7 years ago, I attended my first Wakarusa. I’ve been back every year except one when we attended a good friend’s wedding instead. Each year we go, Mulberry Mountain becomes a little more like a home away from home. Returning to the mountain, you can feel the magic in the air and all the anticipation floating around as everyone awaits to find out what’s in store for them – what adventures lie ahead – what the music will have to offer – what memories will be made.
We arrived around 1 am to wait in line. Gareth and I started setting up camp around 3:45 on Thursday morning. In our tent, I closed my eyes as the sun was rising while most people around us had already started the party. The party literally never stops at Wakarusa.
Festivals are so special to me for many reasons, the obvious one being – you form a connection unlike any other with the friends you spend it with at shows or messing around at the campsite. As for me and Gareth – we have a chance to focus on one another and our love is so BIG, profound, and straightforward. Life can get in the way of that sometimes, and while we are very good about keeping our love alive and living for love, at a festival, it’s just the love that matters. You’re in a field with minimum essentials that you need to be comfortable, surrounded by thousands of people doing the same, dancing, laughing, being silly, being emotional, loud and kind and open. It’s a beautiful thing. In those moments, it feels like life is a gigantic, yummy orange and you’re sucking it dry and loading up on all the nutrients and juice it has to offer. It’s a shared experience, which makes it that much more revitalizing.
Loved being around all our friends – you guys know who you are!! We all had so much fun together and I love how everyone came to visit and party at our campsite every day. 🙂 I’ve never laughed so hard as I did this past weekend. I love all of you so much and really couldn’t ask for a better crew or group of friends to spend the festival with. I don’t think there is a better group, seriously we have the best! So many memories I will cherish forever both at the campsite and at the shows! I love that I made some new friends too 🙂
Okay – so the music. Such wonderful music. Magic Beans and Dopapod the first day really set the tone for Gareth and me. It was awesome having that time to ourselves to really connect, dance and experience a new band together. We listened to Slightly Stoopid from our campsite. Umphrey’s was an intense headbanger that night, which of course we loved. We ended with Twiddle, which was very different and awesome. Second day – STS9 and Umphs were the beez kneez – the LED hoop came out and we danced for 4 hours straight. Third day – such a diverse day of music!! I started off the day by shopping at an awesome store called Sparklicious with my new friend Izabella. Then Megan, Courtney and I headed over to the hoop workshops and practiced with the St. Louis Hoop Club, then choreographed a hoop dance with Lee Jeffries. First band of the day was Rising Appalachia 🙂 That was my first show to really hoop at (ever) it was so moving, enchanting, and really spoke to the soul. Same day following that, we saw Galactic (amazing), The Roots (probably favorite / best show all weekend), STS9, and Glass Animals (LOVE). The funniest dance party I’ve ever seen or been a part of was at STS9 in the Revival Tent. Everyone was seriously going crazy. Minkus and Knud were doing Tybo, Gareth may have lost his pants for a song or two… I can’t really describe it. I don’t think I stopped smiling. Tribe killed it. Then we marched over to the Ferris wheel (our first time to ever ride it) and yeah… that was amazing. Major Lazer was playing.. it was so neat to see the whole festival and glow toys from up high. The night still seemed young so we decided to try out the Satellite stage for some Lindsay Lowend lol. The Satellite was on point this year with the huge lanterns in the trees and the trippy circus/trapeze artists in the trees above you. Gareth me and Tay stayed the whole time. There was an incident where a giant panda bear tried to take Gareth’s light saber off into the crowd, but we got it back! Interesting night, but we had so much fun. And we did get to watch another Waka sunrise. Sunday funday was also amazing – we saw Nahko and Medicine for the People, Particle, Portugal. The Man, Lotus, and Thievery Corporation!! Also had the best time hooping at Lotus and Thievery!
The entire weekend was filled with so much love and inside jokes and connecting moments that will live on in our minds and hearts forever. Cheers to a wonderful Wakarusa!