Wakarusa Festival


Wakarusa goes for year two in ozzarks

By joe kovack


June 3-6

Mulberry Mountain

Ozark, Ark.

In its first seven years Wakarusa has proven itself as the little homegrown festival that could.

The promoters have battled shady cops, horrific weather and even tackled a venue change last year which moved them from Lawrence, Kans. to Ozark, Ark., and each year, despite the adversity, they keep hitting it out of the park.

With over a hundred artists in the lineup, this festival brings a plethora of music that spans generations and genres. Bringing in folks from every state and over five countries, the festival is garnering respect as it provides an assorted mix of music and culture to the rolling mountains of the Midwest.

With acts this year ranging from The Black Keys and the Disco Biscuits to Widespread Panic and Fishbone, Wakarusa leaves no musical stone unturned. Starting with 70 bands in 2004, Wakarusa set itself apart from the rest of the festival circuit by offering dedicated fans festival favorites while also bringing in a diverse group of bands from every nook and cranny of the musical world. And as this year’s lineup suggests, the seventh annual festival will follow suit.

Just as any good promoter knows, it is not only about the music but also the social experience. While at Wakarusa, not only will you be able to see some great shows, but the Ozark landscape provides a wealth of activities, such as disc golf, kayaking, fishing and a main stage costume contest — all while still providing morning yoga. And just outside the festival grounds, The Ozark Highland Trail offers the chance for the outdoor enthusiast to hike some of the United States’ most pristine countryside.

Travel time:

(As calculated by maps.google.com from

Denver, Colo. to Ozark, Ark.)

Total Est. Time: 12 hours, 44 minutes

Total Est. Distance: 858 miles

You NEED TO KNOW: The Midwest in summer brings many chances for heavy thunderstorms. Be prepared. In addition to being ready for any weather, bring bug repellant! The annoying bugs known as chiggers are present in Arkansas and the best defense is good ol’ fashioned bug spray, a.k.a. “festival cologne.” Bring enough for yourself and to spray on your camp. You’ll thank yourself later.

Price: $$$

Camping: Yes, but many areas are already sold out.

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