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Archive for Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wakarusa music festival considers venue change

Shana Valencia, from Evergreen, Colo., hula hoops at the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival at Clinton Lake State Park in this June 8 file photo. Festival promoters are exploring their options of different locations to host the event. One option would move it to the Circle S Ranch and Country Inn in Jefferson County.

Shana Valencia, from Evergreen, Colo., hula hoops at the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival at Clinton Lake State Park in this June 8 file photo. Festival promoters are exploring their options of different locations to host the event. One option would move it to the Circle S Ranch and Country Inn in Jefferson County.

November 20, 2007

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Wakarusa promoters explore new venue

Promoters of a popular summer music festival in Lawrence explore possibilities for a new venue. 300 acres north of the Circle S Ranch and Country Inn in southern Jefferson County is one option being considered for the 2008 Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival. Enlarge video

Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival promoters are exploring their options.

"We're investigating the opportunities of places to host the event is all, and we've done that annually, so there's really no news until after Thanksgiving probably," said Brett Mosiman, the founder of the festival, conducted the past three Junes at Clinton State Park.

One option is Circle S Ranch and Country Inn in southeastern Jefferson County.

"That's a big pull for us. We enjoy the guests that we've had from far away and from other countries," said Mary Cronemeyer, who owns ranch with her husband, Jack. "We like to show them what a beautiful place Kansas is."

Under a presented plan, the festival would be on about 300 acres north of the inn, she said. Last week, Jefferson County commissioners heard from Mosiman - and neighbors concerned about the effects of the four-day festival that attracts upward of 12,000 people and 120 bands.

Commissioner Don Edmonds, McLouth, said he asked to defer a vote until Monday.

"I wanted a chance to do some investigating on it before we make a decision," Edmonds said.

The festival has been on public land west of Lawrence for three years, and proponents tout its economic benefit to the area. The festival was marred in 2006 by a traffic jam and 80 arrests related mostly to drugs or underage drinking.

The event went more smoothly last year, but attendance was down slightly.

Jerry Schecher, manager for Clinton State Park, said he would draw up a proposed contract, even though promoters have not asked for one.

Mosiman said it's premature to call the Jefferson County site a final target.

"They were again one of the many potential sites that we're investigating," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised if we end up back at the park like we have every year."

Comments

seriouscat 7 years, 1 month ago

I live in JC and I support the move here. Let the kids have their fun for goodness sakes!

Reading some of the stuff on here makes me think of the parents from that cheesy 80's movie Footloose: OH NO! Young people dancing and listening to music and having fun! God forbid!

zettapixel 7 years, 1 month ago

That Shana Valencia is beautiful! Great photo by Thad Allender!

Fatty_McButterpants 7 years, 1 month ago

The main girl in the photo looks like she stole Raggedy Ann's outfit. The girls in the background look like extras from "Pirates of the Caribbean."

Hard to imagine why people think that Wakarusa Fest is for hippies...

akt2 7 years, 1 month ago

At least hippies don't bring their automatic weapons to town with them. They tend to respect others and their environment.

akt2 7 years, 1 month ago

Hoola Hooping can be so dangerous too!!

davidnta 7 years, 1 month ago

But then again, if you haven't been around hippies or the culture, how do you know for sure that all of them have been taking mind-altering drugs?

nekansan 7 years, 1 month ago

The issue is that between the State & County LE and officials at Clinton state park they have potentially driven away a successful event that generates millions of dollars in revenue within the county, largely from out of state tourists. Stupid things such as questionable roadblocks that backed up traffic for miles & shutting down bands in mid performance, while similar festivals like the Country Stampede have much less police presence. It's too bad others don't appreciate the impact that has on the economy.

