Archive for Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival leaving Lawrence for Arkansas

Camping and music event attracted thousands every year to Clinton Lake

Organizers of the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival say its leaving Douglas County for Arkansas.

December 10, 2008, 12:40 p.m. Updated December 11, 2008, 12:00 a.m.


2008 Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival

The fifth annual Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival starts on June 5th and runs through June 8th. Organizers are planning on more than 13,500 guests, which would make Clinton State Park the second-largest city in Douglas County until the festival wraps up. See videos, photo galleries, the Wak Talk blog, Best Bets, and more about the Wakarusa Fest.

The Wakarusa will flow a little farther south next year.

Organizers with the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival announced Wednesday that the event is leaving its Lawrence home at Clinton State Park for a new site in northwest Arkansas.

Lead promoter Brett Mosiman said the event will retain its name, but move to Mulberry Mountain — a 650-acre campground and event center — just outside Ozark, Ark. The event will be held June 4-7.

“It is going to be a remarkable enhancement of our brand of music and Mother Nature,” Mosiman said. “You can’t get much better than being on top of this mountain.”

The move marks the end of a sometimes noisy debate between Mosiman’s Lawrence-based promotion company and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. Mosiman and state leaders sparred over attendance caps and other financial matters related to the Clinton State Park site. Mosiman ultimately alleged the state was treating his event differently from a country music event held at Tuttle Creek State Park near Manhattan because state leaders didn’t like his “largely hippie crowd.” State leaders denied those allegations.

Some good, some bad

Some local leaders on Wednesday said Lawrence ended up being the ultimate loser in the debate.

“It is a loss for the community,” Judy Billings, director of the Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau, said. “I know there have been a lot of questions about the event, but I think it is a definite loss.

“It was an event that spoke to a younger crowd that we don’t often have a chance to reach. It brought young people from around the country who wouldn’t often have a reason to visit Kansas, and they found Kansas pretty nice, to their surprise.”

The festival had been held for five years — since its inception — at Clinton State Park. Estimates on how much the event contributed to the local economy are imprecise, but Mosiman said the event did $3 million in sales in its best year. The event attracted between 10,000 and 16,000 people each year, with about 80 percent coming from outside the area, Mosiman said.

Billings said hotels, gasoline stations and other service businesses reported stronger sales during the time of the festival. George Waters, owner of Glass House Liquor at 2301 Wakarusa, said sales could increase by about $10,000 over the three-day period of the festival.

“I’m definitely sad to see it go,” Waters said.

But leaders with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks don’t share Waters’ sorrow. Amy Thornton, an attorney for Wildlife and Parks, said the department is still in dispute with Mosiman over approximately $25,000 in unpaid bills from the last festival.

“I think it is probably best for both parties,” Thornton said of the move.

The festival also had been criticized as a site for significant illegal drug activity. In 2005, a festival attendee died from a drug overdose. In 2006, more than 80 people were arrested at the festival, including 12 for LSD offenses and 25 for marijuana violations.

Moving forward

Billings said she not sure whether the community should expect to see anything replace the Wakarusa Festival. But she hopes the community will be open to music festivals as a way to generate tourism for the area.

“I think there was a perception by the general public in this town that the festival was not a good thing to have because of the perceived type of people who came to this,” Billings said. “But I know some of the people who attended. I think there were some perceptions that were unfortunate and hard to overcome.”

Mosiman, for his part, said he didn’t want to dwell too much on the past.

“I think there are a lot of things Kansas needs to address to be pro-business and pro-jobs,” he said. “We’re looking at it like every closed door is a new opportunity. Fate was shining upon us when we came across this site.”

In addition to offering on-site camping and room for the concerts, the Mulberry Mountain location also has horse trails, swimming, and is adjacent to a river suited for kayaking.

The site is about five hours from Lawrence. Organizers haven’t yet announced any bands that will play at the event. Those announcements are expected in early January.


Hilary Morton 9 years, 4 months ago

Yay! I'm glad this is finally resolved. Also, Arkansas is a beautiful setting. It's not too far for Lawrence or Kansas residents if they want to see a great show. If Lawrencians don't wish to drive that far, they can check out many other great bands that visit the Lawrence area, or just use this thread to complain.

Brandon Weber 9 years, 4 months ago

Another 2 million to the local economy lost again to ignorance.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 4 months ago

This is probably a smart move for festival organizers, but I almost certainly won't be attending. And several local non-profits will have to look for alternate sources of funding now that they won't be running the beer tents.I suspect Mosiman could have handled this better, politically speaking, but local and state govt. authorities have shot Lawrence and Douglas County in the foot in essentially running this festival off.

flux 9 years, 4 months ago

Cool, maybe Black Oak Arkansas will play.........Jim Dandy to the rescue....

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 4 months ago

I predict he's looking for another site next year...

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 4 months ago

I once saw Black Oak play in St. Joe. And to tell you how long ago that was, Bob Seger was the opening act.Great show from both acts.

flux 9 years, 4 months ago

Dont have an aneurism Madmike, its just a festival.

dlkrm 9 years, 4 months ago

"The rightwing would not tolerate this kind of behavior at the Kansas Speedway, but a buncha peace loving kids listening to rock music is a whole different story."Yeah, they should have been left to wallow in their own piss and vomit, and die of drug overdoses. Oh, wait, they did that anyway. Maybe we needed more and better drug-sniffing dogs, not fewer.

PebblesFlintstone 9 years, 4 months ago

Bozo says "And several local non-profits will have to look for alternate sources of funding now that they won't be running the beer tents."Yeah, I suppose most eventually got paid for working. Months later. Maybe a new festival will come in that will pay its bills on time.

frank mcguinness 9 years, 4 months ago

Good riddance! The doper industry here will collapse. Hah, This is a LIBERAL COLLEGE TOWN mike so get used to it. I am willing to bet my right *** the "Doper Industry as you call it will NOT collapse. Remeber this is the town that now sends small time dopers to municipal court.

