Massive Lahaina Halloween to go live on the Web
Lahaina's legendary Halloween scene will be streamed live online for those who can't make it and those who'd not be caught dead there on such a night as that.
Front Street floods with around 30,000 costumed carousers and non-costumed onlookers, with more keiki-focused activities wrapping up before it gets too dark.
And before the bar scene kicks into high gear.
MauiToday.tv and its host, actor Branscombe Richmond, will bring it all to oglers from 7 to 11 p.m. Wednesday, via Road Runner High Speed Online.
"What I understand is that we can handle 200,000 simultaneous streams, so we'll see ... we have no idea what to expect," said Chuck Bergson, president and chief executive of Maui-based Pacific Radio Group Inc., which owns MauiToday.tv.
Mainland TV stations and newspapers picked up the story, so competition for streams may be fierce.
There will be one live camera near the landmark Banyan tree, connecting viewers to vampires, vamps and a variety of vaht-ever. Video from roaming cameras will be uploaded to the site later.
Hopeful viewers can register for the experience online by creating a username and password and clicking on the Halloween banner on the fateful night.
Registered users also can upload their own videos, which can be viewed or e-mailed by other site users. Cash prizes are awarded for each week's best videos.
MauiToday.tv is about more than just Halloween.
Bergson and his partners created the online TV station, "recognizing that the way people get their news and information today is so much different than our parents, or even us."
Information consumption is increasingly done electronically. "As a radio company, we know we can create a brand and drive traffic to the Web -- and really there are no local television stations on Maui, so we felt like this was an opportunity to become that source," Bergson said.
The plan is to stream 24/7. There are ideas for shows, "and we've got a relationship with Maui Community College," in which students can provide content. He would like to bring students on as interns to get experience, "and we're hoping that we'll be able to place these people in jobs. That's the whole idea."
Okay, not the whole idea. Monetizing the operation to make it self-sustaining or, you know, profitable, would be good. "Well, right now it's not," he laughed, "but you know, we're trying to develop the advertising model."
Viewers may see Bergson lurking in Lahaina on Wednesday, his 18th on-scene Halloween, dressed as -- "It's a secret," he said.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org