Top Ten Summer Music Festivals

Wakarusa, Ozark, Arkansas
Campfire at Wakarusa, Ozark, Arkansas
Concertgoers have a late-night jam session by the campfire at Wakarusa (courtesy, Wakarusa)

3. Wakarusa (Early June)
Ozark, Arkansas
Tired of being considered second tier to the coasts (including the Great Lakes states), this Great Plains upstart has been garnering great reviews with its eclectic line-ups and down-home hospitality. In June 2009, after five years in Lawrence, Kansas, Wakarusa shifted to a new venue: Mulberry Mountain, a 650-acre resort down the road from Ozark, Arkansas. The move did not affect the booking list much, with many previous crowd favorites such as Les Claypool, STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector Nine, ya dig?), and the Yonder Mountain String Band all making appearances again, nor did it impact Wakarusa's laudable recycling program. Adding to the charm of the new venue, Mulberry Mountain is located at the heart of the Ozark National Forest and offers a wooded campground on the premises. The town of Ozark also has a few hotels, but if you dig a combination of camping and music, Wakarusa is it: For $99 (plus your festival ticket) you can camp next to the main stage.

Hot Tip: The rural setting virtually begs for a little outdoor recreation. Hike the national forest trails, like the scenic Ozark Highlands Trail, or stop by Turner Bend Outfitters for info on canoeing, kayaking, or rafting Mulberry River.

Ozark National Forest Travel Guide (from GORP.com)


Published: 23 May 2009 | Last Updated: 15 May 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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