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Published: 2008/08/18

Wakarusa Promoters Speak Out Against ‘Hippie Discrimination,’ Ponder Location Change

The Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival may leave its longtime home in Lawrence, KS according to an article in the Lawrence Journal-World. In a recent interview with the newspaper, promoter Brett Mosiman says he will not return to Clinton State Park unless local authorities change their tune and treatment of his jam-leaning audience. He goes so far as to say the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks is discriminating against hippies when his festivals contract is compared with the terms of the nearby country-themed Country Stampede. You can say cowboys are cool and hippies drool, but not if youre behind the state seal of Kansas, Mosiman told the paper. It is profiling, it is discrimination, it is like saying the black kids cant use the pool. The article also points to differences in attendance caps between the two events and a significantly higher law enforcement bill for Wakarusa, and inequities in rent rates between the two events. Though Wakarusa has been able to draw big names like Widespread Panic, Govt Mule, the Flaming Lips, Wilco and String Cheese Incident, an escalated onsite police presence has hurt the festivals attendance over the years.

As of press time, Mosiman plans to move Wakarusa out of state next summer. The festival has been held in Kansas since its inaugural year in 2004.

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