Kevin Sontag 7 years, 1 month ago

Hippies... always saying they want to save the earth, then drive around in cars that get bad gas mileage and smell bad... with their dirty feet and crappy clothes... god, I hate 'em.

mehjmhheh 7 years, 1 month ago

Encouraging the move of the festival away from Clinton Park by presenting an overbearing police force and paranoid/deragatory propopganda is a shame and results in a huge loss for Douglas County. The Country Stampede is welcomed by the Manhattan local law enforcement and community despite the fact harder that drugs like meth and coke are rampant there and the amount of alcohol consumed and fights makes Wakarusa look like a Sunday school day camp. The "hippies" are much more pleasant than the red-neck brigade that attends the Country Stamped. A little consistancy in law enforcement and public opinion would be nice.

Mossby 7 years, 1 month ago

Let's not only ditch the original venue, let's expand or alter the entire premise. Here are some of the best examples I could find:

http://www.lucubrations.net/2007/10/arusa.html

ontheotherhand 7 years, 1 month ago

Some of the posters on this message board would not know a hippie if s/he came up and bit them on the "hello." Stop calling them hippies just because they don't listen to Top 40 or Country music 24-7. :)

Mkh 7 years, 1 month ago

"The issue is that between the State & County LE and officials at Clinton state park they have potentially driven away a successful event that generates millions of dollars in revenue within the county, largely from out of state tourists."

^ Exactly!!!!

Looks like now the city of Lawrence might lose out on millions of dollars in revenue due to the fact that redneck cops can't stand hippies getting high and playing music past midnight. Nice work Douglas County and Clinton State Park officials.

akt2 7 years, 1 month ago

They aren't hurting anyone. Maybe killing a few brain cells, personally. What about all these redneck campers and boaters that consume massive amounts of alcohol at the lake all year long. They like to trash the lake. Oh and let's not forget the fishermen, that trash the spillway with so much litter, that they have to shut it down. Trashy is as trashy does. Hippies are the least of the concern.

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years, 1 month ago

Looks like now the city of Lawrence might lose out on millions of dollars in revenue due to the fact that redneck cops can't stand hippies getting high and playing music past midnight.

Hippies with millions of dollars? That's funny. I have no problem with hippies, they're harmless for the most part, but to suggest that they spend millions of dollars at our retail stores during the Wakarusa weekend is a bit of a stretch.

Mkh 7 years, 1 month ago

"but to suggest that they spend millions of dollars at our retail stores during the Wakarusa weekend is a bit of a stretch"

First of all, it's not only hippies going to the festival, and yes most attendees are middle class or better and spending a great deal of money on that weekend. Over the course of the years, certainly millions of dollars would have been spent in the town and county. High Seirra Festival in Northern California is the same type and size festival and has been going for 17 years and counting. About 8 or 9 years ago they went through the same thing, the city and police came down hard on the festival antendees one year and the festival simply moved it to the next county over the next year and gave them the revenue instead.

Sigmund 7 years, 1 month ago

While the Wak gives a huge boost to the Court system in fines and to local defense attorney's in fees, I doubt anyone else get a huge financial gain from it. Anyway, I think they would be much happier on private as opposed to public land. Good bye and best of luck!

akt2 7 years, 1 month ago

Some of them have rich parents, and they are not what you would call a true hippie. High tech, rich kid hippies, that like to have fun.

dirkleisure 7 years, 1 month ago

Reading this thread is like going into a time warp to 1969.

Hippies do this, hippies do that. Its like people dusting off some of their old copies of the Saturday Evening Post and quoting verbatim.

Good work old timers. Tell us what it was like when there were no cars and you used to gather round the radio every night to hear what trouble little Annie was going to get into.

Raider 7 years, 1 month ago

I wonder if there will be a protest by downtown merchants, much like the one they are organizing about the KU/MU game.

monkeyspunk 7 years, 1 month ago

They will still come to Lawrence for supplies. Circle S is out in the boonies, but it is still close enough to Lawrence for them to stop here first. If they come in on I-70, they still have to get off at Lawrence to get to Circle S. Really it is a "Win, Win" for us.

