Archive for Monday, June 12, 2006

Police presence dampened fest, campers say

June 12, 2006


It was a peaceful scene on the ridge overlooking the Wakarusa Sun Up Stage.

Dudes in outlandish headgear twisted in rhythm with the folksy tunes of Brothers Past. A couple of flowery girls spun enormous hula-hoops around their hips, staring off at the stage.

But back in the hot and tightly packed Tent City, life wasn't all peace and love. In fact, concert-goers said as they prepared to pack up, some things out here have been downright ...

"It's crazy!" Kyle Smith yells, almost exasperated. "The cops have been driving through here on go-carts with night-vision goggles on!

"This is the worst the cops have ever been."

And Smith should know. The Fort Collins, Colo., native does this every summer, bouncing from one festival to the next, listening to music and hanging with buddies.

But here, he said, the police presence has drawn attention from a musical lineup he called the "sickest" of any large-scale festival anywhere.

"This is probably the best lineup of the summer," he said, "but I don't think I'll be coming back."

Lt. Doug Woods, of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, said that sheriff's deputies and state police had been using night-vision goggles to monitor after-hours activity at the park, and that it wasn't unusual.

"We've done it for the past three years," Woods said.

In all, Woods said police at the park have either arrested or removed 144 people from the park over the weekend, typically for alcohol or drug violations.

He also said their had been no arrests for violent crimes other than a few scuffles.

But many concert-goers complained that the police created an atmosphere that they rarely found at other such festivals, such as the Tennessee-based Bonnaroo - next weekend's destination for many Wakarusa attendees.

Back in the heart of Tent City, near an offshoot called Camp Carl, Lindsay Walker and Taylor Manning kicked back in their digs under a small, wobbly tent.

Beer cans and food wrappers covered the ground. A small table was packed with everything from aspirin bottles to Koozies.

"This weekend was awesome," Walker said, leaning back in her chair. "We've seen a lot of shows - great shows."

But Walker and Manning also had a run-in with police after an officer spotted a pipe sitting on their catch-all table.

"They ransacked our campsite," Manning said. She reminded Walker: "They dumped out your bag and you weren't even here."

Heather Lofflin, a spokeswoman for the event, said that the complaints, like all other successes or shortcomings of the still-young event, will be addressed after organizers have a chance to regroup.

"It's going to be something where we're going to have to sit down and process it," she said.

Lofflin said that some of the heavy police presence may be because Wakarusa is one of the only large festivals in the country staged on public land.

Plus, she said, the police have a job to do and it was unreasonable to expect that they would do otherwise.

"We have to support the police," Lofflin said. "The police have been here for people in trouble as well."

The police presence at the four-day festival did draw criticism from concert organizers for searches slowing traffic into the park.

Now, Lofflin said organizers will sit down and examine what happened over the weekend, and see what they can improve or try to improve for next year.

The police are going to do their jobs no matter what, she said, and the focus of the event should be directed elsewhere, anyway.

"I think that people should be focusing on the music," she said.

Campers Walker and Manning mirrored Lofflin's sentiments, saying that the police presence was what it was, nothing more.

And all in all, Wakarusa delivered everything it was supposed to: Music, camping, days in the sun and nights under the stars.

"It didn't bring it down that much," Walker said of the law enforcement efforts. "It was still an awesome time."

Wakarusa Festival 2006

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audvisartist 11 years, 10 months ago

"Lofflin said that some of the heavy police presence may be because Wakarusa is one of the only large festivals in the country staged on public land." -- Just because of this fact alone, I say it's a good thing the cops were out there to take care of business if need be. If you're not doing anything illegal, then you have nothing to worry about.

Devon Kissinger 11 years, 10 months ago

If the festival were just about the music, the police presence would not have been a problem. It isn't just about the music for some of thse folks, so they find the nearest reporter to tell their tale of woe. So the cops went through your stuff after seeing a pipe left out in plain view, sounds like probable cause to me. Don't like it, don't come back. Can't keep yourself from indulging in illegal activity, don't come back.

xenophonschild 11 years, 10 months ago

That may be all well and good for you lame asses, but some of us in the Nation enjoy blowing the magic weed while we listen to good music. Having to hide, having to keep jiggers out to watch for the cops, while we fire up is retro, something out of the late 60s.

The gestapo went way over board this year.

cms 11 years, 10 months ago

I can't recall, are the Fest organizers paying for police and sheriff monitoring?

