Archive for Monday, November 26, 2007

Jefferson County rejects plan to host Wakarusa music festival

November 26, 2007


— Jefferson County Commissioners denied a permit this afternoon to have the Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival next summer on private land in the southeastern part of the county.

"The reason is we do not have the infrastructure to handle this, and if we had the infrastructure to handle this, I would approve it," Commissioner David Christy said.

Christy and Commissioner Don Edmonds, who both voted against the permit, said the rural roads would not be able to handle the traffic in case of an emergency. Commissioner Francis Grollmes voted to try the festival for one year.

Commissioners made the decision after hearing comments from several neighbors, who voiced traffic, safety and environmental concerns.

Festival founder and promoter Brett Mosiman and Mary Cronemeyer, an owner of the Circle S Ranch & Country Inn, had asked the commission to grant a one-year special event permit for the festival in June. In the previous four years, it has been at Clinton State Park west of Lawrence.

County economic development officials estimated the festival would generate $106,000 in tax revenue and inject $3 million into the county's economy, but several people who spoke in opposition questioned whether festivalgoers would spend money in Douglas County.

A few neighbors and county residents spoke in support of the festival.

Mosiman said the festival is still considering venues for June 2008 and that promoters have also recently made contact with Clinton State Park management about exploring contract options for the festival returning.


local_support 10 years, 7 months ago

This is actually fairly significant news to a lot of people. Too bad the next several comments will forgo any sort of actual discussion on the subject and will instead favor stereotypes of festival attendees being dirty hippies and how having 15,000 extra people in town for the weekend can't possibly have any sort of real economic impact.

Noweigh 10 years, 7 months ago

This festival brings thousands of new dollars to this town. There has been little, if any, trouble outside the usual drug/alcohol related incidents that are handled pretty well on site. The same businesses that cried so loudly about the KU-Mizzou game should be supporting this festival with the same passion.

Sigmund 10 years, 7 months ago

Having 15,000 people in town has an economic impact, not all of it favorable. I will say that the added burden on the legal system is at least partially compensated by all the money coming in for tickets. fines, and legal fees. Whether or not the economic impact is a net benefit or net loss is a different question best left for a different thread.

sandrat7 10 years, 7 months ago

thank god!! All of my concerns were listened to!

compmd 10 years, 7 months ago

Maybe if they had the festival, Jefferson County could get a stoplight.

toefungus 10 years, 7 months ago

Lack of infastructure. That could easily be said about Clinton. That is the reason it is such an issue at Clinton, more so than law enforcement.

mmiller 10 years, 7 months ago

As a Jefferson Countian, I have been following this closely. When I first read about this in the Oskaloosa Independent, I thought --- Nope. No way. Too many convervatives in these parts. I think it would be cool for our county to host a festival like this. It would be great for the economy.

Kudos to Francis Grollmes for voting in favor of hosting the festival - at least giving it a shot for one year. That's cool. Let it be known that not all people in Jefferson County and other rural areas are conservative, narrow-minded people!!!

50YearResident 10 years, 7 months ago

Jefferson County was host to several of these events in the 70's. I think they still remember the problems it caused. Can't blame them for not wanting a re-play of it.

thomgreen 10 years, 7 months ago

How screwed would the festival be if Douglas County turned them down also out of spite for being second choice?

I think it is and would be a disservice to Lawrence and Douglas County to move this festival elsewhere. This is one of the larger economic opportunities for the area during the summer and to lose it to a neighboring county would be sad. I thought the facilities and the infrastructure that Clinton State Park provided were better than any you'd be able to find on a private land holder's property. Maybe I'm wrong. I just wonder how much influence the heightened level of law enforcement had on the possible venue change. Is it worth having poorer infrastructure and less conveniences to gain additional freedom from law enforcement involvement?

Keep it in Lawrence where it should be.

Bruce Bertsch 10 years, 7 months ago

Use the Perkins Plan...move it to Arrowhead.

frank mcguinness 10 years, 7 months ago

50YEARRESIDENT That is the funniest thing I have ever heard.

"we tried something 30 years ago and we're still kinda weary about trying it again"

No wonder jeffco is the rear end of america!

gbaker 10 years, 7 months ago

Just have it at The last Call then we will be done with both of them.

jodeediane 10 years, 7 months ago

Keep it in Lawrence! And it's not all about drugs and "dirty hippies" its about good music. I hate stereotypical people...

bolshavik_vw 10 years, 7 months ago

Jeff co is so behind the times. Unless you are a white Protestant Farmer! YEE HAW!!!! OMG I lived there for 14 years once in a previous life. Have it in Wyandotte County. It would make more since. They have a new fair grounds that has a lot of room. And many places to go eat or drink are right up the road. They almost have more restuarants in the Legands than Lawrence has throughout the whole town. And the way Lawrence is going there won't be anywhere to go for a decent meal for a decent price. So the people who go to the festival will either have to bring a Cooler and get it searched every 5 minutes by a duranged and underpaid cop. Or choose from the Overpriced Venders that pray on those with very little money to eat Junk.

matahari 10 years, 7 months ago

seems to be something beneath the surface...perhaps some sort of legalities/lawsuits etc that we as citizens aren't beining informed of...

