30 Photos of Wild Weirdness at WakarusaArticle by: Matthew Cremer|@Cremerica
Mon June 08, 2015 | 00:00 AM
It is said that the number 12 represents cosmic order. Although it is lofty at best to speak on behalf of the cosmos, I’d still venture to say that Year 12 for the Wakarusa Music Festival certainly must’ve had at least some harmonious swagger going for it in the “order” department. Especially considering that one of the crown jewels of the summer festival season was finally able to enjoy a rain-free event for the first time since 2011. With the exception of lightning on Saturday afternoon, which caused a roughly 30-minute interruption in music, Mother Nature couldn’t have bestowed Wakarusa with a more glorious weekend.
Although the weather contributed plenty to its fruition, the overall vibe always finds a way to hit its sweet spot on Mulberry Mountain no matter what. In fact, it’s a calling card for many who come here. Being present at Wakarusa for the 7th time, a veteran like Seth Barbour of Norman, Oklahoma readily spoke to why he keeps returning. “I love it because it's in the Midwest and everybody in the Midwest are fucking badasses. The best people in the world. I've been to a whole bunch and this is the best atmosphere I've ever been to.”
A deep appreciation for the radiant, glowing vibe was a common theme I encountered with festival-goer’s throughout the experience. It was during Nahko and the Medicine People’s rousing set at the Main Stage on Sunday afternoon that I met Cassie Huffaker of Des Moines, Iowa who was attending for the first time. Rookie or not, she was already well on point with playing her part in taking care of her fellow man. Cheerily making her way through the crowd with an oversized spray bottle, Cassie stopped to talk while in the midst of thoroughly misting down anyone and everyone she came in contact with. “Gotta take care of one another…When I see someone that needs help, I feel more inclined to help them instead of just being selfish and taking care of myself...It's just a feeling I get in my gut.”
It was during our brief exchange that James Hoover from Lake St. Louis, Missouri came up to get needed relief from the Ozark heat. While Cassie continued to practice her not-so-random acts of kindness, James shared his thoughts on why Wakarusa attracts the cream of the energetic crop time and time again. “The way people are flowing, present, aware of others and taking care of each other… The wonderful part about this property is that there are energy meridians in this Earth where there's a vortex of good energy coming through. And I feel like this is one of those places in a way. Being out here and just feeling it...it's beautiful.”