Janet Cinelli 9 years, 4 months ago

All I can say is, too bad for Lawrence, Douglas County and Kansas. This festival was good for our reputation, pocket book and numerous social agencies who used this festival as a fund raiser.

Moderateguy 9 years, 4 months ago

Better start walking Waka1! Don't let the proverbial door hit you in the butt on the way out.Good riddance.

Vendetta 9 years, 4 months ago

Now those idiots can go and destroy another place...just wonderful...they should hold the festival at Guantanamo Bay

thubbard76 9 years, 4 months ago

Q: Whats the difference between an alcoholic and a pothead at a stopsign?A: The alcoholic runs the stopsign and kills someone, the pothead just hangs out waiting for it to turn green.

marktrail 9 years, 4 months ago

did u no that hippys are smelly? LOL they dont even no how 2 take a shower! have fun getting to arksansas u hippiys if you can even find it that is b/c ur probably 2 stoned on doing pot to even no which way is southeast and which is northwest LOL!as a local business owner i am SOOO glad the authorities did the right thing in using the infrared lasers to search out the potheds and send them packing b/c they dont no how 2 even use Soap! plus ther music is sooo bad its' like somebody put strings on a bucket and plaid it an called it music sorry i don't think so hippiys. i am going to stick to my upstanding nu-metal and syfony music while i run my conservative business so as far as i am concern you can let a door hit you on a butt, on your way to Arkansaw! i

Larry Miller 9 years, 4 months ago

Cheeseburger,I have an idea. Let's put a cop outside your door. Every person that comes to your door will be searched and will have to provide an ID. This shouldn't be a problem, right? No one is breaking any laws, right?

marktrail 9 years, 4 months ago


bigblue 9 years, 4 months ago

Cheese,"...questionable bookkeeping and payment practices"???Did you happen to notice how Wakarusa was being raped in comparision to what the Country Stampede pays out to put on an even larger festival on State property?Moving the festival was based more on that than on whether or not someone enjoyed some weed out there.The small businessman lost out (again) here. .

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 4 months ago

"log - as a general rule, those who obey the law are not offended by the presence of law enforcement, and most times actually welcome it. Conversely, those of you who are breaking the law typically complain about their presence and their surveillance tactics."Yeah, that's my experience as well. Someone complains about the cops, and you soon discover in conversation that they are either 1) actively involved in something illegal or 2) have been caught in some illegal activity in the past.I was arrested once. I was doing something wrong!! So, I don't complain about it.We have raised generations of people in this country who reek with "entitlement". "I should be able to break the law in the name of having a good time without being arrested."There are lawless places on this planet where people wouldn't believe how good our legal system is in this country. But, we act as if we are all being oppressed. Grow up, Lawrence. Life isn't one big kegger.

flux 9 years, 4 months ago

No logrithmic, it would be selling a seat in the senate ;0)

marktrail 9 years, 4 months ago

yeah hippiys life is not a big kegger just listen 2 the excon who posted above he is oldenuf2byurdad!

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 4 months ago

"Every person that comes to your door will be searched and will have to provide an ID. This shouldn't be a problem, right? No one is breaking any laws, right?"Hey Larry, have you visited an airport lately?

flux 9 years, 4 months ago

Damn marktrail, are you sure that your not stoned? A third grade teacher would flunk you for your spelling alone. You run a buisness?.... lol

stuckinthemiddle 9 years, 4 months ago

law and order...the cookies and milk of the nanny-state...

Tim vonHolten 9 years, 4 months ago

doper industry? i had no idea this even existed.

kmat 9 years, 4 months ago

First - what business do you own, marktrail? If you want to run a conservative business and hate open minded people, please let us know so we can avoid your business. After making comments like that, you should have the b*lls to fess up to what you do? Have you got any?????You don't have to be doing something illegal to not always trust cops. And this is coming from someone who's grandfather-in-law was a life long cop and uncle is a Sheriff in CA. Two years ago, I was pulled over on K-10 and checked out because of Waka. I was just coming home from work, but have very long hair (I'm female) and Tibetian prayer flags in my car. I was doing nothing illegal, but was pulled over. Explain that! There are many reasons to not trust all cops. I know people at Waka that had their tents searched only because of how they looked. Once again, explain why that is legal. Years ago my grandmother's house was broken into in broad daylight in KCK with her inside. When the police came they told her it was her fault for living in a neighborhood like that and that she should get a gun to blow them away in the future because they wouldn't do anything. Our finest at work protecting the elderly. And then speak to my black friends that still get pulled over DWB (driving while black). Happens all the time for no reason. They get harassed and searched then released.Brent is a jerk, but if he and his team knew what they were doing he could have made this festival profitable.And not all hippies are smelly. There are a few that think it's cool, but the majority of people at Waka are clean, normal people. I know many that would go home each morning to bath. Those of you that have no clue what you speak of have seen the few pics in the paper and they of course pick the freakiest people to take pics of. And if you think the crowd at Waka was freaky, then you'd better not travel out of the midwest ever. Places out east and west will scare you hermited little Kansans.

frank mcguinness 9 years, 4 months ago

"did u no that hippys are smelly?"Did you know that they teach spelling and grammar in schools?

maxcrabb 9 years, 4 months ago

He who makes a beast of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man.

moderate1 9 years, 4 months ago

marktrail and waka1 need some basic writing skills.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 4 months ago

Who said I was an ex-con? And even if I was...Why am I responding to this?

classclown 9 years, 4 months ago

Mosiman said the new site is on private land “in the middle of a forest, on top of a mountain, surrounded by streams and waterfalls.”With pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers.

lazz 9 years, 4 months ago

The hysteria and name calling that over-topped the Wakarusa festival the past few years are just ... well, "abhorent" is a good place to start. And a damn shame.Through all of this, nobody bothers to mention that we've just run out of town a fabulous, spectacular multi-day MUSIC festival. It's about the music. Rather, it was. Instead it became about smelly kids and questionable pot busts and drug hysteria and the worst sort of provincial xenophobia.Lawrence can no longer call itself a City of the Arts. It is now a City of the Reactionary Bigots. (And a lot of you so-called liberals are included in that, too.)