Also, with the possibility (or certainty?) of a Half Iron Man coming to Lawrence, I wouldn't worry too much about attracting events. Just as long as the local administration and law enforcement don't screw that up as well.

akt2 7 years, 1 month ago

Ya I'm old. I'll admit it. I listened to transister radios and 45 records when I was a kid. Oh, and 8-track tapes. I didn't grow up in a society with aids, meth labs, internet predators, or identity thieves either. So I guess in a way, I might be considered a hippy. I probably have somewhat of a hippy state of mind. But on the other hand, I am a homeowner, parent, spouse (25 years Thursday), employed, somewhat conservative individual. And can't forget pie baker. Which I am going to go do now.....

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 1 month ago

Haven't been able to scare up a hippy since the '60s. The people that frequent the Wakafest. are just out for a good time. There's no cause, there's no uber-social movement.

Cops could turn a blind eye, sure, but the first incident that happens that's related to mind-altering substances, no one should complain, even if it affects a nonfestival goer.

On the other hand, exactly what is the benefit for Lawrence? It seems to be that the benefit is isolated to the park and maybe to whatever business gets to fill up the coolers that the festivalians live on for the few days of the event.

Kontum1972 7 years, 1 month ago

hippies....there not the problem.....the problem is on pennsylvania ave...chk dis out!

http://www.esquire.com/features/iranbriefing1107

Happy Gobble Gobble Day...

anybody checked out the comet Holmes?

urthlvr 7 years, 1 month ago

i can see it now-all the cars in the ditch along wellman rd. the dirt roads out by the ranch aren't great either.

i work with someone who lives out there and they were told that the promoters will make the dirt rd. to the ranch 1 way and give passes to the homeowners out there so the homeowners can leave their houses and go about their business. how they are going to leave when traffic is one way i don't know.....

real neighborly if you ask me.

Confrontation 7 years, 1 month ago

"The festival was marred in 2006 by a traffic jam and 80 arrests related mostly to drugs or underage drinking"

Oh, please! Don't let us "burden" you when you choose to break the law. If they weren't breaking the law, then there'd be no need for cops to attend the event. I honestly don't care if the WackoPestival isn't in Douglas County, but I definitely don't want the hicks from ManCrappin moving their show here, either.

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years, 1 month ago

Encouraging the move of the festival away from Clinton Park by presenting an overbearing police force and paranoid/deragatory propopganda is a shame

Yeah right. The Wakarusa-goers would be the first ones to sue the city if they were assaulted or injured as a result of a lack of police presence in a public park.

bugmenot 7 years, 1 month ago

Sorry, but the "hippies" do damage and destroy things. Saw a whole slew of them last year, huddled around the salad bar at the 23rd street Hy-Vee, grazing out of it with their bare hands without paying. Saw a LOT of trash along 23rd on the way to the venue that weekend, too. Pretty sad, really.

I think the main problem here is that the fesitval attracts the sort folks who don't quite think the law (no stealing, no marijuana, no underage drinking, what have you) applies to them.

Oracle_of_Rhode 7 years, 1 month ago

This would be a big economic loss and PR black eye for Lawrence. Too bad the authorities chose to place these concert goers under surveillance and harass them with roadblocks and questionable searches.

Perhaps producers instead should have just bribed the city and county commissioners. That's what seems to work in these parts.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 1 month ago

The music festival is a great economic draw for this area and a lot of fun for most everyone who attends. Yes this is a wonderful event for Douglas County and Lawrence merchants. Lots of music and people enjoying each others company. Philadelphia is looking at a 3 day event in the downtown area perhaps or nearby which all understand brings in a ton of revenue. Keep it in Lawrence and don't harass the spenders. Sounds great to me.

staff04 7 years, 1 month ago

"scootterxlch (Anonymous) says:

watch Lawrence and dg county lose another economic draw because we can not play nice with others. Lawrence + DG county = a royal pain in the ass to try to execute commerce"

Funny thing about this comment though, is that in this case it is the conservative "growth at any cost" caucus who wants to get rid of this economic draw...sort of counterintuitive (read: hypocritical) to the normal trends on this board.

not_dolph 7 years, 1 month ago

Wow, this is not the type of crowd that Circle S caters to. I would be surprised if the "nieghbors" in that part of the county would want this type of hoopla going on out there.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 1 month ago

More music festivals is the key to tourism success. Lots of people come,have fun,spend money and go home.

