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.
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.
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.
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.