By Nessa Fried
June 5 – 8, 2014
Tucked away in the rolling hills of the Ozark Mountains is the largest gathering Arkansas sees every summer. As Wakarusa grows to be one of the biggest music festivals in the country, more and more Colorado natives have been making the 14 hour trek to experience the magic of Mulberry Mountain — in fact, the Colorado contingent is massive at Wakarusa. Waka boasts six stages for nearly 200 sets of music, with performances ranging from bluegrass to electronic.
Wakarusa bills itself as a full-on experience, created by music lovers for music lovers. But, in addition to music, Waka strives to create an inspiring artistic ambiance. They encourage that by welcoming art submissions for installation on Mulberry Mountain. Waka promotes art conceptions made of recyclable materials as they continue Recycalusa, their festival grounds recycling program. For every full bag of campsite recycling you bring to the Recycalusa Booth you receive a prize such as band merch or Recycalusa t-shirt.
You’re going there to see: String Cheese Incident, STS9, Bassnectar, Umphrey’s McGee and the Flaming Lips
You’re going to come home talking about: Black Joe Lewis, Dopapod, Kung Fu, and Fruition
Travel Time: (Denver, Colo. to Ozark, Ark.)
Total Est. Time: 12 hours, 4 minutes
Total Est. Distance: 859 miles
You Need To Know: Previous years have led us to believe Mulberry Mountain has some beef with the weather gods. Torrential storms are quite possible, so be sure to be prepared with a good assortment of rain gear and something more substantial than just a pair of flip-flops for the weekend. Also remember you’re going to be driving through Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas where, sadly, Johnny Law will make note of your Colorado plates. Make sure you’re up to date on registration and that all your lights and turn signals are working. Don’t give them a reason to pull you over.
Camping: Wakarusa has a wide array of camping options, from the Main Venue camping area that has amenities including showers and affordable food vendors, all the way to Riverside camping, which is much less expensive but requires a 3-mile free shuttle ride. All camping is first come, first serve. You will not be able to hold camping spots for friends, so make sure to show up with your whole crew together.