Wakarusa Survival Guide: All You Need to Prepare for Wakarusa 2015

Wakarusa 2015 Survival Guide: What You Need to Know
Wakarusa Music Festival returns to Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, Arkansas from Thursday, June 4 through Sunday, June 7, 2015.

The world-famous Wakarusa Music Festival returns to Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, Arkansas from Thursday, June 4 through Sunday, June 7 and it will be nothing short of a fest-head’s paradise.

Approaching its 12th year, Wakarusa 2015 features performances from a smorgasbord of the top jam and electronic acts in the game today, so prepare yourself to see some of the most incendiary and hair-raising performances of your life.

With 4 days, 6 stages, over 150 acts, nearly 200 sets of music, on a 1-100 scale, Wakarusa ranks at about a 450 on the nuts-o-meter.

Outside the sheer beauty of being on a mountaintop in the middle of the Ozark mountains, the location does bring some interesting factors to the table when making the trek to Wakarusa this year. If it’s your first time out to Wakarusa, or even if you’re a seasoned Wakafarian, here are some useful tips and tidbits to help you have the time of your life out on Mulberry Mountain.

Check out our Wakarusa Survival Guide below!

Wakarusa 2015 Survival Guide: What You Need to Know
What’s in store for Wakarusa 2015. Photo – Phil Clarkin Photography and Wakarusa – Facebook.

Buying Your Ticket

One BIG THING to know for Wakarusa is that you must purchase a camping pass in addition to your Wakarusa 2015 event pass. The rules are that 1 pass is required per car, so carpooling and splitting the cost 3 or 4 ways is definitely your best bet.

Once you have your main ticket, look into parking options ASAP because you’ll want to secure a spot as close to the shenanigans as possible.

All camping areas are within walking distance to the main venue area, but some are closer than others (for example: Riverside camping is the cheapest option, but it is a 3-mile shuttle ride to the stage area).

The available options are:

  • Main venue camping: $119
  • Main venue + Wednesday arrival: $219
  • West Woods camping: $89
  • Riverside camping: $59

For those who like to dive headfirst into the melee, we definitely recommend main venue camping as it’ll provide the loudest and rowdiest spot. For a quieter, more chilled out experience, head for the Riverside option. For something in between, the West Woods might be your prime location.

Each area will give you a different feel for the festival, so check out the parking/camping map and see what’s best for you.

Getting There

Part of Wakarusa’s spectacular location in the Ozark National Forest is that it’s situated in an extremely rural area, so plan ahead and stock up on supplies before heading out to Wakarusa to ensure that you will be fully prepared.

Wakarusa 2015 Survival Guide: What You Need to Know
Choose your spot wisely. Photo – Wakarusa – Facebook.

The nearest town to Wakarusa is Ozark, Arkansas (population: 3,500) and it’s a 30-minute drive from the festival gates.

After that there’s Fort Smith at the 50-minute mark and Fayetteville at an hour-and-a-half away. To avoid having to run out and miss a solid chunk of the music and other happenings at Wakarusa: come prepared.

Another big tip for you drinkers, parts of Franklin County (where Wakarusa is held) and many of the surrounding counties are dry counties.

Grab your booze before you get close.

Pro Tip: If you’re having trouble pulling up the location on your GPS there are 3 different addresses that you can use to get to Wakarusa. They are:

  • 4117 Mulberry Mountain Loop
    Ozark, AR 72949
  • 23978 Hwy 23
    Ozark, AR 72949
  • N35.711712 W93.797272
    (GPS coordinates)

When to Show Up

You don’t want to show up too early and have to wait in the car, so here’s the gate time schedule for each type of ticket listed below:

General Admission

If you have this Event Pass with this Camping Pass then your Gate Time is:
Full Event Reserved Campsite Wednesday June 3rd, 4:00 pm
Full Event RV Unreserved @ Main Venue Wednesday June 3rd, 4:00 pm
Full Event RV Unreserved @ Riverside Wednesday June 3rd, 4:00 pm
Full Event Main Venue Camping WITH Wed. Arrival Wednesday June 3rd, 4:00 pm
Full Event Riverside Camping Wednesday June 3rd, 4:00 pm
Full Event Accessible Camping Options Wednesday June 3rd, 4:00 pm
Full Event Main Venue Camping Thursday June 4th, 12:01 am
Full Event West Woods Camping Thursday June 4th, 12:01 am
Three Day ANY  camping pass Friday June 5th, 8:00 am
Two Day ANY camping pass Saturday June 6th, 8:00 am


If you have this VIP Pass Then your Gate Time is:
VIP Full Event Wednesday June 3rd, 4:00 pm
VIP Children Wednesday June 3rd, 4:00 pm
VIP Three Day Friday June 5th, 8:00 am

What to Bring

Keep in mind that you’ll be out in the Ozark mountain range for 4 days, so plan like that’s exactly what you’re going to be doing.

The Essentials

  • Camping gear: tent, tarps, grill, extra stakes, cooler… the whole 9 yards.
  • Camping supplies: tent, sleeping bag, pillow, chairs, cooler, shower towel, food, condiments, toiletries, clothes, water and sunscreen.
  • Your Tickets
  • Water, water, and more water
  • Rain gear: the weather’s been known to get a bit dicey in the past so go above and beyond on this one because you don’t want to be caught soaked on top of good ol’ Mulberry.
  • Extra shoes/sandals
  • Sunscreen
  • Cash
  • Guitars/djembes/other instruments. It’s a music festival after all!
  • Good vibes and a smile.

Pro Tip: Bring walkie-talkies in order to communicate with your buddies. From our experience, cell service is spotty at best.

Wakarusa 2015 Survival Guide: What You Need to Know
Wakarusa at night. Photo – Live Edits Lab and Wakarusa – Facebook.

Plan Your Schedule

With so much going on at Wakarusa, you’ll definitely want to have a decent mental layout of your must see performances, workshops, etc.

However, don’t plan every minute of your Waka adventure, leave space in your schedule to see where your feet take you.

Part of the experience is wandering, meandering, and exploring your way through the festival grounds to see what you can discover.

They’ve built a literal wonderland out in the mountains for you and your friends, so see what they’ve snuck in that you don’t know about.

Pro Tip: Familiarize yourself with the schedule early on and let your rambling soul take it from there.

And There You Have It

A rough but solid survival guide for your Wakarusa 2015 experience. Wakarusa is going to be the time of your life, so get excited and get ready for the insane times that Mulberry Mountain has in store for you. Make sure that you prepare for the elements, but as long as you come stocked with the normal supplies you won’t have any problems at all.

Just go with the flow, hang out, and let the music take control. It’ll guide you to exactly where you need to be.

Head to Wakarusa’s official website and grab your tickets today!


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