People who have been to Wakarusa Music Festival will tell you that Mulberry Mountain is a spiritual place, an experience like no other. A circumstance that brings people from all walks of life together for a magical four days where they can escape the outside world and forget who they are. This year, Waka’s tenth anniversary, which takes place from May 30thto June 2nd in Ozark, AR, promises to do not only that, but also to bring an amazing lineup as diverse as the festival attendees. They’ve got all the bases covered, from hip-hop to bluegrass to electronic artists who will play until the sun comes up every blessed night, so grab your tie-dye and Jesus sandals and let’s dive into this year’s Waka experience.
The headliners this year cover a wide variety, but the perhaps one of the biggest genres at Waka is that of the jam band. The 2013 lineup includes huge jam favorites Widespread Panic, STS9, and Umphrey’s McGee. Panic is scheduled to play an epic 3-hour set on Saturday night, while Tribe and Umphrey’s both have two separate sets, one Friday and one Saturday. This year’s headliners also include Yonder Mountain String Band, a bluegrass favorite of The Mountain, and folk up-and-comers, Of Monsters And Men. Rock and roll has its place on Mulberry, as this year will feature The Black Crowes, Gogol Bordello and Rebelution. Add Snoop Lion to the mix on Sunday night and these acts alone should be enough to make any festival worthwhile, but we’re nearly not done yet...
The electronic music acts that are attending Wakarusa this year may not be the massive names that folks are used to from this festival, but there are enough solid names on the bill to keep an EDM fan more than happy throughout the weekend. Zeds Dead, Shpongle, EOTO and Savoy are all notable enough to be printed on the top quarter of the lineup and big enough to make massive waves on The Mountain in 2013. If you find yourself away from the main stage, the Satellite Stage is a guaranteed spot to catch the majority of the electronic acts. This stage tucked into the trees will bring you HeRobust, Run DMT, Baauer, Figure, Minnesota, and GRiZ over the 4-day period. Other electronic acts playing Waka this year include Felix Cartal, The Polish Ambassador, AraabMUZIK and Gramatik (hello Waka Gods, can we get a Grizmatik set?!). The Floozies are coming back this year--check out their recap from big sets at The Untz's Satellite Stage.
Of course, there is more to your Wakarusa experience than just the music that you are sure to discover on your own, but if you’ve never been, allow us prep you with some tips:
Be prepared for any kind of weather. Yes, Waka is known for being brutally hot, but it does get chilly at night. In the god-forbidden occurrence that it should rain, you will be thankful for the extra layers.
Make the trek to the river. We know that it is hot, and you’re tired and running on an hour of sleep, but IT’S WORTH IT. Just be forewarned about the old-dirty-hippie-nudity that comes along with it.
Keep an open mind and go stage exploring during the day. There isn’t a whole lot else to do in the early afternoon, so go check out different bands and familiarize yourself with some music that you may not know.
If you aren’t in VIP, you will need cash for the showers.
Try to get as much sleep in as you can where you can spare it. You don’t want to wear yourself out and wind up crashing midway through night 3 and missing good sets.
Even though you may now be armed with knowledge and some expectations for this year’s Wakarusa Music Festival, be prepared to be blown away. This festival is truly a special adventure that is unique and different to each person that attends. So like we mentioned before, keep an open mind, bring the sunscreen and good vibes, and we will meet you on the mountain!