Commission Considers Wakarusa Move

A decision to move the annual Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival from Clinton State Park in Lawrence, Kan., to a site at the nearby Circle S Ranch is up in the air after county officials postponed a vote at a recent meeting.

Jefferson County commissioners said they needed more time to discuss whether the site’s infrastructure could handle the three-day event and whether the county could provide necessary support services, the Lawrence Journal-World reported.

Festival promoter Brett Mosiman told commissioners at the meeting Wakarusa would give the county $2 from each ticket sold to help cover costs, according to the paper. He also offered to hire private medical and security companies to ensure the safety of concertgoers.

“As producers of this event, we understand it is our job to deal with the traffic and the law enforcement and the sanitation,” Mosiman said. “We’re very confident. We have done these in parking lots and fields. I think this can be a neat fit.”

However, the festival still has to deal with $25,000 in outstanding fees owed to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. At the meeting Mosiman said he is contesting the fairness of the charge after discovering that a nearby country fest with a similar setup – Country Stampede – was not asked to pay similar fees by the parks department.

Mosiman previously told Pollstar Wakarusa wouldn’t be headed back to Clinton State Park “because of inequities in contractual terms versus other events.”

“I’ve made the claim of discrimination and prejudice probably the last three or four negotiations with these guys,” Mosiman said. “I wasn’t dreaming this up.”

The commission, which rejected a similar request to move Wakarusa last year, is expected to consider the issue Nov. 3.