BTW, xenophonschild, the magic weed IS still illegal.

ben_ness 11 years, 10 months ago

Night Vision goggles....haha....are you kidding me!!! Way to go KS!! After KSBOE I didn't think you would be able to do anything else as rediculous. This is yet another thing that will detour people from visiting again.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 10 months ago

Shall we insist on the same type of enforcement on KU game days with equally as many "alcohol check points" going in as well as coming out? Lots of ILLEGAL legally drunk drivers driving around town on those days...maybe haven't completely lost it but legally drunk and possibly far more dangerous. What do you think? Or is being intoxicated behind the wheel acceptable behavior for college sports? in full view of children? Perhaps we need to discourage sports fans from returning to KU activities?

Phil Kline and his election year politics is a waste of time and money. The money for this likely had to have his authorization This was nothing more than pure unadulterated harassment.

The state gestapo was roaming around sticking flash lights in people's faces then asking "What are you doing?" One of their trick test questions was asking those who they violated was " How do you get out of here?" Our son replied "Do you want an orange?"They left and went on to harass others.

These young folks were sitting around talking not smoking any dope or drinking for that matter. According to him they would walk up and stick flashlights in peoples tents for no apparent reason. No Justification.

Last year according to friends law enforcement had stated this event was easy and well behaved. Now shall we talk about Abe and Jakes Landing not to mention the Granada and The Last Call??

geekin_topekan 11 years, 10 months ago

Maybe Natalee Hollaways folks shoulda sent her to Wakafest instead.She'd be here today if they had.

monkeyhawk 11 years, 10 months ago

"This was nothing more than pure unadulterated harassment."

How is this any different from the harassment you hand out through your power trip with the Traffic Safety Kommisar? Only difference is that those who were affected were mostly out of town strangers --- not your neighbors and fellow lawrencians.

You, merrill, are a member of the local gestapo which we must unfortunately endure every waking moment.


Richard Heckler 11 years, 10 months ago

"Only difference is that those who were affected were mostly out of town strangers"

So are many of the sports fans.

reginafliangie 11 years, 10 months ago

Kudos to audvisartist and colt45!! You took the words right out of my mouth!

Merrill as for your comment I must correct you. If you have issues with drinking or other activity at the KU games you need to contact KUPD they are in charge of that area. Law PD has nothing to do with regulating the drugs or drinking at those games, not their territory.

monkeyhawk 11 years, 10 months ago

"So are many of the sports fans."

I am not the one screaming harassment. That is your point, not mine.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 10 months ago

Technically yes but KBI and State Troopers can wander about freely. My issue is equal treatment. Frankly I was making a statement as I do not want those who enjoy KU sports to be harassed just as I do not believe the level of harassment at the festival was necessary. Johnson County Sherriff had a drug check point set up on K-10 so this had to have come from the state I am assuming. Funding for this had to have been planned far in advance.

ben_ness 11 years, 10 months ago

regina: So somebody driving drunk down 23rd street after a KU football game isn't in LPD's jurisdiction because they were at a KU sporting event? I think you should recheck your source on jurisdiction there Regina.....

monkeyhawk 11 years, 10 months ago

"You should take a look at this idiocy on the Looneyville forum:"

Marion, thanks for the link. I never go there because I heard they have spyware, but I made an exception.

I now see why merrill is so ticked off. He was affected by traffic safety issues. Karma!

staff04 11 years, 10 months ago

Nuff said here. All the uptight biddies in this town will surely get their wish after this. I'll be surprised if the festival comes back...

reginafliangie 11 years, 10 months ago


I think you misunderstood me. Merrill was making reference to "check points" at the games. So I was saying that would be a KUPD issue. Oh I have a definite problem with drunk drivers! Once they leave KU property they are fair game. I hope that they are caught and jailed. I have no tolerance for that. That was the point I was making.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 10 months ago

"Shall we insist on the same type of enforcement on KU game days with equally as many "alcohol check points" going in as well as coming out?"

ENOUGH already! Apples and oranges. The risk factors don't even compare.

It sounds like the cops did the right thing. The cops saw a pipe, so they went through their stuff. That's what they should have done. A "pipe" at an outdoor music festival? That's reasonable cause! No where did the girl say "Here, this is my bag of Cherry Cavendish tobacco". You'd have to be stupid not to know what that "pipe" was there for.

This festival will most definitely be back. Even the whiners had to admit that it was the best line-up of artist ANYWHERE. In my opinion, those who came to do legal things and who only did legal things probably had very little problem with the cops being there. Those who "won't be back" probably came for the "wrong" reasons, anyway.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 10 months ago

"I refuse to apologize and act like I'm such a criminal"

It doesn't matter how you act, or if you apologize: you are a criminal.