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 4 months ago

"law and order…the cookies and milk of the nanny-state…"In what Bizzaro-world is law and order a bad thing?

stuckinthemiddle 9 years, 4 months ago

in what bizzaro-world are cookies and milk a bad thing?

Clickker 9 years, 4 months ago

Maybe the Ozark Mountain Daredevils will reunite for this." Eeeewwwww Jackie Blue........"

lazz 9 years, 4 months ago

The "Bizzaro-world" you reference, OldEnuf, was a mystical land where freedom once rang. Where citizens and guests were free to pursue their passions, indulge their silliness, create beautiful things and ugly things and come together to spend a few days getting lost and nutty and young again. Law and order are fine things when used with a certain amount discretion, discretion that still allowed the people to live free. Law and order were fine things back when they weren't used to narrowly define a boring world where nothing much happens or is allowed to happen, where cops and bullying and jail sentences weren't the solution of first resort.But it doesn't matter much, because freedom's already a dead concept. This is just yet another addendum to an obituary written long ago.

Lesta 9 years, 4 months ago

Sounds like the perfect time to bring back Omega...Keep it small, under the radar screen and local...

stuckinthemiddle 9 years, 4 months ago

lazzwell can't be free if you fear or need the police...

devieh 9 years, 4 months ago

lmatt (Anonymous) says…GREAT! This thing was nothing but a joke. No real bands EVER played. Just folk music crap!i wish only real people would comment on this thread

Kyle Reed 9 years, 4 months ago

Hahaha...I definitely think a "pitition" is in order. Too funny!

stuckinthemiddle 9 years, 4 months ago

LestaI think it's likely something like that will spring up...the Lawrence area has never gone long without some kind of large, multi-day music event...

flux 9 years, 4 months ago

I dont think waka1 and marktrail are comming back. Lesta, those were good times but if I remember correctly, the weather was usually a problem.

whatatown 9 years, 4 months ago

Sad, sad sad. Hope the closed minded anti-fun citizens of Lawrence are happy!

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 4 months ago

So, when we had "freedom" we didn't have law and order? What period of our country's history are you refering to? Name a land on this globe where there is "freedom" in absence of "law and order".Your post is more than a little hysterical, I think.Are you an anarchist (and yes, I meant that to sound as if Anarchy is a bad thing)?We are the most spoiled people since the Roman empire. It's laughable to say that we lack freedoms. Who here has had property (homes, land) taken from you by the government without compensation? Who here was enslaved by our government? How many of you women have been raped in camps by the soldiers of this oppressive American regime? We are able to fight a war overseas... without even a draft! But we whine about our lack of freedom because we got pulled over by the cops. Dry up. People in some parts of the world NEVER call the cops because they are so corrupt. We have it very, very good.

KS 9 years, 4 months ago

I agree! Good riddance! Lawrence will be a better place without it.

frank mcguinness 9 years, 4 months ago

The Bottom line is that Wakarusa was dead from the get-go for many reasons. As an insider I can attest that Brett (Not Brent) Moismann was as much as fault as the state of kansas and the army corps. The fact is that brett has a horrible reputation of paying anyone on time, if ever and the State was shafting him in the first place. He was paying too much in comparison to the stampede and the restrictions were much tougher than the stampedes restrictions. Then someone died and went missing. Then the festival became a police state the following year and most patrons were done with it after that experience. As for the type of attendees or the style of music it is all irrelevent as no one was forced to go to it or for that matter hear the music. Even a conservative business owner should be happy to take someones money while they are on vacation as most patrons left town within a day or two to head to the next festival. As for Lawrence even though I wish another reputable promoter was hosting the event we just lost hundreds of thousands (possibly millions dollars) of dollars. For those that didnt want it here, quit complaining about the T or any other fiscal issues as we just lost a good source of revenue. And if you can't spell dont try posting as it only reinforces the ignorance of our society.

KansasVoter 9 years, 4 months ago

Nobody who attends music festivals will ever forget "Bustarusa" and Wakarusa will fail within a couple of years (if not sooner, considering how deep they still are in debt). Private land or not, Wakarusa is a damaged brand-name and they'll be lucky to get 3,000 people to attend.

rachaelisacancer 9 years, 4 months ago

I think waka1 and marktrail might be alter egos of the same person. The idea that marktrail runs a business, or even holds a job, is unbelievable based on his comments here. But please Mark, do let us know which fine business you're running so I don't ever step foot inside it.

Travis Alexander 9 years, 4 months ago

The right wing Clinton State Park and the police should take the blame for this. What they did was not right year after year. The same treatment was not given at the Country Stampede, I guess the authorities trust cowboys more than hippies. Anyway now this region will lose out on some early summer profit. Kansas is as bigoted as you think!

frank mcguinness 9 years, 4 months ago

I agree and disagree kansasvoter. Yes no one will ever forget bustarusa. I think though he may have a leg to stand on if he claims he moved the festival for that reason alone, to avoid the pitfalls of bustarusa. We all know the reason was financial as he can probably get by with less oversight, less restrictions and therefore less overhead. Many people attended the fest for the music so as a revamped fest he'll get one shot at making it great. I do think it will have less in attendence as there was a really great lineup at another rural festival called the "big summer classic" in rural missouri but it failed as no one wants to go to a rural area for a festival.

