~ Wakarusa 2006 ~
Ass Deep in Cops

Bella's accoustic set Sunday
OK High to the new guys and welcome to lurker00. click on pix to see them bigger and many have mouseover captions. enjoy!
:) lurker
Took the shinny red truck for a 90 mile ride across some of the prettiest countryside in the nation, the blue hills of eastern Kansas. The venue was so close to home I didn't even bother to pack, just throwing everything I thought I might need in the back.  Already had plans to meet Chicago pals Mike and Steph at the gate we hooked up and got in line.
Got a real big break at the WillCall line, friends Brian and Kate were near the front of the long slow line so we got on our way right away.  We were introduced to Pamela and made plans to meet with them later, Brian staying in the VIP section and Pam in town.
No shady spots were left when we arrived, but we did miss out on the thorough car searches that had backed up lined for hours earlier in the day.  Guess they had confiscated enough stuff by the time we got there as the searchers were gone.
We set up our camp, met our neighbors, had a bite to eat and headed for the festival grounds.
The Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival takes it's name from the Wakarusa River and the Indian word Wakarusa means "ass deep". I didn't get to wade in the river to test the river's depth but festival goers were ass deep in security. I admit it was pretty sweet to arrive at a festival and only used a quarter tank of gas!! Very rare for me, and despite overbearing security and having to watch 10% of the fans being taken into custody for various minor violations I had a really good festival otherwise. I doubt I will return without assurances that there will not be a repeat of the concentration camp like atmosphere....
Brian and Kate at the gate.  Brian writes for Jam Base.  If you don't read Jam Base you really ought to.
Pamela (center) introduced us to John and Don.  Great conversation followed, these guys really know their music.  I thought it would be easy to spot John being so tall but never got together with him again.  Hope he reads this and e-mails me!

Disco Biscuits on the VooDoo Stage.  They drew a huge crowd and nobody left during the show.
A short clip of Disco Biscuits.  Sound is not good but you can see the activity and that the place was rocking!
Steph practices hemp tying and makes a really nice bracelet in about 20 minutes on her first try...
... and Mike relaxes after a hard day's work.
We rode the bus up to the main grounds for the evening shows.

You should be able to tell where my head is at by the number of pictures of the Spearhead set. I can't help it. Michael is a powerful performer. His songs are genius in their storytelling, simple and fun yet deep and soul-searching. When he yells "How You FEEEEELIN?" you know that he really wants to know! More powerful than the performance though is Michael's spirit. You can feel it and it feels good. You feel yourself becoming a spearite.

Franti is very accessable and has waded right into the crowd after his set every time I have seen him. A most gracious host, he tries to say hello to everyone and poses for pictures. And, this immediately after a high energy set that would exhaust any normal person. Once again I got to meet up with Jamieson, a young spearite I know from the Spearhead Vibrations forums. Click here to check it out. Another fine webpage is the German Spearhead fan page Spearhead-Home.

The sun went down and the moon rose over The Sun Up Stage as we walked over for Cross Canadian Ragweed, who drew a small crowd and nobody danced. Although it was well done the music was dated and really belonged on a much smaller stage.

Big smile from Pamela who is usually on the other side of the camera!
Moonrise over the Sunup stage... or was it Sundown?  I never did get it straight!

Next morning... beachin'!

Adam and Brian from Milwaukee.  Met quite a few people from Wisconsin but mostly they were from Madison.  Same was true at Summer Camp two weeks ago.  Madison must be a rockin' town.

