Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival
Location(s) Lawrence, Kansas, US
Years active 2004 - present
Founded by
Date(s) Early to Mid-June
Genre(s) Jam bands, Alternative rock, Hip hop, Americana, Country, Bluegrass, Funk, Electronica
Website www.wakarusafestival.com

Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival is a four-day weekend music festival held annually in early June just outside of Lawrence, Kansas at Clinton State Park. Since its inception in 2004 the festival has grown dramatically with almost 60,000 tickets sold in 2006. The festival is known for an eclectic mix of music has featured artists like The Flaming Lips, Wilco, STS9, Neko Case, and Widespread Panic to name a few. The event is kept smaller than other festivals such as Bonnaroo by an agreement with the state.[1] Activities other than music include disc golf, yoga, hiking, and swimming in Clinton Lake.


2007 Lineup[]

Headline acts are shown in bold.

June 7[]

BoomBox, Crooked Still, Delta Nove, Dubconscious, Guse, Earl Greyhound, Kan’Nal, Motet, New Mastersounds, North Mississippi Allstars, Outformation, Perpetual Groove, Pnuma Trio, RAQ, Shannon McNally, The Spam All-Stars, Toubab Krewe, and U-Melt.

June 8[]

Animal Liberation Orchestra, Backyard Tire Fire, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, Bobby Bare Jr., Crooked Still, Delta Nove, Earl Greyhound, Galactic, Grant Lee Phillips, JJ Grey and MOFRO, New Mastersounds, North Mississippi Allstars, Orzic Tentacles, Ozomatli, Perpetual Groove, Railroad Earth, RAQ, SeepeopleS, Shannon McNally, Tea Leaf Green, Toubab Krewe, U-Melt, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, and Yonder Mountain String Band.

June 9[]

Alejandro Escovedo - Cancelled, Animal Liberation Orchestra, Assembly of Dust, Back Yard Tire Fire, Bassnectar, the Bridge, Everyone Orchestra, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Honkytonk Homeslice, Indigenous, John Butler Trio, Lotus, New Monsoon, Orzic Tentacles, Railroad Earth, the Slip, Son Volt, Tea Leaf Green, Widespread Panic, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, and Yonder Mountain String Band.

June 10[]

Assembly of Dust, Asylum Street Spankers, The Be Good Tanyas, Citizen Cope, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, The Greencards, Honkytonk Homeslice, Indigenous, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Lee Boys, Les Claypool, Little Feat, Martin Sexton, Martin and Wood, Medeski, Michael Franti and Spearhead, New Monsoon, Sam Bush, the Slip, Tangleweed, The Waybacks, and The Wood Brothers.‎


The festival continues its growth selling just under 60,000 tickets with 80% of attendees coming from outside Kansas. With the increase number of festival goers came an increase in the number of bands and stages.[2] A new feature to the festival a low-power broadcasting radio station called Waka-radio from University of Kansas student run radio station KJHK.[3] The Wakarusa organizers also purchased renewable energy credits to offset the more than 63,000lbs of greenhouse gasses produced from running the festival.[4]

The increasing success of the Wakarusa festival wasn't without problems. After a drug related death at the 2005 festival the law enforcement presence was much greater leading to over 100 arrests mostly involving minors and alcohol. The vehicle searches along I-70 drew the ire of many attendees and the ACLU.[5][6] The festival also had issues with long lines of traffic from so many festival goers arriving at the same time for the opening acts.[7][8]

2006 Lineup[]

Headline acts are shown in bold.

June 8[]

56 Hope Road, Alfred Howard & K23 Orchestra, Arthur Dodge, The Avett Brothers, Bootyjuice, Brass 'n' Grass, The Buffali, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, Cosmopolitics, Delta Nove, DeWayn Brothers, The Disco Biscuits, E-Bon, Ghosty, Gooding, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Green Lemon, Groovatron, Hackensaw Boys, Jackie Greene, Lotus, Madahoochi, Nipplez, Papa Rhino, Perpetual Groove, Pnuma Trio, The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Ric Roberts, Rob Lee, Samantha Stollenwerk, Tim Reynolds, Todd Snider, Trampled by Turtles, Virginia Coalition, Will Hoge, and Woodbox Gang.

June 9[]

56 Hope Road, Archetype, Assembly of Dust, Backyard Tire Fire, Bassnectar, Brother's Green, Buckethead, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Del Castillo, Delta Nove, The Disco Biscuits, DJ Smoove, Drakkar Sauna, Full Throttle, Future Rock, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Green Lemon, Greyboy Allstars, Groovatron, Hillstomp, Jackie Greene, Jake Shimabukuro, Koncept, Lotus, Lubriphonic, Lucero, Maxx, Mama's Cookin', Michael Franti & Spearhead, MOFRO, Moonshine Still, Motion for Alliance, My-Tea Kind, Never Perfect Intentions, The New Congress, New Monsoon, Order of Chaos, Oteil & The Peacemakers, Outformation, Perpetual Groove, Pnuma Trio & Friends, Probably Vampires, Rose Hill Drive, The Reverend Horton Heat, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Samantha Stollenwerck, Shooter Jennings, Sydeburnz vs. Frooky, Tim Reynolds, Trampled by Turtles, Truckstop Honeymoon, Virginia Coalition, The Watchman, and White Ghost Shivers.

