News Column

Fans Enjoying Mix Of Music At Wakarusa

June 7, 2014

By Scott Smith, Times Record, Fort Smith, Ark.



June 07--MULBERRY MOUNTAIN -- At 3 years old, Faylah Moscoso is a true, happy-go-lucky veteran of the live-music scene.

The daughter of Josh and Jessie Moscoso of Fayetteville danced, trotted in circles and playfully chased her father during the annual Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival, which runs through Sunday at Mulberry Mountain Lodging & Events, 23978 Arkansas 23, north of Ozark. When Josh tossed a light-gray T-shirt over Faylah's face, her laughter became almost as loud and spirited as the festival's main-stage bands.

"This is Faylah's second time to be here at Wakarusa," Josh Moscoso said while catching his breath. "Yeah, she really likes it here. She loves to hear live music."

Also embracing the festival's performances, camping and food are Chris and Jennifer Millsap of Fayetteville. The two frequently hugged and chatted with each other while rock band Vintage Trouble unleashed an earthy sound that was a high-volume hybrid of Otis Redding and Joe Walsh-era James Gang.

"This is our first time to come to Wakarusa, and we're having fun," Chris Millsap said.

"Being here is actually part of our one-year anniversary," added Jennifer Millsap before smiling.

"Our kids have been here before, and other relatives, so we thought it was time for us to check this place out," Chris Millsap said. "We're meeting people and having a good time."

The Millsaps said they were excited to see all of the bands, although The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar and Infected Mushroom stood at the top of their must-see list.

"We'll see The String Cheese Incident (today at 8:30 p.m.), and then we'll go to the food area and get a little string cheese for ourselves," Chris Millsap said.

Melinda Johnson of Kansas City, Mo., made the trip to Wakarusa to see her favorite band, The Flaming Lips, on Friday. It was the fourth time she witnessed the humor-based group.

"I love The Flaming Lips, and I'm jazzed about seeing them with a new drummer," Johnson said. "I heard that they fired their old drummer (Kliph Scurlock) not too long ago, so we'll see who's playing with them now."

Two festival organizers also thought about the status of The Flaming Lips, a Grammy Award-winning, alternative rock band based in singer-guitarist Wayne Coyne's home town of Oklahoma City.

"I just saw The Flaming Lips at the Hangout Music Festival, and their new drummer was pretty good," one of the organizers said. "It will be amazing to see them again here at Wakarusa."

According to Rolling Stone reports, Coyne fired Scurlock in March after Scurlock criticized Christina Fallin, the 27-year-old daughter of Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin. Scurlock criticized Christina Fallin on Facebook after she posted photo a photo of herself wearing a Native American-style headdress, the report states. Scurlock claims he was fired by Coyne because Coyne and Christina Fallin are friends.

As of press time, the name of The Flaming Lips' new drummer wasn't listed on the band's official website or Facebook page.

"I always guessed The Flaming Lips got rid of their old drummer because when they played with Miley Cyrus, maybe their old drummer didn't want any part of that," said one Wakarusa organizer to another. "I guess we'll find out everything soon."

Today's performers include Reignwolf at 4:45 p.m., The Mowgli's (5:30 p.m.), Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at 6:30 p.m., Turnpike Troubadours (7:15 p.m.), Dirtfoot (9 p.m.), Umphrey's McGee (midnight), Bassnectar (12:30 a.m) and Papadosio (2 a.m.).

Wakarusa bands playing Sunday will include BoomBox (4:45 p.m.), Mike Love (5:30 p.m.), Cherub (6:30 p.m.), The Green (7 p.m.), EOTO (8:30 p.m.), Iration (9 p.m.), Umphrey's McGee (10:30 p.m.), John Butler Trio (11 p.m.) and Claude VonStroke (12:30 a.m.).

Brett Mosiman, the festival's director, said he predicted that more than 23,000 people are on site at Wakarusa each day.

"What's great about Wakarusa is, it's something that gets better each year," he said. "We think we are offering people something very special this year, and it's great that so many people from all over are excited about this. Wakarusa has become quite the special event for many, many people."

For information, visit www.wakarusa.com.

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(c)2014 Times Record (Fort Smith, Ark.)

Visit Times Record (Fort Smith, Ark.) at www.swtimes.com

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Source: Times Record (Fort Smith, AR)


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