Wakarusa Enters Its Fifth Year With 80 Bands


By Mike Hedrick



June 5-8
Lawrence, KS

Named for the river in Lawrence, Wakarusa is a Native American term for ass-deep, which seemingly encompasses not only the depth of the river but also the abundance of music, camping and activities that take place at the festival.

Created in 2004, Wakarusa has consistently been an early summer home for some of the biggest musical acts on the scene. Boasting a bill of (thus far) 80 bands, a disc golf course, morning yoga, and numerous drum circles, Wakarusa is an experience most people cannot put to words. The festival has attracted privy music seekers from all 50 states and, since its inception, has grown to become an established grassroots event in the outdoor music scene.

With 2008 being the festival’s fifth anniversary, its promoters and organizers have hinted at several enticing surprises in store for this year’s patrons, but have also said they’re keeping them as surprises for those who show.

Travel time:
(As calculated by mapquest.com from
Denver, Colo. to Lawrence, Kan.)

Total Est. Time: 8 hours, 14 minutes
Total Est. Distance: 566 Miles

This is Kansas in June, there will be bugs. Chiggers are the real concern, but they are controllable. Make sure you bring bug spray for you and your campsite. If you don’t like bug spray, you can try gut sublimated (non-sticky) sulfur, which you can get at a pharmacy as a very cheap alternative. Put it in a sock and pat yourself down.

Price: $$$
Camping: Yes

The Flaming Lips
Emmylou Harris
Ben Folds
Zappa Plays Zappa
Mickey Hart Band feat. Steve Kimock & George Porter Jr.
Keller Williams
Leftover Salmon
David Grisman Quintet
Built To Spill
Bettye LaVette
Ozric Tentacles
The Everyone Orchestra
Old 97’s
New Monsoon
Hot Buttered
Alejandro Escovedo
Yard Dogs Road Show
Porter Batiste Stoltz
Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk
Tea Leaf Green
The Avett Brothers
Split Lip Rayfield
Dr. Dog
State Radio
Brett Dennen
Arrested Development
Donna the Buffalo
Delta Nove
Mates of State
Tilly and the Wall
Apollo Sunshine
Pete Francis (of Dispatch)
Papa Mali
DVJ Mike Relm
Steel Train
C-Mon & Kypski
Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue
Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise
The Dynamites feat Charles Walker
That 1 Guy
Ryan Bingham
The Gourds
Uncle Monk
Truckstop Honeymoon
Backdoor Slam
WhiteWater Ramble
Mountain of Venus
Future Rock
South Austin Jug Band
The Heavy Pets
Bang Camaro
Brent Berry Band
American Babies (feat. Joe Russo)
Hoots & Hellmouth
Blue Turtle Seduction
Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad
Chicago Afrobeat Project
Family Groove Company
Big Smith

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