June 10[]

Alabaster Brown, Alan Paul, Animal Liberation Orchestra, Andrew Bird, Assembly of Dust, Backyard Tire Fire, The Balance, Ben Fuller, Benevento-Russo Duo, Bernie Worell and the Woo Warriors, Big Metal Rooster, Big Thumb, Bob Schneider, Bonobos Convergence, Brothers Past, Buckethead, Camper Van Beethoven, Cat Empire, Chicago Afrobeat Project, Chris Berry & Panjea, Clandestine, Cracker, Deep Fried Pickle Project, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Don Tinsley, Duece, Euforquestra, The Flaming Lips, Gabby La La, Gov't Mule, Greyboy Allstars, The Ills, Jah Roots, Jerry Joseph, Julia Peterson Band, Keller Williams, Kenny Larkin, Les Claypool, Lila, My Friend Mike, Mutaytor, New Monsoon, Oteil & Peacemakers, Railroad Earth, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Rocky Votolato, Rose Hill Drive, Shanti Groove, Speakeasy, Tea Leaf Green, Tim Hjersted, Tony Markham, Treologic, Trevor Matthews, Yard Dogs Road Show, and Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band.

June 11[]

Animal Liberation Orchestra, Bad Abby, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Billy Spears & Beer Bellies, Brothers Past, Chris Berry and Panjea, Daniella Cotton, Donna The Buffalo, Electric Soul Method, Fire Built 500's, Hot Buttered Rum String Band, Hurra Torpedo, Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormans, Jesus Christ Superstar, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge, MOFRO, Oakhurst, OK Jones, Papa Mali, Polytoxic, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Shanti Groove, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Tea Leaf Green, Truckstop Honeymoon, William Elliott Whitmore, Yard Dogs Road Show, Yo Mamma's Big Fat Booty Band, and Yonder Mountain String Band.


After losing money the first year Wakarusa returned with more bands and stages.[9] The festival more than double the previous year with over 50,000 people attending and over 100 vendors.[10] The festival also improved its environmental impact by recycling over three tons with the help of volunteers.[11] While the festival proved it could be a success it was somewhat overshadowed by the death of William J. Pospisil, a 29-year-old attendee, who overdosed on methadone and cocaine.[12]

2005 Lineup[]

Headline acts are shown in bold.

June 16[]

56 Hope Road, Animal Liberation Orchestra, Arthur Dodge & the Horsefeathers, Backyard Tire Fire, Big Metal Rooster, Bockman, Carbon Leaf, Chubby Carrier, Deep Fried Pickle Project, Eckobase, Floodplane, Green Lemon, Groovelight, Hairy Apes BMX, The Helping Phriendly Band, Jeff and Vida, Jervis Jort, Lotus, Papa Mali, Perpetual Groove, The Schwag, Speakeasy, The Station, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Ten Mile Tide, Two High String Band, and Umphrey's McGee.

June 17[]

Animal Liberation Orchestra, Arkamo Ranger Moore-Healey Cindy Woolf Mark Blilyeu Band, Brother Bagman, Calexico, Carbon Leaf, Conspirator, The Gourds, The Grand Fiasco, Groovatron, Hairy Apes BMX, John Brown's Body, Madahoochi, Matisyahu, Moonshine Still, Mountain of Venus, North Mississippi Allstars, Ozomatli, Papa Mali, Particle, Perpetual Groove, Railroad Earth, Robert Bradley, Shanti Groove, Son Volt, Steel Train, String Cheese Incident, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Tea Leaf Green, Ten Mile Tide, Tiffany Christopher Band, and Umphrey's McGee.

June 18[]

4 Fried Chickens & A Coke, Ari Hest, Big Metal Rooster, Blueground Undergrass, Buttermilk Boys, Charliehorse, Donna the Buffalo, Galactic, The Gourds, Gov't Mule, Green Lemon, Greyhounds, Hackensaw Boys, Hot Buttered Rum String Band, Jazz Mandolin Project, John Butler Trio, Junior Brown, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Lazy Joe, Matisyahu, Mocean Worker, MOFRO, Moonshine Still, Neko Case, New Monsoon, Particle, Pnuma, Risky Shift Phenomenon, Robert Bradley, Rose Hill Drive, The Samples, Shanti Groove, Split Lip Rayfield, Steel Train, The Stone Band, String Cheese Incident, Tea Leaf Green, Wilco, and Yossarian's Lament.

