Wakarusa to Host a Ton of Colorado Talent

Thanks to everyone who submitted a haiku for the chance to win a pair of passes to Wakarusa. Winners will receive an email by 5/18/12.

By Brian F. Johnson



May 31 – June 3

Mulberry Mountain

Ozark, Ark.

Wakarusa may be held more than 14 hours away in Arkansas, but the festival is one of the most Colorado events that takes place outside our state’s borders. From the bands to the production crews to the heady music freaks who attend, year after year, the Colorado contingent shows up loud and proud at Wakarusa.

So, it’s not surprising that this year the festival will host Fort Collins headliner Pretty Lights as well as the live-tronic duo of Big Gigantic. But the list of Colorado-based acts also includes everyone from the Emmit-Nershi Band and Head for the Hills to The Lumineers, Nathaniel Rateliff, VibeSquaD, Paper Diamond, and Eoto, among others. The roster of Colorado acts shows the changing musical landscape of the festival circuit, while also reinforcing what a driving force the Rocky Mountain region is in the national scene.

Located in a remote corner of the Ozarks, Wakarusa has always held its festival grounds in high regard and this year, their Recycalusa program is back. Attendees are encouraged to sign up for the clean concert pledge at cleanconcert.org, which has a simple message: “Leaving no trace, starts with you.”

Wakarusa started humbly eight years ago and while its crowds and its lineup have grown to be on par with the country’s biggest fests, there’s still something very homegrown about the vibe.

You’re going there to see: Pretty Lights, The Avett Brothers, Primus, and Umphrey’s McGee.

You’re going to come home talking about: The Weir, Robinson & Greene Acoustic Trio, which debuted at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival.



(As calculated by maps.google.com from Denver, Colo. to Ozark, Ark.)

Total Est. Time: 14 hours, 28 minutes

Total Est. Distance: 920 miles


YOU NEED TO KNOW: Wakarusa and  Boulder-based Conscious Alliance will once again partner at this year’s festival for a food drive to benefit the local community surrounding Mulberry Mountain. All patrons that donate 20 nonperishable foot items will receive a free limited-edition Waka poster.


Camping: Both on-site and off-site camping is available, but main venue camping is exceptionally better.


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  1. Reanna Graybill on

    Wakarusa Rawks
    Met your writer Monica
    Drove her broken ass

    Waka Waka high
    Waka Hiney ho ho ho
    And dancing I go!

  2. Caitlyn Williams on

    Sway to the rhythm
    Aural vibrations bone deep
    Dance, one tribe, free souls

  3. Marquee Magazine on

    Thanks to everyone for submitting a WAKA haiku. The winner (chosen at random) is Amanda Best. Keep checking back for future FREE ticket giveaways at our facebook fan page facebook.com/Marqueemag or our twitter @Marqueemag. Live for live music!