Thanks for your honesty and candor. After a week of posts on this subject, you are the first to come out and admit that your position against enforcement is because you are a user.

reginafliangie 11 years, 10 months ago

Right On Oldenuf!! I couldn't agree more! Well done!

ledzep13 11 years, 10 months ago

Posted by OldEnuf2BYurDad (anonymous) on June 12, 2006 at 8:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Shall we insist on the same type of enforcement on KU game days with equally as many "alcohol check points" going in as well as coming out?"

ENOUGH already! Apples and oranges. The risk factors don't even compare."


Well, you're right about that...the risk factors certaintly don't compare. Are you sure that they don't compare in the direction you're advocating though? Maybe you should look up the number of alcohol related deaths as opposed to those caused by other drugs. (namely marijuanna, which seems to be what most of the arrests were made for.) I guess I don't see why the comparison isn't relevant.

Angel Gillaspie 11 years, 10 months ago

Well, speaking from experience - I attended Wakarusa last year and this year both. I only noted three major differences between last year & this year. Mind you, this is only my humble opinion. This year they searched cars going in, and I did witness security confiscating bottled beer. That caused a delay in getting into the festival grounds. Uniformed officers were much more visible this year, and it seemed that there were 3 times as many as I saw last year. But the major difference of the three was that I did not see any blatant reference to illegal substances. Last year, folks were smoking joints and pipes, and not even trying to hide it. I also saw people openly hawking substances - one guy making & selling grilled cheese sandwiches offered a sandwich & joint combo for $5, and one guy offering mushrooms for sale. This year folks were being much more discreet, but I did witness folks partaking of the "magic weed." As for the gentleman's bag being searched, that was his own fault - if he'd put his pipe away when he wasn't using it, his bag would not have been searched. As for the folks losing their bottled beer to security - if they had noted that liquor and glass containers were not allowed, they would have been smart to bring canned beer and not just leave it out in the open in their trunks. I did manage to bring in liquor, but it was in a plastic container and I packed it inside something else. Finally, I have a tip for law enforcement for next year - don't wear a uniform, don't appear to be so uptight, and blend in with the crowd. Someone might just offer you a toke, and then you could get your big bust. Better yet, quit the force, relax & let your hair down, and spend a weekend enjoying great music and watching the crazy hippies.

conservative 11 years, 10 months ago

As far as the low percentage of arrests I think this simply illustrates how well the police tried to handle the situation. They only arrested people with large amounts (dealing) of drugs, or the people who caused problems when illegal substances were confiscated. A perfect example exists in the story. The poor harrassed individual had his drug pipe taken away because it was in plain site, and they had the audacity to consider that probable cause to look for other drugs or drug paraphenalia. Yet in the end he was simply allowed to go about his business, and even was able to complain to the local media.

Doesn't exactly sound like jackboot tactics to me, and clearly illustrates that the percentage of people engaging in illegal activities far exceeds the 1% arrested. (fine 0.0096 as was indicated earlier).

reginafliangie 11 years, 10 months ago

I was at the fest and there was ALOT of alcohol here, not just people toking on a "little weed" led zep, from what I saw I would but just as worried about the drunk driving, there was alot of it, but mix alcohol and the drugs that is way worse that a "little weed". I don't have a problem with anyone doing either activity. Just stay off the street! You are impaired! I don't want to become another statistic.

Sigmund 11 years, 10 months ago

merrill (not-so-anonymous) on June 12, 2006 at 8:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Technically yes but KBI and State Troopers can wander about freely. My issue is equal treatment. Frankly I was making a statement as I do not want those who enjoy KU sports to be harassed ...."

I definately want drug or alcohol impaired drivers removed from the streets of Lawrence, ESPECIALLY during KU sporting events when our streets are most clogged and congested. As a member of the Lawrence Traffic SAFETY Commission, I would have guessed you would too. But no, you see such actions as harrassment. Suggest removal? Yes you should be removed.

wlpywd 11 years, 10 months ago

being someone that doesn't smoke or attend music festivals like this one, and being someone stopped many many times by police officers in our friendly Lawrence, never with a violation or ticket, i can add that however much work the police did NEED to do given the drug/alcohol present, a police presence anyware makes me very nervous and i never really wanna be somewhere with a large number of police officers. My white friends never have a problem with it though... weird. just wanted to throw that viewpoint out there as well

reginafliangie 11 years, 10 months ago

wlpywd, the officers of lawrence are not the same ones at the festival, a whole other branch of law enforcement. I am sorry that you feel like they "pick" on you. That should never be done. But the police shouldn't make you nervous they should put a feeling of safety in the area you are in.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 10 months ago

Lead Balloon #13:

Here's one way to analyse the risk factors:

Thousands attend the Wak Fest. Thousands attend KU basketball games. Thousands attend KU football games (some of which are in stiffling heat). On the day after game day, where are the news stories about the numbers of people who are hospitalized because of alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses? Or, is there a media conspiracy in play so that the truth is never told? THAT is how I can say that the Wak Fest brings with it a whole new set of risks. Just look at the facts. Do tailgaters drink before football games? Sure. Do some of them drive drunk? I don't doubt that some do. Is it the same as what we just witnessed at Wak Fest? No. It's clear to me that some who went to the Wak Fest went FOR the drugs. Otherwise, why would they be saying "the music was good, but the cops ruined it"?

