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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, May 25, 2024

This year, Freakfest and UW-Madison’s homecoming fall on the same weekend, which will result in an increased police presence.

Police plan ahead for overlap of Freakfest, Homecoming weekend

In anticipation of larger crowds over the upcoming Halloween weekend, which coincides with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Homecoming, Madison Police Department officials said they will increase police presence in the downtown area to manage traffic and control crowds.

MPD Capt. Carl Gloede said at a Downtown Coordinating Committee meeting Thursday, monitoring the traffic flow out of the city after Saturday’s Badger football game and into the city for Freakfest will be the greatest challenge.

“The isthmus is just bad for traffic, so we put together the best plan possible given that we’re shutting half the isthmus down for the normal flow,” Gloede said.

Gloede said the MPD’s plan to keep traffic in check includes placing officers along certain routes to help direct traffic around the Capitol and out of the city.

According to Gloede, the MPD will work with traffic engineers, some of whom will sit along the same routes to manually control traffic lights in order to better manage traffic conditions.

“Patience will be a virtue that day after the game,” Gloede said.

The overlap of the city’s Halloween weekend event with the Homecoming festivities poses more of a concern for Madison police than Freakfest by itself, according to Gloede.

“The Freakfest event kind of runs itself—it’s a very well managed event—so that is not a concern for us,” Gloede said. “It’s basically the safety of two events coexisting and the traffic getting in and out.”

Charlie Goldstone, Talent Buyer for Frank Productions, the organization in charge of Freakfest, said he expects to see more people attending this year’s event given the number of advance tickets that have already sold.

“We are fully ahead of where we were last year with advanced sales,” Goldstone said. “It’s a really good indicator we’re at about the place we were in some of the biggest years, especially with [the weekend] being homecoming.”

Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, said the added police presence and the MPD’s plans for controlling traffic are necessary given the amount of people who will be in Madison over Halloween weekend.

“It will be a strong plan in place to make sure everyone will be safe,” Resnick said.

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