Police: Number Of Arrests Down At Freakfest

No Significant Incidents Occurred At Large Halloween Party

MADISON, Wis. - Madison police are touting another successful Freakfest and said the number of arrests at the large Halloween celebration decreased this year.


Madison police said 43 people were arrested or cited at this year's event, down from 2009, when the number of arrests was in the low 50s.

"The Freakfest event went very well from a law enforcement perspective," said Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain.

DeSpain said most of the citations handed out at Freakfest were for underage drinking or possessing/consuming alcohol on the street.

"We had no significant incidents on State Street and no criminal damage that we are aware of," said DeSpain. "There were a couple of fights, but minor, and so from our perspective things have gone very well."

DeSpain said the decline in attendance this year may have been due to the bye week for the Wisconsin football team.

This year, Freakfest featured two main stages of music and a costume contest. Bands such as OK Go and Little Big Town entertained revelers. Organizer Frank Productions also brought in the bands My Dear Disco and Stealing Angels as well as local acts Aaron Williams & the Hoodoo, Daniel & the Lion and Mike Droho & the Compass Rose for the night's musical entertainment.

In the years before the large Halloween celebration became a city-sanctioned event, it was sometimes marred by unruly crowds, vandalism, riots and tear gas.

In 2006, the city and organizers stepped in to turn the celebration into a gated event that featured musical acts and required tickets for admission. The changes brought an end to many of the problems and the number of arrests decreased, along with attendance.

Now, after several successful years, thanks to bigger-named bands and some pretty good weather, this year's version of the organized chaos of Freakfest has been dubbed another success by the Madison Police Department.

As with past years, the revelers came to Freakfest decked out in creative costumers that ranged from classic Halloween staples to trendy costumes, like Lady Gaga and the cast of "Jersey Shore."

Stay tuned to WISC-TV and Channel 3000 for continuing coverage.

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