By Monica Banks
Wakarusa is a Native American term meaning “ass-deep,” somewhat unfitting seeing that this festival puts any patron way over their head in music. The Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival is a four-day party in the heart of the Midwest. Born in 2004, the festival originally featured over 70 artists in a diverse and eclectic line-up. In 2005, Wakarusa returned and quickly established itself as a premiere, grassroots event in the nationwide outdoor music scene. Last year the event featured over 80 artists, five stages and over four days of non-stop music and entertainment. This year’s throw down is looking more and more like the highlight of the summer.
Robert Randolph and the Family Band
The Greyboy Allstars
Yonder Mountain String Band
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
Michael Franti and Spearhead
Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Bernie Worrell and the WOO Warriors
ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra)
Oteil & the Peacemakers
Assembly of Dust
The Cat Empire
Donna the Buffalo
Gabby La La
William Elliot Whitmore
Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons
Larry Keel and Natural Bridge Delta Nove
Camper Van Beethoven
Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
Yard Dogs Road Show
and many more.
(As calculated by mapquest.com from Denver, Co. to Lawrence, Ks.).
Total Est. Time: 8 hours, 14 minutes
Total Est. Distance: 566 miles
ALONG THE WAY: Not far from Lawrence is Bonner Springs, Ks., a town that might otherwise forever be as obscure as dozens of other heartland towns, except for the fact that Bonner Springs High School is the home of Gene Clark, one of the founders of The Byrds. It may not be the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but since it’s only a half an hour away from Lawrence, it’s worth a side-trip for a snapshot.