Review Roundup: Wakarusa ’09

The Wakarusa Festival took place last weekend on Mulberry Mountain in Arkansas. Expections were high as this was the first time Wakarusa was being held at this location. How did it turn out? Well, check out some of the reviews below.

First up is Peter Smith, the entertainment writer from The City Wire, which reports on the Fort Smith region. Here are some comments from his wrap-up:

Wakarusa is an interesting study of society. It was immediately obvious to me that the festival seemed more about socializing, more about interaction than about music. The crowds are highly mobile. It’s communal in the most wide-eyed and optimistic way possible. Which, I suppose, is a positive thing, though it could leave some attendees a little disheartened and yearning for something more. [Read more of the review…]

E.N. May from the excellent online mag, Consequence of Sound, provided a daily report on the festival:

Much like the desert, Mulberry Mountain gets cold once the sun goes down. That didn’t seem to matter, however, as Saturday night lasted forever, with music cranking into the following morning. It was a good harbinger of things to come, as the day proved to be the climax of the festival, especially considering the last of the headliners were set to perform, in addition to some highly anticipated, late night sets. [Read more of the review…]

For more blow by blow action, check out local Kristal Kuykendall’s in depth report at Jambase:

We wanted Wakarusa to be a smashing success in its new home, because (a) it’s convenient for us Arkansans if it keeps coming back, and (b) any festival can handle only so many bad years and still keep plugging. But we were painfully aware that the new layout, and its effect on the sound, was going to be key to its success. [Read the rest of the article…]

If you weren’t aware, Lawrence was the original site of Wakarusa, but moved to the Ozarks for a variety of reasons. Chris Tackett at provided some perpective on the change of venues.

When Brett Mosiman and Company decided to pull up the tent stakes for the last time out at Clinton Lake State Park and take their party on the road, the question those that were involved in the Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival must have been asking was “what’s going to happen next year?” With the new location in Ozark, Arkansas atop Mulberry Mountain, they’ve picked a gem of a spot and from what I can tell the transition was a huge success. [Read the rest of the review…]

Born during a sweaty, backstage, Bonnaroo downpour, the editor-in-chief's mission in life is to dance, write, and travel to every great festival that this wide world has to offer. While his identity remains a mystery, you may have already met him, probably when he helped himself to your party favors.

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