May 30-June 2, 2013
Over 20,000 PEOPLE
Ozark, Arkansas: The middle of nowhere! Very difficult to get to, in a town with some pretty ridiculous laws.
Mulberry Mountain: Great venue! Big open fields, beautiful woods, some paved roads to make it easier to walk around, a couple of lakes, and even some hikes and waterfalls! Mulberry also offers fishing, canoe and raft rentals. Room for improvement: missing permanent structures such as bathrooms available to the general public.
Wakarusa has many different pricing tiers, but it is a decently priced ticket for some awesome shows!
- Full Event Holiday $139
- Full Event Super Early Bird $154
- Full Event Early Bird $169
- Full Event Advance $184
- Full Event Gate $199
- Three Day Advance $149
- Two Day Advance $119
- Sunday Funday $59
- VIP Full Event $659 (camping included)
- VIP Three Day $505 (camping included)
**Price does not include taxes & fees
Camping could have been better this year, but I suppose that is partly the weather’s fault. Most of the campsites were completely flooded upon arrival, with at least a few inches of rain. Wakarusa has different tiers of camping that you purchase different passes for:
- Riverside $29 (3 miles from the venue with a shuttle included)
- West Woods $59
- Main Venue $99
- RV Unreserved @ Riverside $149
- RV Unreserved @ Main Venue $299
- RV Reserved Campsites $549
As you can see, camping nearby can be very expensive, almost as much as another ticket price. Carpooling helps, but I prefer it when festivals give priority to people arriving early rather than people with more money.
Driving there is basically the only way to go, its pretty much in the middle of no where!
Security was very relaxed at Wakarusa this year. There was a brief car check upon entry, and a quick bag check at each stage entrance.
On the first night, there was an instance when they kicked everyone out because of a storm but they didn’t actually have an exit. The security man actually tried to get me to hop over the side of a fence next to bunch of power wires and a pole rather than simply open up an exit. It wasn’t the best moment, but they fixed the problem and everything went smoothly the rest of the weekend.
Wakarusa has the best people! So much love, just like a big family!
Weather was not ideal at Mulberry this year, it has been nicknamed Swamparusa. On Wednesday night it rained and thunder stormed into Thursday morning, causing a lot of music to be cancelled. It seemed it get better during the day on Friday, but that night there was a horrendous storm that not only cancelled music but also injured some people and I heard one even passed away because of hypothermia. On the brighter side, on Saturday morning the sun came out and the weather was perfect the rest of the weekend!
HANDLING OF THE WEATHER:
Wakarusa didn’t do great at handling the awful weather. At first I saw them trying to put down hay, rocks, and wood chips to try and relieve some of the mud. However, they often cancelled music unnecessarily, expecting storms that never came. They also only informed people at actual stages that a storm was coming—if you were at your campground you had no idea a vicious storm was about it hit you. They also didn’t seem to have any safety people going around during or after the storm to check on people, which could have saved lives. The storms was so brutal that many pop up shade tents were destroyed, and people created art out of them!
When there was music, it was epic. There were a couple of days that had little to no music at all. Don’t forget to go to Free Music Wednesday!
Widespread Panic! Yes I said it, WSMFP!
The lineup was epic. Shutting Panic down before their encore was not. Shame on you, Wakarusa. Overlapping their set with Umphrey’s wasn’t very cool either. But the music was incredible!
Dispatch was amazing too, as was The Black Crowes, and STS9 crushed it for the little time they actually got to play!
“Snoop Lion” aka Snoop Dog should not have been on the lineup.
LATE NIGHT SHOWS:
When there weren’t bad storms, music went late into the night! Quixotic at the Satellite stage was one show for the books!
I love the stage set up at Wakarusa. The main stage is in the perfect place relative to the other stages. The Backwoods stage is really chill, the Satellite stage can be really trippy and fun, and the tents are great too! Wakarusa lost a half a point though for the VIP section. It was too big and empty half of the time, leaving real fans too far from their favorite acts for no reason.
- Friday Night Costume Contest & Parade
- Saturday Morning Disc Golf Tournament
**Planned, I’m not sure if they actually happened though because of rain.
The Satellite stage is gorgeous! As you walk down the path to the Satellite stage, you see beautiful trees, rocks, trails in to the woods, hammocks hanging everywhere, and depending on the time of day, beautiful lights as well! The Backwoods stage also has awesome trees with bamboo stars covered in lights. Loved it!
They also had a ferris wheel, a waterfall within short hiking distance to visit during the day, live painters, Music Bus ROCKS, and a water slide (although I don’t believe they ever used it thanks to the storm).
Nomlicious as always! Shout out to Barely Edible!
Unique vendors and artists were all over the venue! Bring plenty of money to Waka, you’ll want to buy everything! Thanks to my incredible friends at Shakedown Goods for harboring me during a brutal part of the storm!
Wakarusa features lots of yoga options to help you stretch out between gettin’ yo’ boogie on!
Waka had drum circles, a didgeridoo workshop, hooping workshops every day, a unified field theory workshop, and more!
HELP THE ENVIRONMENT:
Recycalusa was out in full force! They gave you trash and recycling bags upon entry and helped clean up the grounds throughout the weekend!