WAKARUSA RESPONDS

From www.wakarusafestival.com:

Wakarusians:
As many of you know, there were law enforcement and accompanying security issues at this year's event. Some of these issues continue to make headlines, and regrettably, create controversy. As organizers of the festival, it is very disappointing that these issues have taken away from what otherwise has been a highly praised and truly special event. We cannot tell you how truly sorry we are that these issues occurred at Wakarusa this year and we sincerely apologize to everyone for any violations of your rights and privacy.

To give you some background, we were informed that there would be an increased law enforcement presence at this year's event. Initially, we were supportive of this when it was presented as an effort to increase the safety of everyone in attendance. It became apparent however that enforcement, not safety and security, was the true mission of the increased law enforcement. We must make it perfectly clear that we did not know of any of the specific measures, tactics or instruments the various law enforcement agencies used at the event. More importantly, Wakarusa does not believe such tactics and equipment were necessary and does not support their use.

If there are not significant assurances that similar procedures won't materialize in the future, we will not host another Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival. There is simply no justification for these types of tactics to be used on an otherwise courteous and peaceful crowd. These actions are not what Wakarusa is about. Wakarusa has always taken pride in being a fan friendly event – we like to say, "a festival for music fans by music fans" and we mean it to our core. Wakarusa is a special event hosted in a very special setting and we do appreciate the vision of those local officials who allow Wakarusa to exist and to flourish. The festival has also benefited dozens of charities and not for profit groups. In the future, we hope to expand our mission of supporting great endeavors such as environmental causes, sustainable living models, and music education. In essence, this is an event that deserves everyone's respect and support.

We are searching for moral, political and legal support to help us resolve the issues we all faced this year. As before, we will continue to listen to your concerns and work with the authorities to make Wakarusa an event we all can be proud of. Our annual mission is to make Wakarusa one of the best, safest and most enjoyable events in the country. We sincerely appreciate your loyal support during the past three years and we hope we can maintain your trust and respect as we work through our growing pains.

Thank you for your support,

Brett Mosiman

*Brett Mosiman will participate in an online chat this Friday, September 22nd at 2:30 p.m. Central courtesy of the Lawrence Journal World (www.ljworld.com). Brett will respond to questions regarding past and future events. Specific information on the online chat will be posted to www.ljworld.com (September 20th).

[Published on: 9/20/06]

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Comments

bfried20 star Wed 9/20/2006 11:32AM
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bfried20

it seems a lot of my friends, including myself, have been arrested lately. the power tripin pigs are out to lock up some nonviolent people for victimless crimes. i survived the festival but ended up in jail on the way home

ColoradoMatt Wed 9/20/2006 11:40AM
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The festival was great, and I am sure they do try hard to put on the best event possible. But the fact still remains, cops n kansas suck!...stay the F#$K OUT OF KANSAS! It is not worth it my brothers and sisters, there are too many other great festivals with "Stable Security" where an uninturupted good time is for sure.

bigrivermusic Wed 9/20/2006 11:41AM
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The claim of ignorance on Wakarusa's part is crap! How could they have been unaware of law enforcement / security officials climbing atop tall poles to mount 100's of cameras? They think we were dumb enough not to notice and they think we are dumb enough to buy this BS. Boycott this debacle, no festival is worth sacraficing our basic freedoms, vote with your dollars on this one friends!! I just sent their management a comment to this affect. Peace.

jimcard Wed 9/20/2006 11:50AM
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It is and has been getting rather pathetic don't you think? We, as country, can't stop patting ourselves on the back about how "great" of a country we are and how we are the defenders of "freedom". This story is just the continuing saga of liberty banished.

Folks who drape themselves in the flag and talk freedom but then freak when someone wants to get a THC buzz are complete and utter idiots and hypocrites. I am not one to go around calling people names (wasted energy) but when hypocrisy involving freedom is the issue I can't let it go. Freedom is freedom, there are no degrees, just freedom.

