wakarusa 2009

I’ve got a set of festival that I wanted to post and comment on a bit, as the festivals that have been announced this year are all looking pretty amazing from where I’m sitting. There’s so much uniqueness in the way festivals are occurring these days, with Carrie’s post called Festival Fever fully summarizing the sentiment I’ve long tried to express through the content on the blog overall.

In deciding to see a festival these days, aside from the line-up, a big part of the draw is the festival setting. Castle, pirate ship, barn, or mountaintop equals yes. Expo Center, mini-mall, or dusty-field-with-faint-smell-of-manure is probably a no. The setting cannot be underestimated. After all, you are basically trapped in one location for 10 to 12 hours.

I think the boys putting on Wakarusa were especially aware of this consideration, especially given the police troubles in the past when the festival was still being held in Lawrence, KS. But this year, they’ve moved locations and they’re setting up shop at in Ozark, Arkansas. The festival is set for June 4th-7th, and the lineup features , Gov’t Mule, and as the top of the bill. Read on for the full lineup.


Gov’t Mule
(2 huge sets!)
(2 huge sets!)

G Love & Special Sauce

Cross Canadian Ragweed
(2 sets including a special late night set)

(special late night set)
Sly & Robbie
(2 big sets)
Crazy Engine featuring
(2 big sets)
Porter Batiste & Stoltz (2 sets)
The Egg
20/20 Soundsystem

(2 sets)
(2 sets)
& the 400 Unit

and Orleans Avenue
Secret Chiefs 3
Boombox (2 sets)
(2 sets)
(2 sets)

Ganga Giri

(2 sets)
Joe Purdy (2 sets)
Jessie Baylin (2 sets)

Dusty Rhodes and the River Band
and Lightnin’ Malcolm (2 sets)
Big Smith (2 sets)
Josh Phillips Folk Festival
(2 sets)

Underground Orchestra (2 sets)
Jonathan & the Northern Lights
DJ Rekha
Chuck Love


Old School Freight Train
My Dear Disco

Blue Mountain
Hoots and Hellmouth
Samantha Crain and the Shivers
Burnin’ Smyrnans
Public Property

Hana Pestle

Tom Foolery
Jason Sterling
My-Tea Kind
Damn Bullets
David Hasselhoff on Acid
The Corduroy

The Moai Broadcast
Blue Martian Tribe
Runnin’ Wild Band
Spotting Waldo

JamBase has their customizable schedules up with the set times for the weekend posted.

In terms of success or not, has definitely been hanging in there over many of the other festivals that have already decided to shutter their windows and stop operating for a bit until the economy improves. But I hardly ever find the reason to get out and travel for this festival. It seems that it’s great for the regional heads that want to see some live music and camp in the middle of the field at the beginning of summer, a rite of passage so popular in the Midwest that even the chicks cruising up in their Cherokees partake in the festivities. And this is fantastic, but for me they never seem to stray past the obvious lineup choices for this festival. I think in some ways they’ve done the opposite of what has done for mixing up the notion of genres and headliners at music festivals to offer up more diversity in the crowd that may be attending year to year, and I hope it keeps working for them.

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