Wakarusa Music Festival: Day 2

Day two began as a reprieve from the rains of Thursday, but ended quite differently. If you've never sat through a lightning storm for hours cramped in a van, you've really missed out.

This blog was originally published on nodepression.com.

After the exhausting events of Thursday, today got off to a good start, with sunshine peeping through the clouds and warming the air. We were excited for the chance to see some more music.
Of Monsters and Men
Of Monsters and Men
And we did—The Human Experience, Of Monsters and Men, The Motet, SOJA. Mid-evening, I snuck away to nap for a bit, hoping it would make it possible for me to stay up into the wee hours and see some of the awesome acts lined up late night: STS9, Galactic, Shpongle, Minnesota.

I woke up in time to meet up with my crew and head to STS9. The Revival Tent was packed to the brim, despite the serious mud (there were maybe a total of 5 spots within the venue that weren’t covered in several inches, nowhere near the stages).

After some buildup, a kind-looking woman stepped on stage, grabbed the mic, and made the announcement that it was time to evacuate. There was a lot of booing, of course, but I think the sense of urgency was conveyed, and the crowd began moving toward the exit.

Gridlock ensued, but eventually we made our way out and back to the campsite, trucking it through the mud the whole way. While we were walking, the skies looked clear; it seemed like the perfect weather for a show, but I had an idea that there must be something coming.

Back at the campsite, the frustration and dissapointment was audible. There had been so much excitement for the late night festivities, especially after a difficult first day. But we raged on and brought the party with us. We passed the time and watched the sky, waiting to see what would unfold.

A low hanging ghost cloud gave the warning: “Get to shelter, now.” And we did. And then it began. Rain, wind, lightning—for hours on end. Six of us in the van, trying to keep each other calm and composed.

It seemed the storm lasted forever. It weakened and strengthened incessantly, teasing us with the possibility of freedom and more fun. Lightning lit up the sky all around us, thunder booming in response, and reminded us just how small we really are in the face of nature’s majesty. I had to pause and show my respect, saying a small prayer for all those riding out the storm around us.
Waiting out the storm
As it became apparent that this was going to last through the night, people began to celebrate, in spite of the weather. I heard drumming, singing, and howling in reaction to the electricity of the night. The campgrounds were alive, but drenched, but many didn’t seem to care. It was just another part of the experience, something to be enjoyed.

It was getting close to dawn. We all had hopes that the sun’s rays would push back the clouds and clear the sky, freeing us from imprisonment in the van. I found myself searching for a comforable place to sleep through the madness. I was able to get some sleep, and woke with worries about the contents of my tent.

When we finally reached it, it was completely flattened, and I thought everthing inside must be soaked. All the stakes had been ripped out but one, and one of the poles had been snapped. Luckily, everything was mended, and the tent once again stood. Once inside, we were shocked to find things fairly dry, nothing valuable damaged. I laid my head on the pillow and passed out quickly, exhausted from the ordeal, and happy to finally be able to stretch out. The pitter-patter of rain on the tent was my lullably, sending me off to stormy dreams.

Day 1 | Day 3 | Day 4


Thandiwe Ogbonna is a music writer gone rogue.
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