Darkstar16 star Wed 9/20/2006 11:52AM
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I hope they have an even bigger festival next year, no one goes and they loose lots and lots of money.

spainpat star Wed 9/20/2006 12:00PM
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spainpat

Way to be punctual with the response!

Luthur star Wed 9/20/2006 12:07PM
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This is the article that started yet another round of Waka (specifically promoter Mosiman) backpedaling and stammering and stuttering again. They've known all this and should have been up front about it. Instead he keeps insisting he knew nothing. Lies lies and damn lies. Read the article. Does that type of operation just happen?

boxofrain star Wed 9/20/2006 12:12PM
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I agree with both Bigrivermusic and ColoradoMatt the festival's music was great! but the Narco's were wayyy to heavy handed! Thats bullshit that Wakarusa didn't know about the cameras! Boycott Wakarusa's shit!!!

bigrivermusic Wed 9/20/2006 12:17PM
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I've been in contact via email with David Barrett of Waka. He seems like a nice guy, claims the cameras were "remote controlled and wireless." I reiterated to him that that still doesn't explain how they got there in the first place. I've stressed to him that we will stand for the original violation and the lies to ratioalize it will only make it work. Jimcard is right : you can't quantify Freedom. Either we are we aren't!!

clasbrown Wed 9/20/2006 12:17PM
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one would like to assume that wakarusa was empathetic and guilt ridden and that this response was really genuine, but i couldn't agree more with bigriver on this. to believe they were naive to cameras being mounted by homeland security etc. is really a joke. from the moment i arrived there i could feel the sting of this 'unique' presence. i've never been to a festival that had its vibe so thoroughly snatched away by 'law' enforcement. i felt bad for the organizers initially, like they were hog-tied, like the corporate 'roo may have greased the po-po for a little waka smackdown, but this response makes me even more queasy. i sure as hell won't be back and it's to bad; an early swansong for a truly nice festival.

bigrivermusic Wed 9/20/2006 12:18PM
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Sorry, NOT STAND!!!!

bigrivermusic Wed 9/20/2006 12:36PM
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"rationalize, worse", sorry fascism degrades my typing apparently!

PanamaRedd starstarstarstarstar Wed 9/20/2006 12:47PM
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People, we all know how to respond. This kind of covert activity can't be supported by our community. Please everyone. If the jamband scene, and the acceptance, open-ness, and freedom that we all cherish is to continue and flourish, you must BOYCOTT WAKARUSA.

philhitz Wed 9/20/2006 01:03PM
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if the organizers of wakarusa were really concerned -- they would move the festival to another state -- there are plenty of states in the midwest that would not turn the festival into their own perverted 'narco-state' - here's a suggestion - legend valley (formerly buckeye lake) in east central ohio - plenty of camping - minimal hassle - close highway access

The Glick star Wed 9/20/2006 01:07PM
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The Glick

ok people, are you going to the festivals to do drugs or to see music? if it's to do drugs, don't complain about being busted for illegal activities. people OD and get hurt at many festivals, can you blame the authories for trying to stop that? do you really thing the festival promoters are going to tell the fans that they have cameras mounted even if they knew? the website says NO ILLEGAL ACTIVITES. they warned you. If you are going to 'do drugs' do them in private or you are taking a HUGE risk. on that note i'm going HOME it's almost 4:20....remember it's all about the MUSIC!!!!!!!

loseruser Wed 9/20/2006 01:08PM
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I agree The Glick... basically what I was coming in here to post. Drugs are illegal. If you don't want the 5.0 hasseling you... then don't do drugs. Come for the music.

Guanoskimer Wed 9/20/2006 01:12PM
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I, personally, did not get a chance to attend Wakarusa this year. I had no clue went on there until i read this article and to be honest I find this to be very disturbing. It's obvious that the festival organizers can't just plead ignorance on this, because they had to know. I now, will never consider going to this festival, and I hope that the organizers lose great amounts of money. The fact that these police officers would find it so productive to bust some cats for psychedelics and weed is proposterous. They should be doing more productive things like getting guns off the streets and other things like that. A music festival like this would be the last place where i'd expect total corruption to occur.

philhitz Wed 9/20/2006 01:20PM
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when it comes to kansas there are really only two words you need to know - SAM BROWNBACK - need i say more

Luthur Wed 9/20/2006 01:22PM
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loseruser and glick - It sounds like a cliche... but you really had to be there. It has absolutely nothing to do with were you using drugs or not. goto www.wakarusa.com and hop on the forum and you can read some stories about what cops did.

