Wakarusa Patrons “Wet, Muddy and Happy” Organizers Say

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It will take more than heavy rains and wind to shut down the Wakarusa Music Festival.

The popular music festival in Franklin County hasn’t missed a beat during a week of wet weather and potentially dangerous storms. The music festival runs through Sunday at Mulberry Mountain in Ozark.

Rebecca Venkauskas, the festival’s media coordinator, said nearly everyone has stayed through the poor weather. Music acts begin at 2 p.m. daily and generally run until early the next morning, a schedule the festival has tried to keep after the start of the concert series was delayed for three hours Thursday.

“Everybody is wet, muddy and happy,” Venkauskas said. “Everybody has their rain boots on or are going bare-footed. They’re here for the music.”

With close to 20,000 people on site, authorities have kept a close eye on conditions and weather forecasts. Franklin County Sheriff Anthony Boen said his department had approximately 1,000 people move from their campsites on the Mulberry River because of rising water levels Friday night.

“Our biggest concern is all the rain,” Boen said. “Last night we moved them away from the river. Everything went good.”

Venkauskas said the event has plans  prepared in case the weather turns dangerous, which includes a safe area building on site. Saturday’s weather was clearing with warmer temperatures, so Venkauskas said the concern was making sure there was enough water – to drink – at the festival.

“We hopefully are going to see the sun this afternoon,” Venkauskas said.

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