Look, I have the complete box set of Woodstock at home. My father PLAYED at the Monterey Jazz Festival in the 60s. But this culture of trying to "recapture" Woodstock is pathetic. It just feeds into the same drug culture that killed/destroyed half of the Woodstock headliners (and, frankly, some of the greatest rock and jazz talent of the last century). Use some common sense, people. Drugs are not your friend, even if you are only doing a doobie here or there. Music festivals are fed by a drug culture, and therefore deserve scrutiny.

Hats off to the cops for their diligent work!! I just hope some kid playing out there in the grass next week doesn't end up stepping on anyone's discarded needles!

Confrontation 11 years, 10 months ago

"In my opinion, those who came to do legal things and who only did legal things probably had very little problem with the cops being there. Those who "won't be back" probably came for the "wrong" reasons, anyway."

I just had to repost this OldEnuf2BYurDad. You're posts have been excellent today. People on here would be complaining if there were fewer police and more reports of violence, rape, and drug overdoses. People sure like the cops when they are protecting them from crime, but not when they are busting them for being idiots.

Centrist 11 years, 10 months ago

Sounds like over-reactions all around .... but did they REALLY have to tie up traffic and search people who had NOTHING to do with the festival??? THAT is what creates the "atmosphere" of a "police presence". They should be there IF NEEDED, they shouldn't be all throughout the place.

And night-vision goggles?? Gimme a break! I'm just glad I wasn't there and trying to enjoy some privacy. C'mon!

Anyway, congratulations Kansas - you've probably given the organisers "just cause" to consider a new venue ...

mehgan 11 years, 10 months ago

Coming from a first hand experience of one of the 144 people arrested on friday at the Wakarusa festival, I think the law enforcement of the Douglas County Sheriff's department was over the top. My friend and i were arrested friday for having a beer and only being twenty instead of twenty-one. I understand our actions were illegal, but was it really necessary to hand cuff us and imprison us for twelve hours with no food or phone calls? We were questioned with out being read our rights and our things were searched without us being present. I understand the local law enforcement was trying to keep the festival a safe and law abiding place, but their actions were, in my opinion, somewhat breaching my rights as a citizen. While we were at the jail in Douglas County, we saw over six vans full of kids who were there for the exact same reason we were: one beer and maybe a little bit of pot. I have been to festivals in the past where I have been offered hardcore drugs from people, why wasn't the sherrif and his men more concerned about that aspect of the festival? I was extremely disappointed with this festival and the way it was run. I will never go back to Wakarusa and do not know of anyone else who will either. For the tight wound conservatives: keep your state park and Kansas and don't worry about me, the hardcore drug using criminal ever coming back.

reginafliangie 11 years, 10 months ago

ohhhhhhhhh Confrontation, my setiments exactly!! Maybe if the people out there took responsiblilty for themselves it would be a different story, but the ones that had issues were mostly under the age of 21 and would pass out, or very become very disoriented from doing drugs and alcohol. If it weren't for officers finding them passed out some of those "minors" might not be seeing today. Have fun by all means, but be responsible.

ben_ness 11 years, 10 months ago

12 hours in jail for possession of a can of beer. That is PATHETIC!!! Come on Lawrence!!!

dozerballz 11 years, 10 months ago

I wonder what the police presence at the Country Stampede in Manhattan will look like. I know plenty of good ole boys that grow their own stone, and even a few who could cook up a batch of crank in no time, will be in attendence. And yet i'd venture to say that probably not even half of the amount of LEOs will be there, as aposed to what showed up at Wakarusa. Yet the attendees of "Cornstalk" are more apt to get drunk and kick ass than our hygenically challenged vistors of last weekend.

dozerballz 11 years, 10 months ago

No one ever has or ever will OD on pot. And being a little pregnant I think is like being a little HOLIER than THOU.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 10 months ago

"My friend and i were arrested friday for having a beer and only being twenty instead of twenty-one. I understand our actions were illegal"

Then what are you complaining about? I've been arrested before, chained to a steel table for most of July 4th 1987. No, it's not fun. No, I was not being "legal", which is why I got arrested. I take responsiblity for that, and appreciate the professionalism of the cops who handled my case. You need to grow up a little more, Mehgan.