Revelation Revolution star Wed 9/20/2006 01:26PM
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Revelation Revolution

This is not the first festy to get busted and I hate to say it but it wont be the last one. IF anybody remembers Ripple Fest the same thing happend there. Anymore I almost rather go to the smaller festivals because there is no Police Officers just security guards. That was wrong there were innocent people there just to have fun and from what it sounds it was not fun

rulosa01 Wed 9/20/2006 01:30PM
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I've always found the point of festies is that we as a community make it clear to the rest of society that we can handle ourselves and live peacefully. Yes, most festivals have some incidents of violence/nondrug offences, but that is almost expected with a large crowd-and when compared to other large gatherings held by the square community (woodstock '99 anybody) these incidents are minimal. The fact is, at a festie we can go and live peacefully together for a few days. The fact that a good amount of people get absolutely twisted on drugs at these fests proves the point even more - that we as a community, even out of our minds, are still more peaceful and co-operative than the square community that surrounds us.
This recent wave of shakedowns is a terrible thing to have happen, the man -society- interfering into our time and really going out of their way to ruin our community. Hidden Cameras? Night vision? all to bust people for consuming something? I wonder if the police could have stopped a robbery, murder, or rape in kansas that weekend had they focused their energy away from the peace-loving heads of wakarusa.
Personally, I am tired of being a criminal. It bothers me to be breaking the law everytime I spark up or dose, who am I hurting? Then again I am posting this on Jambase, so I suppose I am "preaching to the choir" as they say. Well, all we can do now is VOTE and hope that helps... "Americans like to talk about (or be told about) Democracy but, when put to the test, usually find it to be an 'inconvenience.' We have opted instead
for an authoritarian system disguised as a Democracy. We pay through the nose for an enormous joke-of-a-government, let it push us around, and
then wonder how all those assholes got in there."
- Frank Zappa

vida421 Wed 9/20/2006 01:55PM
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vida421

This is why everyone needs to vote and stop big bother and all the other fxxking fxxkers from taking our rights with fear tactics.
STAND UP AND BE COUNTED!!!!!!!

mulephan420 star Wed 9/20/2006 01:55PM
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I agree with rulosa01 fully and to think that to the police consider it more important to bust a peaceful person smokin' some Bud more important than trying to stop a violent crime such as rape or even worse - Murder is just plain discusting IMHO

Stevie_t Wed 9/20/2006 02:30PM
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i wonder if camp bisco will send out a half assed apology.

getme2highsierrafest star Wed 9/20/2006 02:36PM
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Narkarusa!

bigrivermusic Wed 9/20/2006 02:47PM
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Rock on people! Stay pissed!!!!!

bigrivermusic Wed 9/20/2006 02:49PM
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Great quote rulosa!! "that we as a community, even out of our minds, are still more peaceful and co-operative than the square community that surrounds us"

duckswiller star Wed 9/20/2006 03:05PM
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They new everything. The people representing Wakarusa are all lying in this article. Karmas a bitch.

tourmaniac Wed 9/20/2006 03:24PM
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tourmaniac

Obviously they were not "in on it" because having a bunch of cops at your festival is bad for business. Also it is in a state park so the cops could easily do something like this without bothering to tell the promoters...why would they even need to? They just bring them in and hook them up in the campground when no one is around. The article says that there were four cameras. It would not be that hard. Then the cops come back and say that the promoters did know because they see the opportunity to rid themselves of this inconvenient gathering of people.

If you don't believe the promoters then you should ask them about it. "Brett Mosiman will participate in an online chat this Friday, September 22nd at 2:30 p.m. Central courtesy of the Lawrence Journal World (www.ljworld.com). Brett will respond to questions regarding past and future events. Specific information on the online chat will be posted to www.ljworld.com."

