Madison prepares for Freakfest, UW football game

Some leaving Badgers game will need to take detours
Madison prepares for Freakfest, UW football game

Freakfest, Madison’s Halloween event, returns to State Street this weekend, and with the Badgers’ homecoming football game the same night, getting around the downtown area will be more difficult this year.

This will be the first year that a football game will end after certain streets have closed for Freakfest.

For anyone heading east through Madison from Camp Randall Stadium, there will be a West Johnson Street detour that will drivers take to West Washington Avenue, around the Capitol to East Washington Avenue or East Johnson Street.

“We encourage people to be patient when they’re driving and to stay on that detoured path. By taking shortcuts they’ll probably just slow themselves down more,” said Dave McCaw, of the Madison Police Department.

Those heading west and south away from Camp Randall Stadium can use their normal route.

Police said they are expecting about 45,000 visitors on State Street for Freakfest. Police said that, from a crowd control perceptive, there’s always the concern of too many people gathering in the same spot.


“We will monitor it, and if it becomes a problem, we will try to create more space for people. If it spreads out and people are all over State Street, 45,000 isn’t a lot of people. If they’re all trying to be in one place at one time, then we’ll just have to monitor it more,” McCaw said.

After riots started at Madison’s Halloween celebration in 2002 and violence marred the event in subsequent years, the party became a ticketed event in 2006.

Tickets this year will be $8 in advance and $12 the day of Freakfest. The official Freakfest event opens at 7 p.m. Saturday and runs until 1:30 a.m. Sunday.