Wakarusa Music Festival: Day 3

On the third day, things began to turn around, and Wakarusa became a music festival once again. The mud had reached its worst point, though, which made actually seeing that music a little difficult. But, in spite of everything, the show went on and so did the fans. It's what we came for.

This blog was originally published on nodepression.com.

The sun rises, but it doesn’t bring much shine. The leftover clouds and fog from last night’s storm block out the light, and leave you wondering if the show really will go on. You imagine the damage, thinking things must be beyond saving. It might be time to call it quits.

No music plays. You wait for the announcement to come that forces everyone out of the campsite and back down the mountain to begin the journey home. A few cars are leaving, but most stay and hope for the best.

Slowly the sky clears and it starts to get hot. In the sunlight, it is easy to see the devastation from the night before—flattened tents, collapsed canopies, overturned coolers—some things have even been picked up and thrown by the raging winds.
Canopy destroyed by wind
There is a feeling of confusion and indecision permeating the campsite. Some talk about going to hotels or other campsites to get away from the wetness and the mud, which continues to grow exponentially.

Others are confident that they will stay, no matter what, and piece their camps back together to stick it out ‘til the bitter end.

My group decides to stay, as the weather report predicts clear skies for the rest of the weekend. Slowly stages begin to open, and the Day 3 adventures begin.

The resilience of your fellow festival-goers is amazing. Even those that are barefoot are still out and about, not giving up on the weekend. A few have built sculptures out of broken bits of camping equipment, visually representing our ability to turn things around for the better.
Trash sculpture
You catch a quick song by Rose’s Pawn Shop before it’s off to a press conference. Several bands are scheduled to attend, but only one manages to make it: Shane Govinda of the DJ act Govinda. He speaks about his desire to blend the organic with the electronic, hence his use of violin on stage.

After some quick blogging and a wardrobe change, you head over to see Holy Ghost Tent Revival at the Backwoods stage. The band brings a high-energy, gospel sound, with a name taken from a highway road sign (interview and video to come).
Holy Ghost Tent Revival
Holy Ghost Tent Revival
Another late-evening slumber catapults you into late night, with performances by Papadosio, The Polish Ambassador, The Floozies (who turn out to be amazingly fun), and the aforementioned Govinda. It seems things really have turned around—you’ve had an excellent day and there is still another, full of great artists and brimming with possibilities.

The sun comes up again, and it’s time for you to rest. Your aching body demands it. The comfort of your warm sleeping bag puts you to sleep as others are waking. There’s one day left, you better make the most of it.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 4


Thandiwe Ogbonna is a music writer gone rogue.
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