kmat 9 years, 4 months ago

"lmatt (Anonymous) says… Screw being a “city of the arts” Has that gotten Lawrence anywhere?? It hasnt gotten us a by-pass. It hasnt gotten us any better streets. It hasnt gotten rid of the homeless downtown. Overland Park is the richest city in Kansas, and they arent a “city of arts”!!!!"Lmatt - go live in O.P. See, many of us in Lawrence moved here to escape the suburban hell of O.P. I grew up there and it is a cesspool of minivan drivers and uppity a holes. You like box stores, neighborhoods where every house looks the same and neighborhood associations that tell you what you can do with your own property, then move there.To give you an idea of how wonderful OP is. My parents (elderly and can barely get around) have gotten tickets for having their trash out too early. They go to bed around 8:00. They put their trash out late in the afternoon the day before trash pickup (which is usually about 6-7 am). They got a sitation for their unsightly trash cans being out at the curb. They used to have a boat. Got in trouble and got a ticket because my dad came home from a fishing trip (when he could still go on trips) and put the boat in the driveway while he unloaded his stuff. Cop drove by and gave him a ticket.You want to live in a place like that? You probaby can't fart in OP without getting a sitation for air pollution. Go enjoy it and those of us that like Lawrence will stay here.

Joe Hyde 9 years, 4 months ago

I never attended the Wakarusafest but one year I did observe on consecutive days the outstanding cleanup job that was performed at Clinton State Park after the event was over. Systematic, highly organized, extremely thorough. Really an unbelievably fine job for a land area as big as the fest covered.

pooter 9 years, 4 months ago

Someone should to go out to Clinton Park and set up a memorial to the dead festival, with a confederate flag so the hippies can gather to reminisce, and scatter liquor bottles and marijuana cigarette butts all around it.*

woodenfleaeater 9 years, 4 months ago

Pooter....I would say a tie-dye flag would be more appropriate.

flux 9 years, 4 months ago

Im not a big hippie fest fan but I did attend one year. I have to admit, it really was a clean, friendly festival. More so then any large event I've ever been too. I stll dont understand all the silly hulla-hoops though. I guess they are fun when you're on drugs...each to their own.

frank mcguinness 9 years, 4 months ago

Sorry pooter but Hippies are not racist so the flag would have to be a grateful dead "steal your face". Look it up for more info. And as for littering no one can top the stampede. Conservative hicks give a cr@p about the environment. And who since when is a roach called a "marijuana cigarette butt".

frank mcguinness 9 years, 4 months ago

Flux I appreciate your comment because as you clearly state the festival was "not your cup of tea" to you but you still saw that it was clean and friendly. As for the hula hoops they are a way to channel your energy and talk to god. Just Kidding.

Sigmund 9 years, 4 months ago

I am tired of being a "college party town" where people come for five six years of undergrad and trash the place and then come back on the weekends for football, basketball, or music festivals to get drunk and trash the place, just like the good old days! If Hy-Vee sells few less gross of plastic sandwich baggies and the courts have fewer possession cases who cares? Good riddance.

RedwoodCoast 9 years, 4 months ago

I think what pooter was saying could be paraphrased as, "I don't like people who aren't like me! Waaaa!"

Confrontation 9 years, 4 months ago

Hallelujah! To the town of Ozark, "Enjoy the extra homeless population who will linger in your town after each wackorusa pestival!"

BaxterC 9 years, 4 months ago

Well it sucks it not here any more but church on the move!

Sigmund 9 years, 4 months ago

Oh and have fun with all those open-minded folk in Arkansas. I hear they have the worlds biggest Walmart down them ways.

RedwoodCoast 9 years, 4 months ago

Kansas, the land of tolerance and understanding... yeah right. A popular bumper sticker comes to mind.

bombshell 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm speechless about some of the horrible things some of you have to say about the people who attend Wakarusa. I've gone every single year and put in a lot of time to keep it running smoothly, as have hundreds of others. If you have never been and have never talked to the people while you are there, then you have no idea what you are talking about. The vast majority of the festival go-ers are there on vacation and are environmentally-minded individuals who make a point of cleaning up after themselves. We go there to be with friends, to dance and have an all around good time. I can almost guarantee you that there are far less alcohol-induced fights among the Waka crowd than there are at Stampede. I've made friends with great people from all over the country through Wakarusa and other festivals like it. I'm disappointed in those who can't see past the few arrests and see to the majority of the 30,000 people there who are there to have an enjoyable time. No one I know overdoses and lays in their own vomit. Some of you can't get past this stupid stereotype. We lost a good festival.

hujiko 9 years, 4 months ago

Good job to the Corps and the KDWP for losing lots of would be dollars for the state of Kansas, just because the festival promotes the left side of the argument. Last time I checked, that's racism. You let the whole team down.

bombshell 9 years, 4 months ago

I also second the comment about if you love Overland Park so much then move there. I grew up there too and its one big vanilla flavored cookie cutter suburban metropolis with some cool people mixed in with the mainly uptight. Lawrence is great because it is NOT like Johnson County, except its sadly starting to look like it if you move West of Iowa.

homechanger 9 years, 4 months ago

I was at all the barbaricart seminars. Goog times

akuna 9 years, 4 months ago

This is really too bad. Lawrence used to be considered an art/music friendly city. Now it will get the reputation that we are bad for music. The Wakarusa Festival had some legs under it and was making a splash on the national music scene. It will continue to grow and become a great additional revenue source for . . . well, Arkansas.Additionally, the mean comments within this discussion is starting to make me wonder about the friendliness of the people in our city. The mean people should be ashamed of themselves.This is a sad day for Lawrence.

woodenfleaeater 9 years, 4 months ago

“in the middle of a forest, on top of a mountain, surrounded by streams and waterfalls.”When I read this, all I can think is:"on the good top candy mountain, on the good top candy mountain"Great music, great people. It's really too bad Lawrence is losing this. The people who are complaining must not realize how much money this festival brings to the community.

OhHai 9 years, 4 months ago

Stupid, stupid Lawrence. How much money did you just lose? Unclench about the hippies for two seconds and realize that it does bring money into town. And p.s., you can already buy pot here.

