When and Where: June 5-8; Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, Arkansas
Headliners: BASSNECTAR, Umphrey’s McGee, The Flaming Lips
Best of the A-List: Dr. Dog, Black Joe Lewis, Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers
Ins and Outs: If what you crave is sticky green smoke -- not city smog (see “Governors Ball” below) -- Wakarusa has you covered on the early-June festival-circuit scene. Of all the long-haired, freaky-people-focused festivals that have cropped up over the last 10 years, Wakarusa is one of the only ones that understands what it means to nurture a loyal fan base through an overage of new talent -- with just a sprinkling of the bigs. Look up and down the lineup, and you’ll see exactly what we’re talking about. While the city of Ozark, Arkansas, might leave something to be desired, the festival itself takes place at the nearby Mulberry Mountain resort, a cutaway amidst the verdant Ozark National Forest -- practically perfect for music fanatics, who also dig camping, ATVing, and horseback riding.
Insider Information: Given the rise in popularity of EDM (i.e. Electronic Dance Music), Wakarusa’s organizers have taken it upon themselves to foster the craze by staging their own Interstellar Meltdown -- basically, a no-holds-barred dance party within the festival grounds. This includes some of the world’s most tripped-out and talented EDM artists, as well as the fifth year of the “DJ Classic” competition designed to win up-and-coming DJs a spot on the festival roster. Not a bad way to get noticed.
Ticket Information: Like Sasquatch!, Wakarusa offers what they call “Glamping” options (i.e. glamorous camping). It’ll put you back anywhere from $650 to $1,000 (plus the price of festival tickets), but it could be the difference between you bawlin’ and ballin’, depending on the weather scenario. For everyone else, here’s the ticket info: Full event pass ($194); 3-Day pass ($139); 2-Day pass ($109); VIP pass ($705); camping/vehicle passes ($39-$119).