I was really glad to meet up with Amy again! She was the first person I met at Waka in 2004 and is great fun! (click here for that story.) Along with her friend Eric, a photographer by trade and curator of The Disposable Gallery in Minneapolis we spent a good long time chatting and taking each others pictures. Best news? Good possibility Amy is going for the PhD in Music Therapy which would make her one of 132 in the world AND might be able to do her thesis based on research gathered at FESTIVALS! Go get 'em Dr. Amy!
So here's how it works.  First we each took pix of the one on our right taking a pic of the one on our left.
Then of course we took a pic of the one on our left taking one of the person on the right.
Then on each camera we took one of each pair of us.
Eric had a decided advantage over us because as a photog he had a real camera while Amy and I were using toys!
But it was all good fun.  Check out Eric's site, he has some really cool stuff!
Public transportation via school busses is provided at Waka and they even run into Lawrence so you can shop.  A few evenings there were complaints that they quit running to early and MY experience was that they were always going the wrong way.  Like they would run the route away from the main grounds when shows were starting and TOWARD them when they were over.

Alot of people I know really like Gabby LaLa.  When she is with Claypool and playing sitar and NO VOCALS I guess she is ok, but her solo act is pure torture.  But she is a little cutie, huh?
Keller did his big stage set with The Keels.  Honestly it really didn't add alot to his act but I suppose he didn't have to work as hard as he does solo.  His night show at VooDoo was really refreshing and one of the best attended of the festi.
This was the first time I've seen Keller play a whole set with a band. Truthfully it sounded, well, like Keller.
For a great Keller Williams site try Marty's site has everything you need.. Dates, Music, Tabs, Pix, Articles, Setlists and more. Check it out.
Join in the K-Dub discussions at Keller Williams Discussion Board. Ed runs a board with a wide variety of Keller threads. Sign up and voice your opinion.
Greyboy Allstars put on a fine show but didn't draw a very large crowd.
Short camera clip of a twirler.  Friend Amy is twirling these days but didn't get a chance to see her act yet.
As dark approached we moved over to the other stage for Les Claypool.  The fire twirlers were out and quite entertaining to watch.

Nice campgrounds but a lack of shade.
The crowd was already thinning by Sunday morning.  Oh and 10% of us had been taken into custody.
An ARMED cop spots me taking his picture and swoops in on me.  I play deaf and blind and ignore him pretending to take a panoramic photo and he gets tired of me and leaves.  Wakarusa 2006 will go down in the books as a legendary festival because of the constant harassment of the fans.  If the promotors don't fix this they are going to be running out of the money and won't have a festival.  I am pretty sure I won't go back.  If I do it will only be after a strongly worded statement from the promoters that this is NOT going to happen again.
Our next door neighbors Sidney, Sara with no H, Molly, and Sarah with an H were from Iowa and very nice neighbors indeed!
Amy shows off some of her new stuff!  I believe the typical festi goer spends on average around $500 each for a four day event.  So that is something like 8 million we pumped into the area economy.  Think about it Lawrence!
Sunday morning and the Drum Circle
The entrance to the main grounds.  security was very tight...
...a complete pat down and every bag had to be completely emptied.  Usually the yellow shirts are professional but pretty cool. Here they were mostly untrained goons.  Where do they find so many fat guys anyway??  Is there like a service in Lawrence that provides them?
Short camera vid of the drum circle

Elania and Jeramy check out the drum circle.  There were more photographers than drummers.
A guy had climbed up on a nearby sign to take a pic so I threw him my cam and he took this one for me.  Thanks dude!
OK Here we have an armed cop on a four wheeler circling the drum circle. Kind of kills the vibe huh?
Donna the Buffalo seems to come close but then just misses.  Reliable equipment would help or someone who knows how to use and maintain what they have at least.  Don't know the guitar player but he is the band.  Donna is generally too mad at the equipment to smile.  She does have a nice smile. I'm not an accordian (or whatever that thing is) so I'll just hush.
Chris Berry on the Campground Stage
Bella Fleck did an accoustic solo set which was a real treat.  It was mostly unanounced so not a mob there.  Yesterday Michael Franti also did a set here but I didn't hear about it til it was over, dammit!

Roger Clyne on the Campground Stage
OK on the road again, let's do it all again in two weeks at Shack~!

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