Year 24: Wakarusa 2013
Year 24, you’re probably wondering what that even means. Well let me try to explain. You see, Year 24 is the phrase I’m using to refer to the current year of my life. Maybe it was the recent passing of my 24th birthday that sparked my new mindset. Maybe it’s the realization that come May I’ll officially be two years post-grad. Maybe it’s because a few weeks ago I had (what I believed to be) a lot of profound thoughts and finally got the guts to quit my sucky job. Maybe it’s because I’m dancing around that awkward time between being a young 20-something and transitioning into the “real world”. Whatever it is, I have come to realize that most of what I thought mattered, really doesn’t.
I went to school in upstate New York, graduated, took the first job I could find to pay my bills on time, and fell in to this lackluster routine of responsibility. Of course the past two years have been peppered with trips here and there when I got time off; road trip to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, San Francisco for some west coast sunshine, road trips to North Carolina & Virginia to see old friends, live music and new scenery. What this time has made me realize is my true passion lies in being on the road. I’m not ready to settle down, work in a cubicle, or “act like an adult”. Every day at work all I would day-dream about was taking my next trip to dance around outdoors in the sunshine like a fool, and listen to the music play with some good people (and some good drinks). A concept that seemed impractical to my co-workers and why my boss deemed me “the gypsy”.
So why Wakarusa? The answer is simple. The lineup is incredibly diverse and Mulberry Mountain appears to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I’ve been to a handful of other music festivals and I’m sure the anticipation is all similar, you get those excited butterflies in your stomach as you drive up to the venue, wondering what is in store, who you’ll meet and how it will all change you. The handful of times I’ve gotten to experience this first-hand, I have always left feeling restored, so to speak. Like I had just experienced some tremendous, wonderful secret. Aside from any mundane daily routine, music festivals like this remind me that life does have it’s beautiful moments and there are always places to go and people to see.
The whole concept of Wakarusa seems truly incredible. To be able to jam out to some Widespread Panic or Yonder Mountain String Band, break out my hoop to some Gramatik/STS9, sing along at the top of my lungs to Icona Pop, or groove with Nahko and Medicine for the People all while being surrounded by seemingly endless green scenery bordering the Mulberry River, a refreshing escape from the summer heat, seems more like a dream than reality.
My favorite vagabond, Jack Kerouac said it best when he said, “the only truth is music.” No matter your past, present or future, I’m sure there has been a song, an album or a group that has really struck a chord inside of you at one time or another. Music has gotten me through the lowest times in my life and has helped me celebrate the best. Wakarusa seems like the perfect festival to see one of your favorite bands live, broaden your horizons, experience some new groups and share four amazing days with old friends while making new ones.
If given the chance to blog for No Depression at Waka, I promise you will not be disappointed.
See you there!