Basketball and football do the same thing.

Festivals do not require new multi-million tax dollar structures/infrastructure to generate revenue. I say go for it. The more the merrier. Have smaller events downtown.

sandrat7 7 years, 1 month ago

most of us who live out there do NOT want this to happen. (every one I've talked to) Just the thought of traffic issues makes me shudder, not to mention 'wandering festival goers' through out the neighborhood. yuck. I don't begrudge the Circle S wanting to make some money, but what's in it for the rest of us?! Sleepless nights and dust are just the beginning..... ! If it happens, this will start a neighbor against neighbor scenario.

Gopher 7 years, 1 month ago

The bigger issue here is what is the intent/purpose of Clinton State Park? The feds leased this ground to the state for parks and recreation usage. Is a music festival a type of parks and rec use.....some of you would say H*** yes. But guys like me would say not even close. I always felt that our parks....local, state or federal should be managed for a family environment. The facade the promoter puts out is that families are welcome and some festive goers do take their families there. But how many parents would subject their kids to all the other crap that goes on other than music at the Wakie? And yes the festive goers are pigs. I've seen the state park the day after it closed. Not only is it literally trashed but the ground degradation is to the point of no repair. Plus....all the fecus and TP in the Overlook Park under trees and bushes used by festive goers who just couldn't hold it. This ain't a good use of one of the few public parks we have in the county much less the state of Kansas.

Sigmund 7 years, 1 month ago

The Wak festival goers loudly complain that they have to obey the laws while being on public property. I think everyone will be much happier when they move to private property and away from the scrutiny. I wish them the best of luck in their new home!

BuhBye!

goforth 7 years, 1 month ago

My wife and I reside in Houston and attended the festival in 2006 (DRUG FREE) We stayed in a hotel in Lawrence, ate every meal out , spent money and had a great time. Today I phoned the state park to inquire about a campsite for our R.V. only to find out it may be moved. We thought the park was nice and we saw nothing but people smiling and having a good time. So instead of Lawrence I guess we will attend the music festival in Florida. We were really looking forward to our trip. I thought it was one of the better fesivals . Can you have a job and be a hippy? if not ,i will just have to settle for being happy.

Sigmund 7 years, 1 month ago

Which hotel did you park your RV at??? Have fun driving the gas guzzling RV to a venue, polluting the air with CO2, so you can stay in a hotel.

ontheotherhand 7 years, 1 month ago

Does anyone else think that ChristCarol sounds like that guy on "King of the Hill"? You know, the one who talks a lot but no one knows what he is saying? Just curious . . . .

goforth 7 years, 1 month ago

Sigmund, The first time we drove four of us in a hybrid honda (40 mpg.)Our rv is a small expandable trailer, we were considering taking this year

Sigmund 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't bother to read anyone's posts if they can't figure out how paragraphs format or line wrapping works.

Sigmund 7 years, 1 month ago

See there is the confusion. I don't know of any hybrid that gets 40 miles to the gallon occupied with four adults and here in Kansas RV stands for Recreational Vehicle and are self propelled while small expandable trailers are called, well trailers. Have fun in Florida in any case!

local_support 7 years, 1 month ago

"In Kansas RV stands for Recreational Vehicle blah blah blah..."

Siggy takes his internets VERY seriously.