John Hamm 9 years, 4 months ago

The guys got smart - get the heck away from this place.

Jaminrawk 9 years, 4 months ago

Waka is full of hippies, Country Stampede is full of white trash, Rock Fest is full of d-bags with tribal armbands, and Ozz Fest is full of posers. Get use to it. If you don't like the crowd don't go.

marktrail 9 years, 4 months ago

Okay, friends, I just took a crash course in grammar and spelling and I'm back for a little healing-of-harms. I used to live in Lawrence and still read the JW, mostly for the daily headlines about Danny Manning and high school sports. But once in a while there's a nice culturally polarizing story like this one. And though I should no better by now, the comments always amaze me. If there's an article about some kid finding a rare bird or beaver in the Wetlands, people type, "kill the beaver build the highway already!" If a kid dies in a tent after an accidental overdose, there's dozens of comments that he's a drain on society who probably deserved it. And anytime there's something even tangentially related to hippies or jam-band music, you'll find someone talking about how smelly those darn hippies are. How. Original. Can. You. Get. My poorly spelled comments earlier were meant to be a spoof on the folks who think they can scare people into uniformity by trading in cliches and stereotypes. For Christ's sakes, you've still got people telling the joke about potheads waiting for the stop sign to turn green. In their view, anyone who smokes pot or likes experimental music deserves having their door (or tent) kicked in. I'm not advocating a society without laws. But having cops ride around on four-wheelers with night-vision goggles is something more suited for a terrorist camp. I understand weed and jam bands are not everyone's cup of tea. But advocating the expulsion and/or prosecution of everyone who lives a lifestyle you don't agree with is, quite frankly, fascist. Like it or not, this country (and the town of Lawrence) was founded on dissent, and the "doper industry" and other (real or imagined) subcultures aren't going to disappear because some of you like everything to smell nice and look the same. But that's just my take. What I seem to be hearing from a lot of you is that being "City of the Arts" does Lawrence no good. It didn't even get us a bypass! Well that pretty much says it all. If the arts don't get you a brand-new bypass, than you better chuck them out in favor of, I don't know, a new megachurch or sports arena. Either way, sounds like OP is the place for you. And if you're "old enuf 2 be my dad," then you consider getting off the Internets, take your meds, and perhaps even kicking the bucket already. For everyone else, Wakarusa is gone, but I'm sure there will be something more interesting or under the radar to take its place. In conclusion, I have to agree with kmat: "...if you think the crowd at Waka was freaky, then you'd better not travel out of the midwest ever. Places out east and west will scare you hermited little Kansans."Sad, but true.

marktrail 9 years, 4 months ago

darn it I meant "know" better -- old habits die hard

absolutelyridiculous 9 years, 4 months ago

Thank God! Na-na-na-na, Na-na-na-na, Hey-hey-hey, Good Bye. Na-na-na-na, Na-na-na-na, Hey-hey-hey, Good Bye. Na-na-na-na, Na-na-na-na, Hey-hey-hey, Good Bye.

Lesta 9 years, 4 months ago

Flux, -- Yes, the weather usually was the one big question mark heading into an Omega weekend. Many times it was stellar and other times it blew (figuratively and literally)...but it never really seemed to bother the many people out there (gee, I wonder why?). What made Omega unique was that it was entirely exclusive to Lawrence bands. Heck, bands from KC (even Sin City) weren't asked to play (although I dare to ask, "Would've Ernie even agreed to play an Omega?"). But I digress...Maybe I'm just yearning for the good ol' days but if I owned some land in the outskirts of Douglas County (which I don't), I'd be putting out a call to arms to get the Committee back together...

alm77 9 years, 4 months ago

marktrail, B-e-a-utiful. I agree. We went year #2 and #3. After the night vision google hidden cameras, I vowed never to go again. As for lmatt's claim of "no good bands" I would venture to say you've never studied music. These musicians are the modern day equivalent of what we now refer to as classical composers. No, they don't rely on guitar effects and power chords, and some of them have little to no lyrics. Instead they rely on harmonies and layers and can improvise amazing pieces by listening to each other and staying in rhythm. Technically, (very appropriate word here) they are some of the best bands in the country. And just because they've honed their marketing skills to trust-fund hippie kids doesn't mean their music is bad.

flux 9 years, 4 months ago

Marktrail, you're contradicting yourself. First you're for the police departments tactics and now you're against them, which is it?

notajayhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

hujiko (Anonymous) says… "...just because the festival promotes the left side of the argument. Last time I checked, that's racism."Are you saying that people on the left or the right side of the argument are from separate races? Last time I checked, that's racism.

alm77 9 years, 4 months ago

That should say "goggles". Darn muscle memory...

Lesta 9 years, 4 months ago

The last I checked, there's a major university based in Lawrence. As long as that's the case, it always will have "hippes," alternative political views and lifestyles, a vibrant arts scene and, yes, people “old enuf 2 be my dad” who will not like any of the above...It's just the (Kansas) plain(s) simple truth...Both sides of the aisle need to check it before they wreck it...

Sigmund 9 years, 4 months ago

"The festival also had been criticized as a site for significant illegal drug activity. In 2005, a festival attendee died from a drug overdose. In 2006, more than 80 people were arrested at the festival, including 12 for LSD offenses and 25 for marijuana violations."Can't wait to see how open minded and tolerant the good citizens of Arkansas, the ones that once elected Mike Huckabee as their Governor, are of these "music lovers."

