Friday, June 21, 2013

The Waka Experience

Describing Wakarusa 2013 in one sentence would be a near impossible task. The most accurate statement I can think of would be that it was the most insane, exciting, fantastic, muddy, chilled out, amazing weekend of my life. You could only truly understand if you were there, but I want to share my first ever music festival with you all!
{barely even shows how huge}

You're probably wondering how a non-hippie, non-partying fourteen-year-old girl ended up at one of the craziest music festivals. My dad has attended seven of Wakarusa's ten years, so I've always known about the festival and checked the lineup. (His music taste is Phish, Grateful Dead, Widespread Panic.) I've been dying to be part of the Waka/ festival experience for a couple of years now, and I started hardcore begging to tag along after the lineup was released in January. Every time I asked, I was given the same answer: no. Basically, two days before the festival my dad surprised me with tickets!
{ferris wheel view}

The storms started dramatically on Thursday, so we were cautious but continued to pack, prepare, and purchase rain boots from Walmart. I tossed cutoffs, boho tanks, rain boots, and Chacos into my bag.

{after rain saturday morning, changed to tie dye and different cutoffs later}
{looking rough on sunday}

Pulling into the crowded campground- and I mean thousands upon thousands of packed tents and muddy vehicles- on Friday was just the beginning of the shock. We had been warned about the mud, but we didn't realize that it was as dense with inches deep nearly everywhere! It was fascinating to see how the crowd was simultaneously relaxed and totally pumped for the weekend. Luckily, we got to set up camp at an alternative, non-flooded campground.

Of Monsters and Men was the first show we saw, and they were just perfect. Oh my goodness, there aren't words for how well they perfromed. ZZ Ward and Umphree's McGee were the other highlights of Friday night. Grouplove was canceled due to weather conflicts, which was upsetting, but the shows we did see on Saturday didn't disappoint. My favorites were Widespread Panic, Rebelution, and The Bright Light Social Hour.

{Of Monsters and Men in a tent}
{ZZ Ward at Backwoods Stage}

My favorite part of the festival was soaking in the different bands and artists. Each stage was a different unique experience. Tie dye blankets, dancing people, and collapsing lawn chairs splattered the ground in front of the Main Stage. Shows in tents had this unexplainable vibe; it was like the same energy electrified every body in the crowd to focus on the artist on stage. The Backwoods Stage was the perfect spot to to take a hammock break while a low key rock artist provided background noise. With a pounding pulse and flashing lights, the Satellite Stage renewed your energy better than a random vendor's stale cup of coffee.
{Umphree's at Main Stage}
{selfies on selfies}

Wakarusa was ridiculously muddy and the weather was storming unpredictably, but that didn't keep me from falling further in love with music. Experiencing your favorite band in a tent packed with hundreds of people you've never met, not worrying about the world, just focusing on the sound for three days: that's why people fall for music festivals. Yes, I went to Wakarusa for purely taking that in. I didn't try drugs or party, and I stayed with my dad. Honestly, it was completely perfect.
{yay for hammocking in the mornings}
Sorry for poor picture quality, but I had to take them on my phone instead of risking the camera!



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