Mulberry Mountain

Joker’s Wakarusa Recap: Day Two – A Tale of Two Festivals

Our pal The Joker from the Coventry Music blog has made his way to Arkansas to cover this weekend’s Wakarusa for HT. He’ll be sending reports each day on both the scene and the music. Here’s The Joker’s report on the second day of the festival…

Friday at Wakarusa was another amazing night of music. During the day it was – I’m using the technical term here – hot as balls. Because of the heat the main goal during the day for the majority of festivalgoers was staying in the shade and trying to get some sleep. I would say that 40% of the festival goers didn’t even come out to play until the sun was going down.


Staying in the shade and out of the sun was also my priority. The schedules at night are stacked full, and I knew that if I wanted to make it out all night I needed to save my strength.

  • Joker’s Wakarusa Recap: Day One

The first music I saw came at 6:30pm when ALO played in the Revival Tent. ALO always impresses me with their positive, melodic songs and funky jams. At the start of the ALO set the Revival Tent 3/4 was full with festivalgoers laying down in the shade, choosing a cool place to rest rather than intentionally seeing ALO. That changed for most about halfway through the set as ALO had the tent standing up and at minimum bobbing heads to the funky groove of Possibly Drown. By the end of the set the tent was at capacity with everyone dancing to the infectious grooves.

READ ON for more from The Joker on Wakarusa Day Two…

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Joker’s Wakarusa Report: Day One

Our pal The Joker from the Coventry Music blog has made his way to Arkansas to cover this weekend’s Wakarusa for HT. He’ll be sending reports each day – on both the scene and the music – and hopefully we’ll get some photos from longtime HT contributor John Schulze who is also on the scene. Here’s The Joker’s report on the first day of the festival…

To start this trip a few friends and I flew from Denver to Tulsa and rented a car to make the trip from Tulsa to Mulberry Mountain for Wakarusa. As we were waiting to board our planes I got a couple of stories from friends who had run into some bad luck on the way there – the Basics Fund Bus got pulled over in Hayes, KS after a State Trooper stopped to question the driver and noticed a stray nugget at his feet. Oops. They were “detained” for several hours while the Troopers ripped apart the bus, but they were eventually allowed to continue on to Wakarusa.

My group got to the festival grounds and finished setting up camp about 8pm. We started a little late in the evening as compared to most of the festivalgoers. The first taste of music I caught was after sundown – Robert Randolph. Robert Randolph always puts on a danceable show, but his setlists lack variety. Randolph brought up Ivan Neville for a strong version of Papa Was A Rolling Stone, but other than that it was a high energy yet standard show.

Next up was Railroad Earth in the Revival Tent. Railroad started off by ripping through jammy, psychedelic versions of Cold Water and Birds of America. The crowd in the tent was so into it and Tim Carbone’s fiddle seemed to breathe new life into an audience who was happy the sun had gone away and could dance under the lights. I was into Railroad Earth’s set and wish I could seen all of it. Since they play again today, and I had a Disco Ball on my head once again, I left early to head to see what madness Bisco would bring.

READ ON for more about Neil’s experience on Day 1 of Wakarusa…

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