Wakarusa Recap!

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Our very own Jennica who has provided many great pics for our Weekly Waxes (liiike this one!) made it out to Wakarusa a few weeks ago and she was kind enough to not only snap tons of awesome pics, but to give her impressions of the festival itself. 

Wakarusa was a unique experience for me. I’ve done a lot of the big ones – EDC Vegas, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, TomorrowWorld, Electric Forest, and even some smaller ones like Buku, Pitchfork, Spring Awakening, and even EDC Chicago. This was my first Wakarusa, and my first festival in the mountains.

The weather on Mulberry Mountain, Ozark, Arkansas was a bit tumultuous, ranging from a bit chilly to very, very hot, to pouring rain. It kept me on my toes, kept things interesting perhaps. However, the humidity remained a constant. As a resident of the Midwest, I’m no stranger to these sorts of weather patterns. I was told by multiple people that last year at Wakarusa, there was a big storm where a tornado did/almost hit (everyone had a different answer for that), but the main complaint was that there was mud throughout the festival that went up to your knees. This year, even with a fair amount of storming, there was a negligible amount of mud for the most part.

Camping festivals are always fun, though a bit of a struggle if you consider yourself to be high maintenance (I do). We were put in the Glamping section, which is basically a queen bed or cot(s) in a pre-pitched tent. It was super nice to just waltz in and not have the chaos of setting up a tent that we hadn’t used since the year before.

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The vibe of the festival was unquestionably earthy, with the vast majority of the festival-goers being straight up hippies (read: burnt Nag Champa incense throughout camp, dreadlocks, barefoot, tie dye, etc). The diversity in the lineup of indie rock, jam bands, and electronic music certainly made for an interesting crowd to say the least. I’m not complaining- festival hippies as a people tend to be pretty nice, laidback, and seemed to draw in a well-rounded set of food vendors with a lot of healthy options.

My favorite stage was without a doubt The Untz’s Satellite Stage in the forest, which is where the infamous Sunrise Sets took place. There were a lot of cool decorations and art installations throughout the festival as a whole, but this stage stood out the most to me, putting out almost Electric Forest vibes, especially at night.

I had quite a few favorite sets.

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First, The Flaming Lips completely blew me away. It was far from my first time seeing them, but their live performance is just so on point every single time, and it’s always different. Seeing them with my boyfriend was the perfect experience… their live show always makes me want to fall in love.

Next, Jay Fay totally killed both the Friday Sunrise Set at my favorite stage, as well as his set at the Outpost Tent on Saturday. On Friday especially, he had the crowd in his hands like putty, commanding them with only his huge tunes to stay until 6am even through the rain, begging for more as the sun came up.
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Keys N Krates also played a very strong set, doing everything totally live. Other honorable mentions include Minnesota, HeRobust, Buku, and Bassnectar (obviously).
All in all, I had a super fun Waka, but there’s nothing quite like coming home and killing a whole pizza and a pint of ice cream with your boyfriend after taking an hour-long shower. Can’t wait to do it all over again at Electric Forest at the end of the month!

All photos: Jennica Mae

Posted By: Hypo-Luxa

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