There’s no way organizers of the Wakarusa fest could have predicted the monsoon and tornado threats that did in this past weekend’s fest a year in advance. And there’s only so much promoters can do when it comes to making the best of a horribly bad weather situation, given that most of their resources go into giving festival goers the best bang for their buck entertainment wise.
All of that said, the unwashed who attended this year’s 10th anniversary of the camping and music fest that started out in Lawrence, Kansas are engaged in a serious debate over how this year’s Wakarusa went down.
“Don’t forget the party goes late tonight, but you have to be up and ready to clear out the grounds by noon tomorrow!” organizers cautioned around 10 p.m. last night on the event’s official Facebook page.
“We have canceled half the music but you still gotta get your ass up and outta here,” shot back Ben Cartwright. “Smh”
For the uninitiated, “smh” is internet slang for, “shaking my head.”
“Over the years, I’ve been to a number of festivals. While a good lineup is one of the largest deciding factors in which one to go to from year to year and Wakarusa did not disappoint in this regard. Festival promoters also can’t control the weather either. With that being said, Waka left much to be desired as far as preparedness is concerned. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and the company I spent my weekend with. I was dry while I slept and didn’t lose any gear to the weather. Lucky me… I can say that I was very disappointed with the fact that I saw 2 dump truck loads of gravel sitting by the RV area in a pile while patron after patron had to pay $50 to get towed 25 yards out of a mud pit that the promoters – in my opinion – could have prevented by using some of that gravel more wisely. In addition, when the workers are telling everyone the water wells are running dry after getting the ridiculous amount of rain that fell and that’s why everyone that paid $25 for showers couldn’t take advantage of using them after Friday and could also not get a refund, it makes me wonder if the peeps behind the scene actually give a shit about the people who are, at the end of the day – whether they like it or not – paying their bills. At the end of the day, I think there are way too many options nation wide to return to Waka. They have shown what is most important to them… The almighty dollar:(”
“Party was over last night,” David posted. “Widespread annihilated.”
“Widespread and Umphreys both destroyed it,” added Mauter.
Then there were middle-of-the-roaders like Travis Henry.
“Had fun but really had to work for it,” Henry posts. “Happy to be home. Can’t control the weather but you can plan better than they did. Lot of organizational fails that had nothing to do with weather.”
“Drive a great distance for Waka every year. No tickets. No camping. No music. No water. Floating vendors. Mud and more mud. Leave?! Been gone. We all got robbed.”
Wakarusa’s mud will long be remembered by those who wallowed in it.
“F*** waka they would not even help change a tire they were charging $55 to pull people out of the mud I will never come back to Wakarusa and I am a four year veteran,” posted Troy Weston Groover.
“I got a flat tire too from running over a tent stake after I left,” added Meredith Miller.
“As an adult you should be able to change your own tire,” countered Ryan Warren.
“I had an amazing time regardless of the shitshow because of the positive peeps out there,” Tanisha Mize says. Thanks to the Wakarusa staff for all the hard work and extra hours put in, I think y’all did a great job considering what you were handed. Much appreciated.”
“Don’t get me wrong – I came prepared and had the best time I could possibly have under the circumstances, so I’m not trying to just be a downer,” adds Eric Lambeth. “But I’m also a little older, and the amount of money I spent on this event is really immaterial to me relative to my income. If I were one of those kids who blew all their savings to get to this event, then sat in traffic for 10 hours trying to get in because of complete anarchy and disorganization at the check-in gates, then my car got flooded out because Waka security had everyone park down by the river and then just bailed and told us we were on our own when the river started to come up, and then there was no place to camp that wasn’t in a sea of mud? I would be off my rocker angry right now.”
“4 Busted with $5k Worth of Drugs on Way to Wakarusa Music Festival,” reads the headline on KARK 4 News in Little Rock.
“Bella Vista Police arrested four people Wednesday for drug possession after a traffic stop.
“K-9 Officer, Cano, alerted on the vehicle and police seized multiple types of drugs including LSD, marijuana, mushrooms, Xanax pills, marijuana-laced cookies and an unknown white substance.
“The four occupants of the vehicle, who were headed from Colorado to the Wakarusa Music Festival in Ozark, were all arrested and include 20-year-old Kyra Scrimgeour, 19-year-old Katherine Pumplin, 22-year-old Vondel Fransen and 21-year-old Sean McNicol.”
“Cops use the waka event to target out of towners and harass them,” posted attendee Simon Wiley. “It happens every year. God have mercy on you if you drive a vw bus. They target those big time.”
“TRAVELERS BEWARE!!!!” added Jason Gray. “The surrounding counties are ramping up police force and pulling over everyone and anyone with packed cars and tie die! I live in Bella Vista near the Missouri state line on hwy 71/540 and saw many people getting pulled over and searched with k9s. The media are even sharing that Madison county are performing stings.”
“Cops are being assholes!!!” adds Shannon Steinmetz Scheafbauer. “Got pulled over and got a full search of our RV! They even brought out a power drill!”
“May be time to bring Wakarusa back home? plenty of places in kansas or Missouri to have it. Clinton Lake only had one bad year.”