For nearly six months now anticipation has been building for what is undoubtedly one of the best line-ups of the summer, and next weekend tens of thousands of people will finally converge at Mulberry Mountain for the 8th annual Wakarusa Festival.
With nearly 150 artists on the bill, the line-up will draw fans across every genre of music, including rock, jam, electronic, psychadelic, bluegrass, reggae, funk, afrobeat, and even a marching band. They’ve got big names, the hottest up-and-comers, and plenty of buried treasures in the bottom half of the line up. Here’s a little preview of what Waka-goers can anticipate over the next week leading up to the festival.
Headlining the festival are pop-rockers My Morning Jacket and Ben Harper and the Relentless 7, a refreshing change from the typical festy bands people expect to see alongside acts like Bassnectar, STS9, and Umphrey’s McGee. MMJ puts on a high-impact rock and roll show that is sure to please the masses on the mountaintop, and folk-soul veteran Ben Harper along with his Relentless 7 will be lifting up the crowd with their strong sound and intelligent lyrics. Also leading the bill and sure to please is Thievery Corporation, whose live shows have been described by some as a “religious experience” for their incredible instrumentation and mind-blowing performance.
Sound Tribe Sector 9 will be taking the stage for what is sure to be a crowd of newly grateful fans following the “inspiring” recovery of bassist David Murphy, who was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor early this year.
For fans in the mainstream, two of 2010’s most buzzed about acts make their Midwest festival debut at Wakarusa- Afrobeat and soul queen Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and British folksters Mumford and Sons. Electronic music fans will get their fix over the DJ-packed 4-day weekend, featuring bass head Bassnectar, Skrillex, Big Gigantic, Ott, Eliot Lipp, Paper Diamond, and Simon Posford’s Shpongletron Experience.
And as for those up-and-coming acts that Wakarusa has done a great job of hand picking, be sure not to miss beat-driven cross-genre fusion Zoogma, hot live jamtronica stars Papadosio, the bayou roots rock Honey Island Swamp Band, dance jammers The Werks, and Chicago’s electronic fusion The Coop.
Along with a blazing hot line up, Wakarusa also features a silent disco, a ferris wheel, interactive mural, disc golf, and many more activities. With a wild weekend of music planned and plenty of other attractions to take in over the weekend, Wakarusa will be a highlight of the summer for music lovers from all over.