June 19[]

Alabaster Brown, Ari Hest, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, The Big Wu, Blueground Undergrass, Chubby Carrier, Donna the Buffalo, Galactic, Greyhounds, Hello Superworld, Hot Buttered Rum String Band, Jazz Mandolin Project, Kasey Rausch's Winfield Revival, Little Feat, Matisyahu, MOFRO, New Monsoon, Old Crow Medicine Show, Proto-Kaw, Pomeroy, The Samples, The Schwag, Shady Deal, Split Lip Rayfield, and Xavier Rudd.


The first Wakarusa festival took place in 2004 including over 70 bands from across the musical spectrum on three stages.[13][14][15] The festival did suffer many stumbling blocks. Large scale ticket scalping and counterfeiting led to only 7,500 paid customers while thousands more were able to enter illegally or through fraudulent means.[16] Other problems included a severe thunderstorm striking early Friday morning, a child being bitten by a copperhead snake, chiggers, and disorganization with the management and the vendors.[17]

2004 Lineup[]

Headline acts are shown in bold.

June 17[]

Arthur Dodge, Benevento-Russo Duo, Big Metal Rooster, Ekoostik Hookah, Mindy Smith, Moonshine Still, The Schwag, Particle and Sound Tribe Sector 9.

June 18[]

Bockman's Euphio, The Bottle Rockets, Drums & Tuba, Forty Twenty, Galactic, Green Lemon, Greyhounds, Hackensaw Boys, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Jazz Mandolin Project, Keller Williams, Leftover Salmon, Lucero, Marc Broussard, MOFRO, Mother Kali, Papa Mali, Particle, Perpetual Groove, Robbie Fulks, Robert Randolph, Slobberbone, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Speakeasy, Split Lip Rayfield, Tanner Walle, Theresa Andersson, Tishamingo, and Woven.

June 19[]

4 Fried Chickens & A Coke, Big Wu, Bob Schneider, Bockman's Euphio, BR549, Derek Trucks Band, Exit Clov, Galactic, Garaj Mahal, Greyhounds, Guided by Voices, Hackensaw Boys, Hairy Apes BMX, Indigenous, James McMurtry, Jazz Mandolin Project, Kaki King, Leftover Salmon, MOFRO, Monte Montgomery, Motet, O.A.R., Particle, Pomeroy, Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise, Robert Walter's 20th Congress, Shanti Groove, Signal Path, Spoon, and Tea Leaf Green.

June 20[]

Barefoot Manner, Big Wu, Chris Duarte, Dewayn Brothers, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Donna the Buffalo, Drive-By Truckers, Hello Superworld, Hot Buttered Rum String Band, Indigenous, Jennifer Hartswick Band, Los Lonely Boys, Lost Trailers, Mission 19, Mountain of Venus, North Mississippi Allstars, Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise, The Samples, Split Lip Rayfield, Steve Poltz, Tea Leaf Green, and Weary Boys.


  1. "Wakarusa Officials Reflect On Event", Lawrence Journal-World, 2005-06-24. Retrieved on 2007-04-08. 
  2. "Reflecting on Wakarusa", Lawrence.com. Retrieved on 2007-04-08. 
  3. Waka-Radio. Wakarusa.com. Retrieved on 2007-04-08.
  4. Bonneville Environmental Foundation (2006-06-01). ""Midwest Music Festival Enjoys Green Grass, Green Trees and Green Energy". Press release. Retrieved on 2007-04-08.
  5. "After Three Days of Music, Madness, Heat and Police, Wakarusa Hits High Note", Lawrence.com. Retrieved on 2007-04-08. 
  6. "Wakarusa Inspections Infuriate the ACLU", Lawrence Journal-World, 2006-06-13. Retrieved on 2007-04-08. 
  7. "Wakarusa Festival Snarls Traffic", Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved on 2007-04-08. 
  8. "Wakarusa Festival 2006 - Day 1", Lawrence Journal-World, 2006-06-08. Retrieved on 2007-04-08. 
  9. "Return of the Festivarians", Lawrence.com, 2005-06-14. Retrieved on 2007-04-08. 
  10. "Festival Deemed A Hot Success", Lawrence Journal-World, 2005-06-20. Retrieved on 2007-04-08. 
  11. Recycalusa. Students For Environmental Action. Kansas State University (2005). Retrieved on 2007-04-08.
  12. "Coroner: Festival Camper Died of Overdose", Lawrence Journal-World, 2005-09-09. Retrieved on 2007-04-08. 
  13. Wakarusa Festival Announces Location. JamBase (2004-03-11). Retrieved on 2007-04-08.
  14. Jeckell, Barry A. "Jam Bands Join First Wakarusa Festival", Billboard, 2004-03-09. Retrieved on 2007-04-08. 
  15. "Ass-deep in music", Lawrence.com, 2004-06-11. Retrieved on 2007-04-08. 
  16. "Wakarusa Officials Reflect On Concert", Lawrence.com, 2004-06-24. Retrieved on 2007-04-08. 
  17. "Music Festival Picks Up Steam", Lawrence.com, 2004-06-20. Retrieved on 2007-04-08. 

External links[]