MADISON (WKOW)-- Increasing attendance and decreasing problems was the recipe for success at this year's Freakfest. It's a far cry from the event's troubled past.
In 2005, the number of arrests topped out at 334. After that the city of Madison decided to take control of the event. In 2013, the number of arrests was down to only 28.
"There are less incidents at Freakfest than there are at a Badger home game at this point. There are incidents at house parties around the perimeter of the city, but the people that want to come to the event and want to have a good time they want to have a safe night," Freakfest Co-Organizer Charlie Goldstone says.
The cost of policing has also steadily dropped, topping out at close to $400,000 back in 2006. Now it's closer to $100,000.
The only group of people that are happier to see a low-key Freakfest than police and city officials are the business owners on State Street. Many say they've experienced significant amounts of vandalism over the years.
"A few years ago we did have someone steal a painting. We just kind of noticed that one of the paintings was gone," Parthenon Gyros Manager Erik Lindberg-Wysocki says.
"It's nice to not have to worry about things being broken, especially like us. It's all windows out here," Tutto Pasta Manager Lonnie Johnson says.
Some UW-Madison students are still critical of the city taking over the event, but many have come to embrace it. Event organizers say this year was the first time student organizations on campus decided to sponsor the event.
"We really couldn't be happier with the event," Goldstone says.
This year's Freakfest drew in more than 35,000 people. Event organizers are hoping to bring in bigger acts next year, but they want to keep ticket prices low so more people can enjoy the festivities.
MADISON (WKOW) -- The Madison Police Department says everyone was mostly well-behaved at this year's Freakfest.
Police say there were "no significant incidents reported to police in the event area."
About 35,000 people attended the annual State Street event. As of 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, there were 28 arrests. Most people were cited and released for things like disorderly conduct or underage drinking.
MADISON (WKOW) -- Freakfest brings thousands of costumed people to downtown Madison Saturday night. It's a Halloween tradition than takes over State Street.
Madison Police said the night had gone smoothly as of about 10:00 p.m. But that wasn't always the case, rowdy celebrations in the early 2000's led to a city intervention.
"Since we've gated the event and turned it into Freakfest, really I think that mentality has changed. We're not seeing people come in from out of state, thinking that they can go crazy in Madison," Police Spokesman Joel DeSpain tells 27 News.
Authorities were expecting about 30,000 people to attend. Police say their costs to monitor the event continue to go down.
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