Wakarusa Celebrates 10 Years

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Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival. (Kat Robinson)

Open spaces, beautiful Ozark mountain air, eclectic music… and 25,000 music fans.  Mulberry Mountain is home to Wakarusa – a six stage, five day, 175 set marathon event in the Ozark hills.

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Hula Hoop artist at Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival. (Beth James)

Now in its 10th year, the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival brings together fans of a wide range of musical genres – rock, folk, funk, soul, hip hop, electronica, alternative country, singer songwriter, soul and more – with up and coming musical acts and well-established musicians.  Billed as “where music meets Mother Nature,” the event has gained momentum and brought a hearty and dedicated lot of campers and connoisseurs to a large flat plain surrounded by peaks, valleys and the Mulberry River.

The guest list is a veritable who’s who in hip, vibrant artists, including 70s and 80s rock favorites The Black Crowes; local favorite Yonder Mountain String Band;  trance and dance artist Quixotic; genre-bending trio Dumptruck Butterlips; jam band Widespread Panic and well-known rapper and newly minted Rastafarian artist Snoop Lion.

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A picnic under the Ferris Wheel. (Kat Robinson)

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Crowds listen to performances. (Grav Weldon)

More than just a series of concerts, Wakarusa features packed days full of activities.

Resident artists perform in a variety of fashions, from puppeteers to light show illuminators to on-site painters and metal artists.  During and in-between sets, attendees take part in hikes to nearby waterfalls and through leafy forests; practice yoga and the art of hula-hooping; compete in disc golf tournaments; fish one of the park’s ponds or the Mulberry River (Arkansas fishing license required); float that river; learn to play musical instruments from hand drums to didgeridoos and enjoy the Ferris Wheel and waterslides.

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Gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches are very popular at Wakarusa. (Kat Robinson)

Music sets are played from early afternoon through sunrise each day.  Additionally, there’s a camp store available for provisions, and a host of 24-hour food vendors are available on-site selling everything from hummus to egg rolls to pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches.

This year, the organizers have paired with Ozark hotels to offer stay-and-play packages.  And as always, camping is available on-site.  But it is the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival… so if you want a good spot to pitch your tent, reserving early is recommended.

For more information, check out the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival website.

Kat Robinson is the communications manager for the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism's tourism division. She is a lifelong Arkansawyer with years of residency in Little Rock, Russellville and Jonesboro.

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Posted in Arkansas Ozarks, E-newsletter, Festivals, Performing Arts, Travel Arkansas, Visual Arts

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Date: Thu, May 30, 2013 - Sun, Jun 02, 2013
City: Ozark
Address: Ozark, AR 72949
Description: Wakarusa Music Festival; Mulberry Mountain Events and Lodging. 100-plus bands and four days of music echoing thru the Ozark Mountains. It has to be experienced. Tickets are available on line at www.wakarusa.com.