We Survived Wakarusa 2015

Well we made it. It's never been so hard to wake up on a Monday morning. The team and I had a great experience this weekend at Wakarusa. If this is your first time reading this, checkout the Friday Highlights and what it felt like for the first time entering Wakarusa. By the second day we had our schedule down and our game plan together. Before I go any further I'd like to again thank the amazing team that put this together, Leigh McGruder, Tyler Mazaheri, and Shane Gray – you guys are my heroes. Incredible Job! Also, Huge thanks to Bridget Hargrave of Planet Sun Tanning Salon for making this all possible! Here are some highlights from Saturday at Wakarusa.

YOUNG THE GIANT

o basically my life was made after seeing Young The Giant. I love these guys. I've followed them since the beginning and seeing them live for the first time was such a nostalgic experience.

Photo by © Shane Gray for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Shane Gray for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Shane Gray for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Shane Gray for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Tyler Mazaheri for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Tyler Mazaheri for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Shane Gray for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Shane Gray for Mason Kesner Blog

THE ROOTS

Yes. The Roots. Need I say more? Classic and Iconic these guys rocked the stage. What I would do to be able to play like Questlove.

Photo by © Mason Kesner Photo by © Mason Kesner Photo by © Mason Kesner Photo by © Mason Kesner Photo by © Mason Kesner Photo by © Mason Kesner Photo by © Shane Gray for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Shane Gray for Mason Kesner Blog

BEN HARPER

So funny story, Ben Harper was one of the only performers to get an encore that I know about.

Photo by © Shane Gray for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Shane Gray for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Shane Gray for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Shane Gray for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Tyler Mazaheri for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Tyler Mazaheri for Mason Kesner Blog

MAJOR LAZER

Ok, I'm going to admit – By the time MAJOR LAZER came on all I wanted to do was dance. And I did. I have witnesses and I'm sure they were embarrassed to be standing next to me.

Photo by © Tyler Mazaheri for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Tyler Mazaheri for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Shane Gray for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Shane Gray for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Shane Gray for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Shane Gray for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Shane Gray for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Shane Gray for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Shane Gray for Mason Kesner Blog Photo by © Shane Gray for Mason Kesner Blog


The Real Wakarusa - Friday Highlights

Let me just be honest for a second, going into this I had no clue what to expect. This is my first Waka and honestly, I was nervous. Festivals carry so many stigmas whether that is Bonnaroo, Coachella, whatever festival - they all have a similar stigma. The festival scene really isn't my world. I love the music but 4 days with no shower and camping in all that heat – I'm secretly a 500lb man on the inside – I need my AC. So pulling up, I had no idea what to expect.

I'm here to put the questions to rest (with photo proof). No, it's not a land full of crazies that will scare your children. Easily said, everyone was nice and friendly. The staff and volunteer teams were very helpful. We had stopped and talked to several people about camera gear – because we're nerds, and much to my surprise everyone we met was so enjoyable to be around. No, it's not a land full of people doing drugs and other unspeakable things. This cracks me up. Everyone always told me that Waka is nothing but druggies and people The Duggars would shame on national television. To the parents who were reluctant to let their kids go – just like anything in life, If they seek it, they will find it. Ok is that real enough?!?

Since that's out of the way and hopefully I've put your mind to rest, on to the fun stuff! We legitimatly had a lot of fun. There was lots to do, food to eat, and people to meet. They had some really cool installations ranging from graffiti art, aerial silks, free drawing and painting. There was even the opportunity to fly in a helicopter over the festival, I think we will try and do that today. The food options were very surprising. I wasn't sure what to think initially, but walking in we saw tons of organic options and fresh fruits with everything being made to order. The grounds themselves were not actually muddy. We've had a ton of rain here in Arkansas and I was expecting the entire grounds to be nasty and muddy. Some parts were still muddy, but overall it had all dried up.

Before we get to the music, here are some shots from our perspective of Walking into Wakarusa for the first time...

Photo by © Shane Gray Photo by © Shane Gray Photo by © Leigh Photography Photo by © Leigh Photography Photo by © Leigh Photography Photo by © Leigh Photography Photo by © Mason Kesner Photo by © Mason Kesner Photo by © Leigh Photography Photo by © Leigh Photography Photo by © Tyler Mazaheri Photo by © Tyler Mazaheri

We were a bit strategic when choosing what bands to cover. Most of us had some priorities, but for the most part we picked our favorites and went! Our three for last night were Chance the Rapper, HONEYHONEY, and STS9.

CHANCE THE RAPPER was up first on MainStage. He was the opening act for the evening. Chance Bennet is a 22 year old American Hip Hop Artist. His new album Surf is now available for download on iTunes.

Once Chance was wrapping up we headed over to the Revival Tent to see HONEYHONEY.

HONEYHONEY is an American Folk band from LA. I usually don't care for folk music, but when we saw they were playing we decided to check them out. I couldn't stop listening. There is a pop thread within their music. I didn't know I could like Folk as much as I did coming from them.

Photo by © Shane Gray Photo by © Shane Gray

After HONEYHONEY we headed back to the mainstage for one of my favorite live bands - STS9.

SOUND TRIBE SECTOR 9 or STS9 is an instrumental band that blends rock and electronic to produce some killer tones. It's one of those bands that their tracks don't do them justice. You have to see them live.

We decided to end the night early so we have plenty of energy for Saturday. If there is something you'd like to see, snap me or tweet me and we'll be sure to get a shot of it! SNAPCHAT, masonkesner.


WAKA2015

The Blog team and I are going to WAKARUSA 2015! We want to take YOU with us! Thanks to Planet Sun Tanning Salon we've got TWO Tickets to give away! Wakarusa is a premier music festival that was ranked among the top 5 festivals better than Coachella, according to the Huffington Post. This years lineup is incredible and we will be covering every bit of it! The Music, Food, and of course Fashion, are all going to be the topics as we make our way up the Mulberry Mountain.

Below are the details on how to enter. We will draw the winner on May 14th, and announce it on May 15th via email and Social Media!

We can't wait! Over the next month you'll meet the team that will be going, get info on the best way to plan for your festival weekend, and of course, what to wear! We want to know what you think! Send us your best WAKA advice and we'll share in on the site!

HOW TO ENTER

  1. Use the signup form below to enter so we have your contact information.
  2. Share the image below with #MKWAKA15
  3. Tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
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OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES AND DISCLAIMERS

  • No Purchase Necessary.
  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Starts May 5 and ends May 14.
  • Official Prize is 2 Tickets to Wakarusa, we are not responsible for transportation or any other expenses related to the event.
  • The Winner will be announced via email and social media on May 15.
  • VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. We are not liable for product after delivery.
  • Mason Kesner Projects, LLC has the right to obtain and publicize the winners name and likeness.
  • If prize is not claimed within 48 hours we reserve the right to cancel or proceed with another winner.