Funny how the Kansas City Star and Lawrence Journal World are missing this story, but the area’s other big fest – Wakarusa – is in deep do-do and nobody’s talking about it.
Unlike the now defunct Kanrocksas, the fest that started in Clinton State Park in Lawrence in 2004 moved to Mulberry Mountain, Arkansas in 2009 and has been a smash success ever since.
However the widespread storms and rain that have blessed much of the drought stricken Midwest but cursed other parts with funnel clouds and tornado warnings, is taking a toll on Wakarusa 10.
“Evidently the weatherman doesn’t like Wakarusa, the annual festival on Mulberry Mountain near Ozark, Ark.,” writes Pollstar, a concert industry digest. “Storms forced the postponement of the multi-day music and camping extravaganza’s Thursday kick-off.”
“Lightning and wind have caused the estimated 15,000 attendees to seek shelter in their vehicles; the cars are parked adjacent to the festival’s grounds, which are located at Mulberry Mountain Lodging & Events, north of Ozark,” Wakarusa promoter Brett Mosiman told the Southwest Times Record on Thursday.
By Friday Wakarusa was back on its muddy feet.
“Mother Nature might be trying to punk us… but we will dance!” the fest tweeted.
Mosiman told the Times Record he was confident clear weather would hold through Sunday, but added that in case of storms, attendees were asked to evacuate the festival grounds and hunker down in vehicles with “hard roofs.”
Ruling out Mazda Miatas and Volkswagen Cabriolets, I guess.
Bands scheduled to perform at the fest today today include Grouplove, Gogol Bordello and Widespread Panic with Snoop Lion topping the bill on the wrap up day tomorrow.
That said, there’s been plenty of handwringing at the weather dampened fest.
“how can we get in and are the stages all open?! We are an hour away and hear rumors of closed gates,” attendee Ashley Gregg tweeted Friday morning.
“is riverside camping functioning again?” tweeted Katie Hickingbottom.
Unfortunately, the good weather proved short lived.
“A line of thunderstorms is approaching the site,” the fest’s Facebook site warned late last night. “It’s expected to arrive between 1:15 & 1:30. The storm is capable of producing tornados, high winds, lightning, hail and heavy rain. A flash flood watch is also in effect. At this time, we are discontinuing programing until it is deemed safe to resume. Please exit the venues in a calm and orderly fashion and seek shelter in hard topped vehicles. Tune to 92.7 FM and social media for updates.”
Earlier yesterday the fest had Facebooked that, “Our crews will be addressing grounds issues that are preventing the Riverside Box Office and Campground from operating. We will provide an update and estimated time that the gates will be opening as soon as it is determined. In addition, our crews will be addressing grounds issues in the West Woods and Main Venue areas throughout the day today. We are very sorry for the inconvenience and we are working as quickly as possible.”