Welcome to Wakarusa, where you will be captivated by the beauty of nature, live art and performance, and above all, music. In order to experience Wakarusa to it’s fullest extent, we have put together this survival guide for all of you dedicated festival goers out there. In this guide, we will cover the most important topics including best campgrounds, which acts not to miss, our favorite on-site activities, and of course some tidbits of advice based on our very own Wakarusa experiences. Enjoy!
Let us start by saying best wishes on whichever way you choose to get to Wakarusa, whether it is by car, plane, hitchhiking, somersaults, or even RV. Oh, speaking of RVs, did I mention that is how we got to Wakarusa last year? Well, barely. Our journey began with seven homies, a plethora of vending supplies, one 1987 Pace Arrow, and a disco ball. We were giddy to say the least.
However, it was not long after leaving Denver, CO that we realized promising RV dreams were about to pummel and our trip would turn into something more comparable to the Oregon Trail. After 5 breakdowns, a case of bronchitis/influenza, a 1 ½ daypit stop in Perry, Oklahoma, and lots of anxiety, our feeble RV carried our now 6 passengers (one dipped out in OK) into Wakarusa a day late, but ready to RAGE nonetheless.
The point of this story is not to scare you or bring you down, but more to inspire you to embrace whatever comes your way on your Wakarusa journey. It is not always an easy one, but an incredibly rewarding one nonetheless and it is important to appreciate every aspect of it.
Now that you made it, it’s time to settle into your campground!
You will have an incredible experience no matter where you end up camping, but in our opinion, the best camping lies in the VIP camping. If you are fortunate enough to have a spot here, feel free to enjoy a nice shower, plenty of meal and drink accommodations, and countless opportunities to make some new friends.
Main Venue Camping is not too shabby either, and it can be nice be right in the thick of things. The party in MVC is sure to be poppin’ off the entire weekend, and exploring all of the vendors on Shakedown Street is always tons of fun. Make sure you have something to clearly mark your campsite here so you don’t get lost in the sea of tents!
If you are arriving by RV, try to get there early and dibs a space in the Unreserved RV Camping. It can be hard to maneuver those big boys around the grounds once people have settled in.
Acts Not to be Missed
There are so many amazing acts to see that sometimes you wish you could be in two places at one time! Here is our list of performances not to miss! You can find the lineup in its entirety at:
|SunSquabi: 3:15-4:15 Satellite Stage
The Floozies: 4:30-5:30 Satellite Stage
Railroad Earth: 6:30-8:00 Main Stage
The Motet: 8:45-10:00 Revival Tent
Pretty Lights: 10:30-12:15 Main Stage
Marty Party: 2:00-3:15 Satellite Stage
NitGrit: 3:30-4:45 Satellite Stage
VibeSquaD: 5:00-6:15 Satellite Stage (sunrise sets are the best!)
|Elfkowitz: 2:00-3:00 Satellite Stage
That 1 Guy: 4:30-5:45 Backwoods Stage
Lyrics Born: 5:45-6:45 Satellite Stage
Wick-It the Instigator: 7:00-8:00 Satellite Stage
Break Science: 8:15-9:30 Satellite Stage
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros: 8:15-9:45 Main Stage
Perpetual Groove: 10:30-12:00 Outpost Stage
Umphrey’s McGee: 12:15-2:00 Revival Tent
Ghostland Observatory: 2:30-4:00 Revival Tent
Love & Light: 3:30-4:45 Satellite Stage
Michal Menert: 5:00-6:15 Satellite Stage
|G. Love & Special Sauce: 3:00-4:00Main Stage
Emmitt-Nershi Band: 4:30-5:30 Outpost Stage
Virtual Boy: 8:15-9:30 Satellite Stage
Umphrey’s McGee: 8:30-10:30 Main Stage
Primus: 11:00-12:15 Main Stage
Big Gigantic: 1:00-2:30 Interstellar Sanctum
Beats Antique: 2:15-3:45 Revival Tent
|R/D: 5:00-6:00 Satellite Stage
Dumptruck Butterlips: Revival Tent
Keller Williams: 9:15-10:30 Outpost Tent
Krafty Kuts & A. Skillz w/ Dynamite MC: 10:30-12:00 Satellite Stage
These are our basic suggestions for what to see as far as music during your weekend at Wakarusa, but don’t afraid to experience all of the other magical aspects of Wakarusa.
On Site Activities
In addition to all of the beautiful sounds you will hear at Wakarusa, we encourage you to explore all that the festival grounds has to offer. Whether it is feeling the rewarding coolness of the waterfall or capturing the entire festival from the top of the ferris wheel, there are magical moments awaiting you in every corner of Mulberry Mountain. Here’s our list of on-site activites to check out:
Food & Craft Vendors: Throughout the grounds are incredible food and craft vendors that you DO NOT want to miss. Most importantly, I don’t care how much money you came with, spend your first (or only) $12 at the Mister Mister vending booth. In case you don’t know, it’s a giant pressurized spray water bottle. They saved us last year and made us LOTS of friends. Other booths to check out are Grassroots California dome and Chicken on a Stick!
Friday Night Costume Contest: From 4-7pm, feel free to unleash your freak with the most innovative costume you can think of. Undercover staff will be browsing around to choose participants for the contest, which takes place at 8:00 pm at the Main Stage! Prizes include tickets to Wakarusa 2013!
Mountain Creek Waterfall: Although we were unable to make it to the waterfall last year, we HIGHLY suggest making this 45ish minute hike a part of your weekend. With temperatures reaching up to 115 degrees, you will be looking for every opportunity to cool down, and there is no better way than taking a leap off a waterfall into cool, refreshing water. Don’t miss out.
**Rumors are there is also a HUGE water slide coming in for Wakarusa 2012, so keep an eye out!!
Ferris Wheel: If you are going to spend the whole weekend looking for the perfect photo opportunity, let me just save you some time. Be sure to take a cruise up to the top of the ferris wheel to snap a photo and take in the breathtaking view of what you are experiencing. Soak it up, baby.
Morning Yoga: If you are looking for some extra stimulation in the morning, check out daily yoga from 9am-11am at the Satellite Stage. Keep your mind and body in rhythm.
Last Minute Advice
We hope that we have given you some useful information to ensure that you are able to witness the synchronization of nature with live music at Wakarusa 2012. Here are a few of last minute pieces of advice to make sure that this happens:
Water is your best friend!!! We are not kidding when we say it gets hot, so be sure to stay hydrated and in the proper attire.
Pace yourself. Let’s face it, this is a marathon, not a 5k, so make sure you maintain some balance so you can finish the race.
Don’t be shy. We all came here for the same reason, so don’t be afraid to borrow some sugar from your neighbors tent. You never know who you may meet on a random mountain in the Ozarks.
Leave no trace! And we mean it! Pretend it’s your grandmother’s backyard, and pick up ALL trash you come across so we can come back next year.
Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Although there are no police officers on the festival grounds, they were eagerly awaiting peoples exits last year, so make sure you are clean and sober as a whistle before you drive out of the Ozarks. Check this fair warning video on past arrests at Wakarusa.
Most of all, have an amazing time and don’t take a second for granted!
"At the root of all power and motion, there is music and rhythm, the play of patterned frequencies against the matrix of time, Before we make music, music makes us." – George Leonard