong friends. Really, we met a couple by the smoothie stand who asked if we had tried them, and next thing you know we’re exchanging numbers and planning the next night together/upcoming birthdays (the smoothies were also the absolute truth, if you were wondering).
By the end of the night we were struggling to find an Uber, the only one available had us walking in circles before we finally gave up. Scrambling to get our crew together, our friend in a penguin suit tested his luck with a couple in a truck, and they ended up being some of the most down to earth people we met all weekend. They didn’t hesitate to help us out, and they even stayed to chill after dropping us off. They also offered us a ride home the next night so they’re the real MVP’s. The rest of the night is a bit of a blur, I laid awake in my air mattress from, I shit you not, midnight to five in the morning. Between the music blaring down the halls to the parking lot mayhem outside our window, our hotel wasn’t planning on getting sleep anytime soon. I also vaguely remember my boyfriend running in and out of the room in a onesie, but that’s a story for another time.
Day two came around and we were even more thrilled than we were the first day. Day two held a special place in my heart because I got to visit my childhood home and it also ended up being one of the best nights of my life. The day went by fast because we were honestly just having that great of a time. We took a brief hiatus during Zomboy when he started melting faces, mine in particular. It was also this point that we realized we hadn’t taken down time since we arrived. We quickly met up with the couple from the smoothie stand and between the lights, the music, the love and the vibes, we were completely and totally lost in the night. We talked to so many people who were brilliant and kind and every single one of them deserves mad love. The end of this night was the second time in my life that I felt an unreal sadness when leaving because I knew nothing would even compare to the experience we just had.
Unfortunately, we did make the decision to stay awake all night to make my flight at 5 A.M. because I had to be at work by 1 P.M. Monday afternoon a few states away. We frantically drove across town after realizing Houston has not one, but two airports. Needless to say I missed my flight, and on the verge of being fired for a no-show, I chucked out an extra $400 on another flight to make it home in time. Bear in mind I booked this flight because it still got me home with enough time to take a short nap, and hopes were high until it was delayed three separate times. While checking in at the second airport of the morning, I was told the flight had been moved back up and I had to physically sprint to my gate if I wanted to make it. Shout out to IAH TSA and to everyone in line for being so clutch, letting me cut through security, racing to my gate to make it as they were beginning to board. I left Houston at 11:30 A.M. and was in Pensacola, FL by 12:45. I made it y’all. The best part? The extra $400 to get home was SO worth the weekend I had. My bank account might have cried until payday, but I felt no regret.
I honestly can’t put into words the energy that we felt all weekend, it was a hotel festival with a camping festival feel to it. I tried to make this short and sweet but I could go on forever about the vibes alone. Between the strangers that let us ride in the back of their truck home to our hotel neighbors, we met the kindest and most wonderful souls. I give the overall experience a 10/10; the food, the people, the venue, the workers, they were ALL a part of making it an unforgettable experience. P.S.: We’re already planning our next fest with the people pictured below, whom we all met that weekend.