Madison Police Department Captain Jason Freedman outlined safety measures for Freakfest at a press conference held at the City County Building Thursday.
The region’s largest annual Halloween bash will be held Saturday on State Street.
At the event, multiple stages will be set up with music for people to walk around and enjoy. Tag Evers, founder of True Endeavors, said the artists on the lineup are professional and are hoping for a safe event.
Evers said, as Americans, he hopes everyone is able to celebrate our freedom and prevent violence.
“[Freakfest] is going to be a funky fun time,” Evers said.
In order to ensure a “funky fun time,” MPD plans on using safety plans from last year as a footprint for this Saturday. MPD will have approximately 300 law enforcement personnel present Saturday to guide traffic and prevent danger, Freedman said.
Based off recent national and global acts of violence at populated events, Freedman said there have been concerns, but there will be additional resources in place to combat those.
“Our number one goal is a safe event,” Freedman said.
Officers will be put in a “position of advantage” to stop any outbreaks, Freedman said. He suggested to the people attending Freakfest do not accept drinks from people they do not know, go home alone or become over-intoxicated.
“Don’t be underage and drink. By all means, do not bring weapons,” Freedman said.
Any weapons — regardless if part of one’s costume — will be removed before people enter the gates, Freedman said. Normal regulations toward violence and underage drinking will still be enforced.
Tiffany Kenney, the executive director of Madison’s Central Business Improvement District, said retail stores should close between 5-7 p.m., but food and beverage restaurants will remain open.
Kenney said food businesses are happy to serve Freakfest attendees, but she encouraged that everyone enjoys themselves in a safe manner.
“We would like to remind you this is your downtown and we would like your help keeping it safe and clean for the event,” Kenney said.