’s “5 Artists to Watch at Wakarusa 2013”

This year, Wakarusa will be celebrating its 10th year anniversary. What started out as a small lineup festival has now blown-up to the likes of well-known summer music festivals. Wakarusa still adheres to its grassroots beginnings and is held at Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, Arkansas. But the festival was actually held in Kansas for the first five years. The change of scenery only yielded positive reactions; festival-goers and artists alike enjoy indulging themselves so close to nature and music at the same time.

In 2004, the lineup for Wakarusa was small, yet foreshadowing for the festival’s overall feel and theme. Many artists on the initial lineup still visit to Mulberry Mountain, and some are even on this year’s lineup. Headliners include Widespread Panic, Dispatch, STS9, and The Black Crowes.

Other well-known artists include Umphrey’s McGee, Yonder Mountain String Band, GROUPLOVE, Galactic, EOTO, Shpongle, Gramatik, and Figure. But I wanted to take a closer look at five artists you do not want to miss. You may discover a new favorite artist or band that is about to blow up before anybody else does. I hope to see you on the mountain, enjoying known and new tunes. – Lauren Stanaitis 

SunSquabi – Saturday, June 1 – 3:00-4:00pm @ Technaflora Outpost

Based out of Boulder, Colorado, SunSquabi has made a name for themselves faster than most artists. The group labels their music as an “Electronic Hydro Funk experience”. They have played venues such as Red Rocks, The Ogden Theatre, Sonic Bloom, Snowball and Wakarusa; this year will mark their second appearance at Wakarusa. The inclusion of keyboard and live drums give SunSquabi a certain edge amongst electronic artists.

Check out their latest creation right here. They remixed “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

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Lazy Locomotive Saturday, June 1 – 12:00-1:00pm @ George’s Majestic Backwoods Stage

Reigning from Athens, Georgia, Lazy Locomotive won the Waka Winter Classic contest, which gives them an amazing opportunity to perform at Wakarusa this year. No other artist or band is playing at the same time! So there is no excuse to miss out on a set from this five-piece “Jungle ruckus” band. Watch their full set from the Waka Winter Classic here:

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Moon Taxi – Thursday, May 30, 1:30-2:30pm @ Main Stage & 7:15-8:30pm @ Technaflora Outpost

Moon Taxi is making their rounds already to kick off summer festival season. The five-piece band just played at Hangout Music & Arts Festival and is making an appearance this year at Wakarusa. Moon Taxi is an indie-rock band from Nashville recently debuted their first studio album Cabaret, which is a follow-up to their live album Live Ride. Here is their video for a song off Cabaret titled “Mercury”.

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Wick-It the Instigator – Thursday, May 30 – 3:30-4:45am @ Grassroots California Satellite

Also from Nashville, Wick-It is a DJ/producer whose roots are in mostly hip-hop. Yet he has his own personal twist by remixing artists from Justin Timberlake to Snoop Dogg to Beyonce. One of my personal favorite works of Wick-It is his remix album The Brothers of Chico Dusty, in which he remixes The Black Keys and Big Boi.

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Lance Herbstrong – Saturday, June 1 – 5:45-6:45 @ Grassroots California Satellite & Sunday, June 2 – 12:00-1:00am @ Grassroots California Satellite

The collective efforts of three members, with two added for percussion live, is known as Lance Herbstrong. The sound of this group is electro-dub, but they also do remixes as well. Founding member Kamil Soliman started the musical movement back in 2010 and since then Lance Herbstrong has worked towards playing live shows, especially at festivals. Be sure to check out one of their sets at Wakarusa. Until then, enjoy their remix of Pretty Lights’ “Finally Moving”.

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