Wakarusa Music Festival Will Not Return In 2016 December 17, 2015 16:21
On Thursday afternoon, organizers of the longstanding music festival, Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival, announced the the festival will take a hiatus in 2016. Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival is a four-day music festival held in early June at Mulberry Mountain near Ozark, Arkansas. The festival has been held annually since 2004. Named for the Wakarusa River, the festival was first held at Clinton State Park immediately outside of Lawrence, Kansas. It moved to its present location, just outside of Fort Smith and Fayetteville, Arkansas in 2009.
The festival is known for an eclectic mix of music and has featured artists like Grammy award winners The Black Keys, The Flaming Lips, Wilco, and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Activities other than music included disc golf, yoga, hiking, and swimming in the Mulberry River. Legal issues with unnamed financial partners of the festival are cited as the principal reason for the festival's hiatus in 2016. See below for the official statement released this afternoon.
Official Statement from the Wakarusa Facebook page:
It is with a heavy heart that we must inform you that Wakarusa will take 2016 off.
Wakarusa has been a labor of love for all of us these last twelve years. We have been defiantly independent and unique since our inception. Together we created a magical 5 day event that stood out from the rest. We've taken great pride in what we've created with you and for you over the last decade plus. The Waka community (friends, family, fans, musicians, artists, performers, volunteers, staff) has really been the heart and soul of what Wakarusa IS. This community shares a natural passion for what is truly genuine. Wakarusa is wonderfully original - it is organic, mystical and always marvelously weird, and like Wakarusa, you too are decidedly different and perfectly magnificent.
As such, you deserve to know the principal reason behind our hiatus:
Wakarusa was significantly damaged by partners claiming to share our vision. Sadly, they lied. They are being dealt with appropriately through the legal system. Further, we have found that the universe is often much more effective in dealing with these perpetrators than the legal system. Regardless, it is our sincere hope and anticipation that what we have built together - we will once again enjoy on our beloved and magical mountain.
For now, we shall dust ourselves off. We must take time to recharge our faith and our energy. Passionate people do not throw in the towel because of a bump in the road. We look brightly toward the future. We will bring more music and more art and many more wickedly unrivaled memories. We know the world is a better place when there is more music and more love.
Our scrape with the unsavory has lead us to realize what is most important to us, which is all of YOU (you and you...and you too). So in our brief absence, please stay in touch and look out for each other. Take special care to really nurture what is most important in each of your lives. There is simply too much to be down or discouraged about in this world. Be the beacon of joy and hope - we need more of that in this world. So now we do ask that you share your positive energy with us. We'll use it as our strength and inspiration to create an even better WAKA experience that is ever more magical. With your help, we will bring Wakarusa back to Mulberry Mountain.
Until then, be safe, spread your positivity and your light and remember to always remain marvelously weird!