"I have been to festivals in the past where I have been offered hardcore drugs". Yeah, and it won't be happening at Wak Fest because of zero tolerance. Are you saying the cops should have waited for someone to set up a "Meth Tent" before entering the park? Mehgan, when you get to my age, you'll have a list of old buddies who are "no longer around" because of addictions and such. Then you'll understand why people are in jail because of "a little bit of pot". Some of those guys learned their lesson while sitting in the cooler. I hope you did, but it seems you did not.

TOB: I may take you up on that! Most of my impressions are from LJW and these posts. Please understand: I'm not chomping at the bit, hoping that the festival is "wrong". I'd love to someday attend something like that with my teenager. I hope the "culture" allows me to do that. Otherwise, not even my teen will be attending. When events like that are clean and safe, they totally rock! Not to say what the impact can be for our economy, and our reputation as a destination of culture. I would like to see the festival be successful, but success will be measured, in part, by keeping it legit.

reginafliangie 11 years, 10 months ago

Megan your never coming back?? And your hard core druggy friends aren't either?? ohhhhhhhhh boooooooo hoooooooooo hooooooooo, thats the best news I have heard all day! Listen, if you want to break the law (oh I know your are 20yrs and 7months old, blah, blah, blah, so that makes it almost ok) you will have to pay the fine and that means going to jail and being fined. Pot, whether a lot or a little is illegal. If you were going to do that stuff at least have the smarts to try to hide it.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 10 months ago

"12 hours in jail for possession of a can of beer. That is PATHETIC!!! Come on Lawrence!!!"

Keep in mind, once you are arrested you are then processed. The "12 hours" wasn't a sentence handed down as punishment, it's what happens when you get arrested. Even if you make bail, etc., it takes time for the wheels to turn. If it was a big day down at the jail, and it sounds like it was, then the processing time is even greater.

They're lucky they didn't get the rubber glove treatment.

Moral of the story: try not to get arrested, for anything.

reginafliangie 11 years, 10 months ago


I was referring to hard drugs, meth, coke, crack, etc. I beleive you can OD on those, duh!!

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 10 months ago

Correction: I was arrested in 1983, not 1987. I'm sure of you were needing clarification on that. :)

reginafliangie 11 years, 10 months ago

oldenuf, exactly, when your bringing in van loads of people, it takes a while to get through the booking process, and I know that there is no way that Mehgan went 12 hrs without food. Come on with the exaggerations!

Confrontation 11 years, 10 months ago

mehgan: I honestly don't care that they didn't feed you.

ben_ness 11 years, 10 months ago

Perhaps the Douglas County jail shouldn't have been clogged by kids arrested for M.I.P.s or misdemeanor possession. Write them a citation, yes. But book them into jail? I am curious as to how much it costs Douglas County to book one person.

It is fairly obvious to me that this is political. Somebody with some pull in Lawrence, Douglas Country, etc. must have some issues with Mossiman.

reginafliangie 11 years, 10 months ago


I didn't respond to your message about the bars, because frankly you write a damn book every time that I just skip right over it. This one was short enough that I actually read it. But I'm not going back to find the notation, so if you want to "briefly" tell me what you are talking about, I will respond.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, Ben, I can see a "citation" for MIP of beer, especially if they aren't really young. But, if I'm a cop and I arrest someone for posssession of drugs, I'm going to take the time to fully process that person, especially for the purpose of looking into outstanding warrants. A guy with one joint may have already sold the other 29 that he arrived with.

kingdork44 11 years, 10 months ago

I do feel bad for you OldEnuf2BYurDad. The legal Drinking age should be 18. I know everyone has heard this enough. But at 18 you can enlist and die for your country. But you still can't legally drink. It is sad. I could at least buy beer when I was 18. But then again I did do alot of illegal things at that age. Just be smart enough to "Not get Caught". Once again I feel for you. However in time you will give up that stuff and realize that this is not the life for you. You should put your family before all of this. Not to metion yourself. Pot? What is that. Follow in my footsteps and grow up. I know I did. And Life is a beautiful thing. Peace.

conservative 11 years, 10 months ago


Trust me, she wasn't booked for a beer. I know several members of the Douglas County Sherrif's department. They didn't book anyone who didn't have enough stuff on them to be considered a dealer, unless they caused a problem when illegal items were confiscated. I'm more than willing to believe that sweet little innocent Mehgan put up a fight, became abusive, or tried to run.