Sigmund 7 years, 1 month ago

blue73harley, you are right, it doesn't. But ok, I will.

acg 7 years, 1 month ago

Wow what a bunch of grumpy gusses. "music sucks, people suck, I don't want any parties held at the park, hippies are bad, fun is bad, don't smoke that!!! OH and by the way, you damned kids stay off my lawn". I, like scenebooster, am also very glad that I don't have to interact personally with most of you on a daily basis. I have always been a fun loving person and I just don't understand going around in a perpetual state of grumpy and ticked off. What a waste of energy and time. :(

thomgreen 7 years, 1 month ago

It has been at Clinton three years, not four.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 7 years, 1 month ago

"and here in Kansas RV stands for Recreational Vehicle"

Isn't that Residential Vessel? You know, the kind on a religious mission.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 7 years, 1 month ago

Like acg & scenebooster, the only thing we seem to hear out of most of the "anti-hippie, anti-(you name it)" types is messages of hate. "I hate this and I hate that." "I hate hippies".

What a miserable existence for the haters. I'm sure glad I do not count myself as one of them.

oldgoof 7 years, 1 month ago

what will the sheriffs office do, without the ability to overcharge the festival for its underwhelming staff?

Sigmund 7 years, 1 month ago

I am not against music festivals, hippies or RV's. But they complain year-after-year about law enforcement and surveilance while on public property. I trully think everyone will be better served with the Waka-waka-waka Fest on private property. Apparently they agree and are seeking to find a new home. I wish them the best of luck.

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 1 month ago

merrill (Anonymous) says: The music festival is a great economic draw for this area and a lot of fun for most everyone who attends. Yes this is a wonderful event for Douglas County and Lawrence merchants.


You're just assuming it is. Stats? I don't know any merchants who have received a dime.

monkeyhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

Back in the 60's when I hung out with real hippies in San Francisco, the venues were very cool and the music was very, very good. It makes me chuckle that people would call this thing at the lake a "wonderful event". Sitting in a fly infested Kansas field in the summer heat, listening to whatever that genre is, really indicates that some are grossly disillusioned. (But we knew that already.) Funny how some K pot can make anything bearable.

Fake hippies, looking for the Utopian Woodstock. That dream ended at Altamont - many, many years ago.

lounger 7 years, 1 month ago

To the Tagger- Man brother you are a hater! Stating you hate hippies in lawrence is like Walking around a lions den with a steak! Its a good thing us hippies arnt gonna let the bad karma keep bouncing back and forth. I hope you can find peace in your negative world. Good luck. The new place does sound cool! As long as its in Kansas and not somewhere else. Although I have heard That jeffeson co. police are a little rougher that douglas co. ones. I guess we will see....

igby 7 years, 1 month ago

Cost a lot to pay the cop off here and the state park.

toefungus 7 years, 1 month ago

Just slip our mayor a few bucks and you can do what you want.

lounger 7 years, 1 month ago

Christmas carol-you watch too much t.v..

a_flock_of_jayhawks 7 years, 1 month ago

Whoa, ChristmasCarol. A few too many eggnogs?

a_flock_of_jayhawks 7 years, 1 month ago

Well, she found a way to fit crazy of a bunch of different ways in a minimum of words. Gotta give 'er credit for that, I guess.

Confrontation 7 years, 1 month ago

ChristmasCarol (Anonymous) says:

"I love you confrontation."

Thanks!

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years, 1 month ago

Today I phoned the state park to inquire about a campsite for our R.V. only to find out it may be moved. We thought the park was nice and we saw nothing but people smiling and having a good time. So instead of Lawrence I guess we will attend the music festival in Florida.

Goforth, that's crazy talk. The festival is only being moved five miles north and the new location won't be any less enjoyable than Clinton Lake. Tell the little lady that you're canceling your Florida plans and that you're both going back to Kansas next Summer!

Joe Hyde 7 years, 1 month ago

Last year I drove through Clinton State Park immediately after the Festival ended. Trashed out like you wouldn't believe. But just three days later it was all gone after being systematically picked up, spot-piled and hauled away. Most impressive and comprehensive large-area grounds cleanup job I ever saw.

rocknrow2 7 years, 1 month ago

ChristmasCarol....... can you find Bipolar on your television? (:

jayhonk 7 years, 1 month ago

  • But how many parents would subject their kids to all the other crap that goes on other than music at the Wakie? Gopher, what "other crap" have you seen out there, that damaged your children?

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