Also, it seems like Lawrence is constantly complaining of no new revenue, but rejects most any logical rhyme or reason to increase it...could it be, perhaps, that a lone few want to line their pockets and no one elses? Naw, that could never be~

Bone777 10 years, 7 months ago

Start it off with a pie eating contest and end it with a demolition derby and the Jefferson County folds will think it is a great idea...

farmersdaughter 10 years, 7 months ago

I love Jefferson county.....still one of the best kept secrets in NE Kansas

farmersdaughter 10 years, 7 months ago

Bone........those are two things (I believe, correct me if I'm wrong) that Douglas County has!

booze_buds_03 10 years, 7 months ago

I have been 4 years running and it has been fantastic. Pretty good music each year and a huge thuderstorm to boot. Just hanging out with friends having a cold beer and playing frisbee is all I need for entertainment. Can't wait for tickets to go on sale again. As for all the people who have never been and yet continue to complain incessantly, I am sorry your life sucks so much that you have to whine about something you know little to nothing about.

Scott Drummond 10 years, 7 months ago

It may have been for the wrong reasons, but hooray for the decision. Call us backward, rear end of America or whatever you like, but there are still enough sensible people in this world who do not want or need these overprivileged posers destroying our rural way of life, even if only for a weekend. Keep your so-called progress, development and business, I'll take the quiet peace of Jeff. Co. any day of the week. I agree with the suggestion to put it somewhere in Wyandotte. A few mangy Wackyroooso children of the burbs in their make believe hobo costumes running in to some of the denizens of KCK would have some pretty funny results.

honeybear 10 years, 7 months ago

With a rousing rebel yell of yee-ha!!!! the hillbillys of Jefferson County have spoken. The Wakarusa Drug Fest gets to stay in Sodom and Gomorrah another year were it belongs. Lucky get to keep your traffic, trash, and filth in your own backyard. JF County doesn't want it.

lunacydetector 10 years, 7 months ago

one of our favorite do gooders hasn't suggested a cost/benefit analysis to see if the community truly benefits from having this festival in lawrence. there is police, fire, ambulance, highway patrol, drug dogs, drug testing, jail space, jail food, utilities for the jail, the money spent for all the fuel by law enforcement & emergency vehicles, and aircraft, - then there is the manpower for our interstates and if any extra highway patrol and toll takers have to be called in to go along with the local municipailities.

gee, this b.s. opinion is just as good as the b.s. opinion regarding keeping lawrence from growing - like it is a money loser for the taxpayers.

what a great analogy. if it can be shown that lawrence will be in the black as opposed to the red by having this festival then let it happen. the city or county needs to require a study be commissioned, paid for by the concert promoter, to see if this thing really is cost effective. after all, it is the fair thing to do, especially since the city requires it from practically every business that wants to come to lawrence.

build the cost of the study into the ticket price. let the hippies pay for once.

Calliope877 10 years, 7 months ago

I had the misfortune of growing up in Oskaloosa, so I'm not surprised by this decision at all.

igby 10 years, 7 months ago

If the Olympics came to Wy. Co. they would turn it down unless you paid them off in cash.. Talk about corruption, their the corruption capital of the world. Better leave it at clinton of move it to SouthEast Kansas in the middle of nowhere, some place west of Buffalo Kansas in the foothills of the flint hills would be nice. May be Toronto Lake or John Redmond.

Calliope877 10 years, 7 months ago


Don't you know? JeffCo already has a stoplight.:)

Meatwad 10 years, 7 months ago

I seem to recall it was FISHERMEN who made such a mess with their trash that they even got banned from fishing in a certain area of Clinton Lake. So it's not fair to only blame the festival goers. Everyone needs to be less of a litter bug. People need to properly raise their kids, and teach them not to litter, and then we wouldn't have so much litter everywhere.

Meatwad 10 years, 7 months ago

I hope they keep it at Clinton Lake. It's a wonderful festival and I'm proud to have it in Lawrence.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 7 months ago

I see some of those who cannot appreciate a great time with music also do not support keeping all KU home games at home. Home games and music festivals bring fun, thousands of people and tons of tax revenues. I say keep it all at home. Bring on more music festivals.

huntershaven 10 years, 7 months ago

It seems that a certain number of Douglas County and Lawrence residents have as a favorite pastime the act of constantly complaining about those people and things that are different. While I am certain that there will be a small number of people in a group who reflect poorly on the rest of the demographic, it seems rather closed minded and prejudiced to say that everyone is to blame.

I haven't been to the festival, but I have heard both good and bad things about it, just like I have for most other events I have attended or have been told about. Before I state a view on the festival I would at least attend the event.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 7 months ago

Northtown, you don't know what you're talking about. I've been to three of the Waky Fests, and while I didn't like the style of every band I saw there, I saw very few who weren't very talented musicians putting on great shows.

Sure Canned Heat was a great band, but just because a band doesn't imitate them doesn't mean their music isn't just as good.

BTW, your rambling posts are testament to how good those drugs you did must have been.

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