I'm certainly not saying it isn't possible for the deputies to go on a power trip, but I know for a fact they were overloaded this weekend and didn't bother with anyone as unimportant as Mehgan tries to portray herself.

reginafliangie 11 years, 10 months ago


did you live in lawrence in 1983 at the time of your arrest??

ben_ness 11 years, 10 months ago

conservative: I was wondering about that. As a native of Lawrence and having attended KU I have never know the LPD or Douglas County Sheriff's office to arrest anybody for possessing JUST a can of beer.

reginafliangie 11 years, 10 months ago

I totally agree with conservative, I know several dgso's and they would not book you into jail for being minor with beer. She is not telling us something...

mushfish 11 years, 10 months ago

The "Cops' should put this much effort in controlling the violence the occurs in/around "Lastcall", where people are actually carrying guns and trying to hurt/kill people. The "Wakarusa" crowd is peaceful, just trying to hang out and have a good time.

KsGirl 11 years, 10 months ago

For those of you who feel "Cops" should put more effort into this and that, why don't you apply, go through training, and do what you feel needs to be done. That makes more since than sitting back and giving an opinion on something you have never experienced. As someone who has sat up all night and listened to the goings on of the city, LPD would have more time to patrol the parking lots and sidewalks in front of and around bars if there were enough man power and less people acting ridiculous in the rest of the city. Lawrence may not be large by many peoples standards, but when it comes down to needing to be two places at once it's more difficult than you would think.

topflight 11 years, 10 months ago

Okay, first off, the Last Call has maybe a few hundred patrons at the most. So, the amount of police officers and security guards that are there is pretty proportionate. Secondly, there was anywhere between 15,000-20,000 hippies, dopers, overdosers, and regular people out there to have a good time, and people want to bitch about a police presence. To be proportionate i believe you would need a couple hundred deputies, and troopers out there and i can guarantee you there was not half that many at one time. So to those of you bitching about the police prescence, lets get real. The festival is not a reason for people to show up and do illegal drugs unchallenged, it is not a free for all. LSD, PCP, Marijuana, Acid, Ecstasy, and Shrooms are all illegal drugs. Don't think just because you buy a damn ticket, get a camp site, and hang out with thousands of other illegal drug users, that you can show up and do whatever you want. Thirdly, i would like to hear from an actual hippy how many police they think there should be there? 1, 10, 20,0. You are ignorant if you actually think that there should not be a heavy police prescence.

topflight 11 years, 10 months ago

Very well said The_Original_Bob. I saw the same as you did.

BDitty 11 years, 10 months ago

Dong Dong the Hippies are gone The Hippies are gone The Hippies are gone Ding Dong those smelly Hippies are Gone!!!

-I'm just glad I'll be able to breath fresh air again. Now I know what it's like to live in L.A.

paladin 11 years, 10 months ago

mehgan: They were being good to you by not feeding you. If they had, you would understand. Its all a matter of perception.

reginafliangie 11 years, 10 months ago

Amen ksgirl!

The very people that complain about the lack of police for certain things are the same people who think a noise complaint or a loud party should be put above all other calls. For all you people be in law enforcement, you will see things in a hole other light. I know I did.

reginafliangie 11 years, 10 months ago

Well Marion aren't you just a ray of sunshine?

Maybe if you didn't write a small essay everytime you wanted to give your opinion, I might actually read it.

Thanks for being such a joy.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 10 months ago


No, the arrest was not in Lawrence, but nice try. I won't be giving out any information that would assist anyone in discovering my "true identity".

Richard Heckler 11 years, 10 months ago

"I find it most humourous that Merrill, who is well known for his advocacy of bicycling as a primary mode of transportation knows so LITTLE about the relavant laws!

Surprise, surprise!

Thanks. Marion."

You might also find it humorous that the LPD,Sheriff Dept and the DA"s office do not have a specific fine on the books for a bike light violation. That's what my research revealed through a phone check. The individuals on the phones seemed to be putting forth an honest effort to track down the info. The numbers obtained were estimates so far as the fine was concerned. Court costs apparently are constant numbers.

If the DGCo Sherrif had not told my son it was a $200 fine for riding without a light it is likely I would not know anything about it today. $200 seemed a bit high. That could not be verified.

Traffic laws apply to all modes of transportation. Bike registration seemed like a hassle for LPD all for a buck the last time I registered in 1994. At that time they were not logging registrations on computers and did not want a serial number.

When I was a kid we got a new license each year from the local bike shop.

reginafliangie 11 years, 10 months ago


Sorry not trying to find out your "true identity" I was going to make the comment that in 1983 you could be 18 and drink. They changed it in 1985. So if this fesitval had been going on then, then most of the people arrested wouldn't have been. Just making an observation. Sorry.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 10 months ago


What in tarnation was your post about? Are you sure you were trying to direct that at me? Was that sarcasm? Please explain. I'm wondering: did you somehow get the impression that "don't get caught" was my message?!