Haiku_Cuckoo 9 years, 4 months ago

"Stupid, stupid Lawrence. How much money did you just lose?"Do you mean in addition to the $25k that Mosiman never paid? Hey Mulberry Mountain, make sure the check clears before you let the bands play. Don't make the same mistake we did!

pooter 9 years, 4 months ago

Pooter….I would say a tie-dye flag would be more appropriate.-----------------------------------Arkansas was part of the confederacy and flew the flag, and I'm sure the hillbillies down in Ozark can't wait for the hippies to show up in their red neck of the woods.I hear banjos.*

justforfun 9 years, 4 months ago

Dangit there leaving? This calls for for a party!! I'll bring the LSD and acid. Who can bring the schrooms and X? Waka1 can you bring the weed, Dude? Let's get wasted!!! lmao

geekin_topekan 9 years, 4 months ago

I see McSamie and Palinettes have something to cheer about for a change!>God,I was getting tired of all their whining.

Deja Coffin 9 years, 4 months ago

Man, I wish I would have got on here earlier today. This is a big deal, I mean, what's going to happen to Waka1? DUDE!!!

FrankR 9 years, 4 months ago

NOOO!!! That's a huge loss for Lawrence. It brought great music and good times. Very unfortunate.

Deja Coffin 9 years, 4 months ago

Hey TOB, you better take that back, we're plenty loose in Kansas!!

jmatthews5 9 years, 4 months ago

Marktrail-- your comments aren't funny and I found them to be hypocritical. You bemoan the ridiculousness of ljworld posters and then suggest that another poster should just go ahead and "kick the bucket". Real classy. The fact is, the festival seemed to be poorly run and 95% of the bands that came to the festival were total unknowns to most of the general public.Stick to the Danny Manning articles in the future

local_support 9 years, 4 months ago

I have no idea why so many people hate this festival. How could it possibly affect your life to the point of unbridled fury? I think people here like to pound their proverbial internet chests but in reality are clueless about what's going on. "The doper industry here will collapse now." I mean COME ON. Can you really be that naive to believe a music festival that lasts 4 days can somehow supply this community with all of its illicit substances for the other 361? And someone else here says that Waka is nothing but folk music? Have you ever even LOOKED at who has played the last five years?!?!So many times I am appalled at the outright ignorance that manages to make it onto this board. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but some of you folks need to get your heads pulled out of your arses. I think it's a crying shame that the community let Barney Fife and the hillbillies that work at the park run off an event that brought millions of dollars into the economy and positive recognition on a national scale. (And by the way positive recognition for Kansas on a national scale is quite rare these days) It just blows my mind that people allowed this decision to be made for them by such a small group of people. No festival of this size has EVER had to move out of state to continue to be viable. It's simply unheard of.After this debacle I truly believe that Lawrence is headed for a downward spiral. If that's the case then maybe it's time to consider relocation as well. For me that's the saddest part.

dweezil222 9 years, 4 months ago

Sigmund (Anonymous) says… I am tired of being a “college party town” where people come for five six years of undergrad and trash the place and then come back on the weekends for football, basketball, or music festivals to get drunk and trash the place, just like the good old days!=========================================And I'm tired of people who believe the only permissible forms of entertainment are church and Kenny G. The real issue seems to be the unwillingness to let events targeting young people exist unharassed the way events with an older clientele are. I guarantee you that the average age of attendees at Wakarusa was a good piece lower than that at Country Stampede.

Meatwad 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm very sad this event is leaving. The discrimination seems pretty obvious and blatant to me. They can deny it all they want, but I don't buy it.

thubbard76 9 years, 4 months ago

Hey Marktrail,Since you took the time to reference my posted joke, I should clarify that my post was only meant to poke fun at the fact that in Lawrence, we constantly marginalize alcohol related crime and highlight pot crimes, when in fact the potheads are generally a harmless bunch who don't cause the auto accidents, beat their wives, etc. Thanks for misunderstanding and jumping to a conclusion though.

terrapin2 9 years, 4 months ago

Wow! I can't possibly comment on all of the positive and negative posts that have appeared so far but before I add my 2 cents I want to offer some kudos to kmat and marktrail for their posts! I don't agree with everything that they said, but they hit on a lot of good points.Having been a part of this wonderful town for over 20 years it really is sad to read some of the downright crappy attitudes some Lawrencians have about "certain types of people" who are enjoying live music and partying under the stars! What a bunch of whining anal-retentive nimwits some of you must be! The reality is that Lawrence truly is the best city in all of Kansas, despite all of its problems. Period. However, it is starting to lose its luster, and it doesn't help any that it will be stuck in Kansas for eternity, (or until we humans destroy this planet). Having lived in a large city for nearly a decade I can definitely say that it is hard to get our out-of-state friends to come visit us in Lawrence simply for the fact that we live in Kansas! But once they come here they begin to understand why we moved back. And how can we blame them for not wanting to come here with all of the bad press Kansas gets! (Like how they always want to know if our son is being taught evolution in school this year!)But the Wakafest put Lawrence back on the national map, and initially the coverage and feedback was very positive! And because of that, many folks who probably never would have come to Kansas, (unless they were passing through on I-70 or I-35), wound up driving or flying here to party for 4-5 days AND spend their money, year after year, after year! And of course there were many locals who enjoyed this festival experience too, and right in our own "backyard" no less! Our family has enjoyed all five years of the Wakarusa festivals with many more positive experiences than negative. (And long before that we camped and partied at many Omegafests!) But we both realize that the Wakafest isn't for everyone around here. Fine. To each their own. Just don't tread on me, man! I say "family" because each year we've done part of the weekend with our kids and part without them, and I think that is important to note. The Wakafest really was very kid-friendly which was awesome! But that won't be possible now that it has moved to Arkansas, and that is sad. However I'm all for Brett getting this festival out of the fascist cop-crazy state park and on to some private property in an even more beautiful setting! Perhaps when our kids are a bit older we'll consider going down there. And for those of you who have doubts about the reception Brett will get when he and the rest of the Wakafest crew roll into Mulberry Mountain next June I think you should realize that this place has been hosting the Mulberry Mountain Music & Camping Festival for several years now without any problems. And many of the same bands that played at Waka have played at Mulberry!

