Wakarusa Fest Looks Backward & Forward to Life After Lawrence

Ah, the good old days…

When the Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival reared its newborn head in 2004 nobody suspected first year participants would be eaten alive by insects or that third year attendees would find themselves mired in something resembling a police state with experimental spy gear and busts galore.

But the mighty Wakarusa – much like its namesake – soldiered on and after five years in Lawrence with 80 percent of its participants coming from outside the area – made a bold move to Arkansas last month for Wakarusa 6.

Off the local radar, not much was said by the usual local media suspects…until now.

So how did things go?

“It did well,” says promoter Brett Mosiman. “We’re quite happy with our new home. It’s a fabulous site.”

As for this year’s crowd, “It felt a little bigger because there were considerably more four-day tickets sold this year,” Mosiman says. “I think the new site contributed to that and some people liked the lineup better and gas wasn’t $4 a gallon.”

That said, did the economy take a toll on Wakarusa Arkansas?

“I think so, a little bit,” Mosiman says. “Definitely things are not good in the economy. But on the flip side, these festivals are an incredible value and people were staying home more and it was only four hours from Kansas City.”

So will next year’s Wakarusa be in Ark? “Yes, we’ll be back,” Mosiman says. “The first week of June.”

How the new

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