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 10 months ago

I understand.

Just to clarify: I was not arrested for an alcohol-related incident. But the guy in the cell next to me sure was! He was so toasted, they had to drag him into the cell. My bondsman showed up to get me out, and by request the bondsman agreed to take my buddy with us, too. As we were walking out, the drunk dude said "Hey, can you get me out, too?" My bondsman asked what he was in for and the dude said "Drunk and disorderly". My bondsman said "Shame on you!", and we walked out. You might think it would be hard to walk out of a jail with one's head high; but somehow, that is what we did.

Lucky for me, my brother had a good friend who's dad was a judge...

lori 11 years, 10 months ago

All I know is that next year, i am asking off work for the Wak fest. I work at the hospital, and we were stretched to the max, because all the staff was pulled to ER and ICU to deal with the influx from the festival. I have never had such a horrible couple of nights at work as I did during this fest, and yes, the festival was directly responsible. The ER and ICU were at (or above) capacity, with the ER mainly full of Wak fest patrons. Our staffing was pulled to deal with this, leaving those of us on the other floors stretched very thin. Even with the addition of the medical tent at the festival, it was still very stressful.

However, I'd love to work the medical tent at the festival, especially if they expand the line up and don't justget jam bands. The people watching would be fun, the music would be fine, and somehow the fest patrons are more tolerable if they seek medical treatment BEFORE they need to be hospitalized for OD, severe dehydration, etc.

monkeywrench1969 11 years, 10 months ago


This is the generation of Blame other people for your Actions becasue you made a mistake and can not deal with the consequences...that in its self is proof your are not mature enough at twenty to drink beer until you are at least 21. I got an MIP at 19 and I knew the risks and was paraded down the Plaza in handcuffs for a packed night life crowd. Lots of stares.


Also if the bands were not good enough to experince without weed and drink why pay $100 a ticket to get in.

monkeywrench1969 11 years, 10 months ago

By the way how many drug related deaths occured this year over last year.

jnick84 11 years, 10 months ago

This has all been really amusing to read. I just don't even know where I should start...or if I even should get worked up over something like this.

gphawk89 11 years, 10 months ago

Awwww, some folks came to the festival to do something DANGEROUS and ILLEGAL and were upset that the LPD was trying to ruin their "fun". So sad... I've got an idea - if all you want to do is get stoned and not worry about getting caught, get stoned at home and save yourself the cost of an admission ticket (and possibly an arrest). How can anyone whine about a police force trying to curtail ILLEGAL activities? That's what they're for!

jnick84 11 years, 10 months ago

Isn't it supposed to be a MUSIC festival? So why are people bringing drugs to listen to music? Come on now, the police aren't stupid, they know that there are a lot of individuals who see this as an opportunity to sell and do whatever drug they desire. I guess people forget that drugs are illegel in any aspect, no matter how you try to defend them, just like underage drinking. I love how everyone gets so off topic on these comments and don't realize that the police were there doing their job. So what there may have been more there this year then last?! It's their job to serve the people of Lawrence and stop the people who are doing anything illegal. I'm glad to know that there were 144 individuals caught, there were probably a lot more people who should have been! If someone isn't 21, don't give them a beer! There are laws for a reason and the cops are there to enforce them. If you don't like it, TOUGH!!!

Confrontation 11 years, 10 months ago

Marion, I sure wish you had some "real" pics of the Wackorusa Pestival. I bet it wouldn't be too hard to get some pics to use in a "Just Say No" advertisement at the elementary schools.

Jersey_Girl 11 years, 10 months ago

KsGirl - maybe the LPD would have the manpower to deal with such problems if they pulled half the freaking speedtraps which now cause a negative effect. People are so afraid to drive the speed limit in this town, they drive 10 mph under the speed limit. After living in NJ for the past 6 years where the speed limit is concidered just a suggestion and the average speed is 10 miles over the speed limit, it's amazingly aggrevating and dangerous. Quit wasting my tax dollars on "trapping" people and focus on the real dangers out there.

xenophonschild 11 years, 10 months ago

When I was an undergrad back in the late '60s, early '70s, a group of guys would get together and rent a field in a farm outside of town and four, five thousand of us would show up, butt naked, to drink wine and smoke dope and cavort with the lasses. The cops pretty much stayed away, unless somebody got stabbed.

A much earlier post mentioned the possibility of acquiring private land and holding the festival on it. That sounds fairly reasonable. The cops would have to restrain themselves . . . and the stuffed-shirt lollipops who make a cowboy want to vomit on this site can keep their pansy-asses home and watch "Walker - Texas Ranger" like the good little Republican twits they are.