Tony Holladay 9 years, 4 months ago

Geeze, Now I am going to have to purchase a VW and travel.

Doug Fisher 9 years, 4 months ago

As I look through this absurd forum, not having lived in Lawrence for almost 5 years, I can't help but think the town has been overrun with a bunch of neo-cons with nothing better to do but complain about a festival that might actually boost the Lawrence economy for 3-4 days out of the year. Moving the festival to Arkansas is another nail in the coffin for Lawrence's "uniqueness" and "weirdness". The town seems to be turning like every other locale in the state which is boring. Maybe I'm wrong. But enough of my rant for this evening!

BigPrune 9 years, 4 months ago

Was this all about the pigs man?The wild boar hunting by copter.Arkansas got bear.

Maddy Griffin 9 years, 4 months ago

Is anyone on here old enough to remember "the big eat"? I remember my older siblings used to attend it every year and I think it was located outside city limits around here. Maybe we can petition for some kind of revival. There weren't just kids attending this festival. I worked at a convenience store and was amazed at how many grandparents followed the festival with their grandkids. Old hippies never die!

texburgh 9 years, 4 months ago

Although I never attended and probably never would have, I am sad to see this event go. It was great for Lawrence and Kansas - bringing lots of outsiders into our beautiful state and letting them see how wonderful it is here. What this will tell music lovers from outside of Kansas is that the state has a pro-country music policy and will not tolerate other forms of music. Frankly the Tuttle Creek country stampede has all of the same problems as Wak Fest except it's booze instead of pot. But I guess the state prefers cowboy hats and America lovin' music to bandanas and that loud stuff.And for all the anti-Wak folks out there, I know you'll miss the tax revenue that Lawrence would have gained.

BigAl 9 years, 4 months ago

Simply put, it is a loss for Lawrence and Douglas County.Most of the people complaining about it probably never attended. It wasn't for me either but that doesn't mean that it didn't have its' place here. Diversity is just one of the things that is great about Lawrence. And now we have lost a little bit of that.

BigAl 9 years, 4 months ago

DouglasCountySucks. Tell me, does Douglas County suck because the festival was here? Or does it suck because it isn't? Or do you just like to whine?

bizarre 9 years, 4 months ago

local law enforcement will really miss the added revenue from all the busts and confiscated merchandise.

packs_of_wild_dogzz 9 years, 4 months ago

Some of you clowns should get a clue. This festival wasn't all about drugs and hippies. But, idiots on here get something in their heads and just aren't smart enough to let it go. It's unfortunate Lawrence lost this festival. Hopefully something else will replace it.

BaxterC 9 years, 4 months ago

I sure am glad those darn teenagers are out of here, they sure where trouble!Hey Lawrence, step outside your house sometime, we're still here. I don't have a problem with driving to Ark to have fun, and neither will the rest of the festival goers. The city can suck it. I'll take my dirty hippy money somewhere else. But rest assured, once the festival is over, I'll be back. And so will everyone else. We might even bring back tons of friends with us.

funkdog1 9 years, 4 months ago

madmike (Anonymous) says…Good riddance! The doper industry here will collapse. Maybe the area will smell better without those nasty smelling freaks!-------------------------------------------------------Ah ha ha ha ha HAAAAA! Where exactly do you think you live? Amish-ville? Every third house in this town is tokin' the mary jane, and I mean "upstanding" folks you would NEVER suspect. The cops will barely even bust you for it here because they know it's a lost cause.Once again, Kansas shoots itself in the foot.

coolmom 9 years, 4 months ago

okay no music festival is sad now all us old parents can sit around and play some rock band for you...

dajudge 9 years, 4 months ago

Was that the festival with the big turkey legs? I don't think I've ever been to it. You mean they had music, too? Then I would have sooo gone there. Now, I guess I'll have to do a float trip down the Wakarusa.

luvtocamp 9 years, 4 months ago

I am glad they moved it because now I can use that week to go camping. My family and I go to "campground 3' and could not go for two weeks. That is primetime camping weather. We never went camping during the festival but people have told me that it was fun to watch all the people make fools of them self. But hey we all like to be a fool every now and then.

bangaranggerg 9 years, 4 months ago

Whew! Can't wait to go to Wakarusa in Arkansas! I'm going to make my travel arrangements now! Nope, not a gd chance...Just kidding, there was only one single cool thing about the entire festival and that was it's location. Lawrence, Freaking, Kansas.

Jacob Kucza 9 years, 4 months ago

marktrail,I think the hippies have you beat in one area: spelling.

motomom 9 years, 4 months ago

this is sad. i agree with nomansland. i have always like how colorful lawrence has been. and slowly but surely, it seems to be feeling and looking more and more like johnson county....what is happening? i don't get it. i live out by clinton lake. i always liked when the wind was just right.....we could here the music and the buzz..........why is everything leaving our town? the waka fest, the KU- MU game............if i were a merchant...i'd be mad........

Alexander Neighbors 9 years, 4 months ago

1.9 million dollars in tax revenue LOst10 million in sales for local businesses LOSTLPD Police breaking yet more laws in surveillance I fail to see what was gained by not holding a big multi state event in Lawrence.

dweezil222 9 years, 4 months ago

The actions of the LPD leading up to Waka a couple years ago, ignoring a little thing called the Fourth Amendment, are why I don't reject flatly some of the allegations raised by the Neighbors' in their case. A department with no regard to restrictions on its actions in one instance is more susceptible to doing it in others. Quite frankly, between that and the equal protection lawsuit waiting to happen based on the state's vastly differential treatment of Country Stampede, it's no wonder the Waka folks are going to cut and run to someplace that will (hopefully) be more reasonable.

basil 9 years, 4 months ago

This is a real shame and a huge loss for many businesses in town and for tax revenue in general. I don't think it's all the fault of Wildlife and Parks, though. I think Mosiman shares more than a teensy bit of the blame for screwing this up. Maybe he should carry some of the blame here. He has been no angel in this mess, and he's the one who has chosen to go rather than negotiate to stay.