Coparusa 11 years, 10 months ago

How many of you writing in this forum are police defending your fellow officers? This is a spoof, a joke. Because, oh, the things I heard & saw. It is a shame what police did out at Wak I don't even know where to start. Officers violating civil rights? An on-duty, undercover skinny-dipping with an unknowing group of young festival girls? Going through un-opened vehicles without warrant or owners consent or knowledge of actions? A pound of marijuana taken at an organized police search with no arrest, questioning, or any other action taken on the people in the vehicle and were told they could "go and enjoy the festival"? Or, Legal paid venders being shut down Friday night by police if they were selling pipes (except the venders in the main stage areas)?

Night goggles were (mainly) used to pursue easy-going festivalgoers puffing a little weed with some friends, not to stop bad drug dealers with bad drugs.

I was told, the elevated security was imposed in response to the death of a 29-year-old man (not a kid, which has been implied) who died at the WAK 2005 as a result of an overdose of a mix of cocaine and heroin taken intravenously. For the record: in the past 12 years I've been attending festivals (all summer long), never have I witnessed an attendee shooting up. I'm not saying it doesn't happen. What I am saying is, it is not a common practice taken by festivalgoers. You don't go to a festival to shoot up heroin and coke. The people who do that started doing it LONG before they showed up at a show. These parents need to accept the fact their son was a junkie before the fest, he didn't just become one this particular weekend. Also I'd like to add; never, in the history of mankind, has their been a documented case of a lethal overdose of pot to a human, ever. Alcoholics cannot claim the same.

And to the lady who made the comment about sports events attendee's hospital headcounts in the newspaper; it doesn't take a genius to figure out. Sports events are common occurrences. They happen every day. Large music festivals are rare. If it wasn't, you wouldn't be reading this, right now. For one weekend out of a year, your town was filled with goofy dressed, peace lovin' music lovers from all around the globe. This is, in any regard, a Special Event. Or, at least, was. most of you who have spoken on this topic are probably locals. Non store owning locals that don't realize how much we brought to your reversed-thinking town. But I'm more than willing to tell the festival community what you think of us. You won't have to worry about "pothead music freaks" coming to Lawrence anymore. Your response to the police problem will be enough. Good-bye Wakarusa. You're an ignorant, narrow-minded host.

pity2bu 11 years, 10 months ago


Thank you for your comments.

Now from your ignorant and narrow-minded host, me take you hippie trippin dreadlock and armpit hair freaks and get out of town.

Whatever you do, or wherever you go remember one thing.


monkeywrench1969 11 years, 10 months ago


When you are older than 29 they are a "kid"

You have a lot of specific information. How did you come by it, are you bitter becasue you were one of the ones arrested or are you a cop trying to get "information" out there without being caught by your supervisors.

How many people pee in the woods or a porta potty during the concerts that you don't see during the large festivals...quite a few. How many people have copious amounts of sex during the festivals without being seen...quite a few (I personally know during my 80'2 hair metal days being aware of a few folks in the top tiers at a Ratt concert getting it done with few know it was going on in an auditorium)...

People are private and unless you are the biggest busy body in the world who everyone has to check in with during a festival concert I have a feeling some people may shoot up during festivals as well as some other things without your knowledge.

Coparusa 11 years, 10 months ago

So, in Kansas, if you are a 29 year old music festival lover you are a dirty stinking "hippie trippin dreadlock and armpit hair freak" IF you are ALIVE. But, if you're dead...
Let me guess, you're anti-abortion AND pro-death penalty people, too? Oxymoron. I'll post this on the band websites so everyone can see your truly ugly colors. You are hate-filled people. It is pathetic. Though, I'm not a deadhead nor was I arrested, I was handcuffed and searched with no probable cause. Nothing illegal was found, but my civil rights were trampled on and that is the serious issue not being discussed. If a "Hippie" is illegally searched and nothing is found, did the search really happen? Contrary to what you might believe, YES! The end does not justify the means. I'm sorry you hate what you don't understand so much you don't see it this way. Some day you will realize it is your loss, too.
Peace, Love, Music & Freedom

PS Brett. You have lost the war. The next time you want to make a buck in Kansas by putting on a Music Fest, STOP! You don't know how to do it right. There is more to it than a good lineup. Just leave it to the experts. Or just do a metal or country Festival. The locals seem to approve of that type of riff raff.

manuel43 11 years, 10 months ago

Well i bet the police dept cant wait until next years wakarusa fest. the police and the event owners sound like they had a good time making money off a the people. Its funny how they can go through peoples things and search them for drugs, but they cant seem to do anything about the blatant drug use and drug deallers on 10th and vermont. they try and put it on the drop in center, but isnt it the polices' job to keep these people off the street.

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