Whiteside 9 years, 4 months ago

As a University of Arkansas graduate and huge fan of my old college town Fayetteville, AR. I would just like to say thank you Kansas… thank you so much. We could not be happier to have this concert in Northwest Arkansas. and yes the site they chose is absolutely beautiful. This will be a nice compliment to the Harvest Festival we have every year at Mulberry that primarily features bluegrass bands.I am guessing this had a lot to do with the fairly conservative politicians you have around there…we are still a touch too conservative here too although our Democrats tend to have a lot more success than up there in Wheat land. And everyone takes pride in keeping our beloved college town of Fayetteville funky, green, liberal, and open minded. I have always wanted us to move towards the Austin model and this festival is a great step so again THANK YOU SO MUCH KANSAS!!!!In the future, Please send any and all progressive art festivals you have our way and we will promise to send you any spare NASCAR events we have to your neck of the woods…Whoever said the crack down that happened at Wakurusa would not be tolerated if it happened at a Motor Speedway event had it exactly right. I would take a bunch of free loving hippies any day over the meth head drunk alcoholics that populate the Nascar circuit.A little fyi on Neckcar”“But NASCAR deaths aren’t as rare or isolated as the racing world believes. A Charlotte Observer investigation found at least 260 people across America have died in auto racing since 1990.”Not to mention the thousands of drunk driving deaths from fans leaving NASCAR events and as we all know the widespread abuse of meth at NASCAR events.BUT god forbid you smoke a little pot and listen to some Wilco…Again thanks for this festival and please know you are invited to come down in the summer and check out beautiful Fayetteville and enjoy the incredibly scenic and wonderful Mulberry Mountain.

Greg Yother 9 years, 4 months ago

Go to the String Band Rendezvous in 2009; it is usually around the same time that Wakfest was.

Alexander Neighbors 9 years, 4 months ago

dweezil222 you know you have a really good point the problem with the walka fest happened the same year the police made allegations of fencing against guy and Carrie Neighbors. Just a recap they are still awaiting a trial date and currently there is no trial date set and we are coming up on the start of year 5.... does it really take 5 years to prove someone was committing a crime ? we need an oversight board for the LPD.

RKLOG 9 years, 4 months ago

I agree with Whiteside's statements. This place is hicksville and proud. I lived and worked here for 25 years and it gets worse every year. The open minded are getting squeezed out by the right. Not a good thing to see. Have a good Fest Arkansas!

bombshell 9 years, 4 months ago

Good thing I'm moving out of Kansas... Lawrence is the best city Kansas has left, and it IS slowly but surely turning into JoCo West. I hardly even drive west of Iowa anymore, and with Waka gone, I won't even have to drive into West Lawrence that weekend in June. Instead, on that weekend, I'm taking i-70 west and moving to another state which doesn't politically and socially and culturally suffocate the citizens who live in it.

sarahsmilehawk 9 years, 4 months ago

Aw, dangit. I was excited to go this year cause I'll be 21 and finally allowed to partake in the New Belgium part of the festival. I don't know if I'll be making the trip to Arkansas... I liked being able to go home and shower every morning.

frank mcguinness 9 years, 4 months ago

"You had a decent thing going here, Brett, and you screwed it up! No one to blame but yourself."Cheesburger You Are Wrong... Plain and simple. As much as I dislike bretts affinity for nonpayment, a fair share of the blame can be laid on the parks and wildlife/ law enforcement/state of kansas.

budwhysir 9 years, 4 months ago

didnt even read this story cause I believe this festival is the WORST reason for not taking a shower for a week that I have ever heard.

OneBusyMunkee 9 years, 4 months ago

I went to Wakarusa every year it's existed. I couldn't be more happy Wakarusa isn't in Lawrence anymore. The thought of going on vacation and not being under heavy police surveillance for 4 days is very appealing. The park, music and crowd were great but there was always a level of tension. The tension was a result of the cameras in bird houses, the golf cart patrol and night vision boys eye-balling you while you're just cooking breakfast, swimming or just hanging out. Lawrence Kansas is not the America I want to live in or even visit.This move is long overdue and Wakarusa should have moved immediately after 'Bustarusa'. That year killed the festival and many people didn't attend again out of protest or fear of prosecution for whatever.I'm honestly relieved that I'm never going to Lawrence, Kansas again. Imbeciles like MadMike is proof enough of my point.

Aaron Sherwood 9 years, 4 months ago

I have lived in Lawrence many years. With respect to those who have been here longer, I would consider myself a budding "townie." I went to the Wakarusa festival every year, driving out around noon, then going home late at night to clean up, eat, and take care of the dogs. I've enjoyed some of my favorite bands out there at the festival, but am happiest to have found some new interests by listening to other bands along the way. I want to say I'm always surprised to read the expressions of intolerance and hatred for festival attendees (in general) in some of these posts. But, I really should stop being surprised and try not to take it personally when even close friends sometimes lump the attendees (that includes me) into a negative stereotype. Some of you have no clue. It is unfortunate to think that some of these comments are used by outsiders to form a general impression of what goes on in Lawrence. It is embarrassing to think of some of you as "ambassadors." I will miss attending Wakarusa in Lawrence.

local_support 9 years, 4 months ago

"Had Brett been better organized and more responsible relative to the paying of vendors, I think the event could have continued on in perpetuity."Which vendors exactly? Vendors selling their wares actually pay to be there as do sponsors. The park got a hefty sum of money as well and I doubt they would have continued to have the event year after year if they had not. The festival also used the same stage company multiple years so I don't think it could be them. Many of the bands have played multiple years so I don't think they would have come back if they hadn't bee paid. Are you talking about people that worked out there or what? Cause I have heard a story or two about folks getting shortchanged on hours. But that's about it. Really though, who are you talking about?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.