It says a lot about the community when everyone is willing to let such a good thing die without even thinking about fighting for it. If this truly is the real mentality then what's going to stop law enforcement from shutting down other festivals? The fact that they are on private land? Just wait until they take the next step and seize the private land due to "illegal activities" going on. Then what? You give up on Waka and you let them win.

The Glick Wed 9/20/2006 03:31PM
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The Glick

final clearification for you (trusmoka) my friends got busted at HSMF in 2005 and 2006. Do i feel like the drug bust is bullshit, yes! i don't make the laws in this country. i'm not happy about it, but i live with it. if i do the crime, i'm saying i'd do the time. so with that said, i'm as careful as possible. i don't support the drug busts, but i do support the MUSICIANS who play at these festivals...not the drug dealers. the festival is about the music, camping, social sceen, and relaxation.

ardnutz Wed 9/20/2006 03:49PM
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No one is complaining about the drug busts!
The complaints come from the fact that these cameras/night vision both mounted and handheld could be used for much more than just busting drug deals. Unless of course law enforment officials are perfect. I myself have heard stories of many perverted authorities who could have easily abused this equipment to spy on things it wasn't meant for.
And no one (thinking rationally) thinks that they (promoters) wanted the equipment there. The story claims that the promoters were made aware of these tactics a month before the festival. By that time the only thing to do would have been to inform the customers. Which of course would have caused ticket sales to come to a stop. It's not that they were in on the planning. The backlash is because the promoters new and kept the information to themselves.

All Loving Liberal White Guy star Wed 9/20/2006 04:21PM
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All Loving Liberal White Guy

that apology didnt do shit. it would be better not to have a festival at all next year that to have a repeat of this years events. thats what happens when a festival is thrown in a state like kansas which is locked in a religious right time warp.

jambandfan star Wed 9/20/2006 04:43PM
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terrible. three months after the fact and now, 90 days later, they decide to claim stupidity to the actions of the zealots. and to the ones saying that those unfortunate people who got harrased, humiliated, and violated - shame on you. educate yourself on the actions of the kansas law enforcement [that weekend] before you cast any judgement (though you shouldn't cast judgement anyways). the police at that festival were up to no good. let's hope it's just a kansas thing (sorry jayhawks). :)

scitank Wed 9/20/2006 04:56PM
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FOR A MAN WHO SAYS HE DIDNT KNOW WHAT WAS GOING TO GO DOWN THIS IS A DIFFERENT ACCOUNT OF WHAT THE PROMOTER KNEW. SHAME ON HIM FOR NOT TELLING FESTIVAL GOERS THEY WERE BEING VIDEO TAPED:

Hidden, high-dollar equipment helped police crack down on drug dealing at this year’s Wakarusa Festival.

A new article in a trade journal, Government Security News, describes the roughly $250,000 worth of hidden-camera, night-vision and thermal-imaging equipment used by police throughout the festival grounds. The equipment was courtesy of a California company that agreed to give a free demonstration of its wares for marketing purposes.

The company estimated that they were able to cover 85 percent of the festival grounds with about a half dozen hidden cameras. One camera, for example, was mounted atop a light tower and used on “Shakedown Street,” a bustling area viewed as a problem spot for drug dealing.

“It’s hopefully a win-win for everybody except the crooks,” said Mike McRory, vice president of business development for NS Microwave Inc., of Spring Valley, Calif., which markets security and surveillance equipment and is owned by the defense contractor Allied Defense Group.

The company builds “covert” cameras disguised as everything from electrical boxes to birdhouses. They’re capable of seeing at night as long as there’s some ambient light nearby such as a lantern or fire.

‘Nobody knew’

Four of its cameras were “consistently deployed” throughout the festival, and at least two others were there to be used as needed, according to the company. The cameras were controlled by a computerized command center in a 21-foot trailer that was parked atop a hill in the middle of a Frisbee golf course inside the park.

“Nobody knew,” said Kevin Danciak, the company’s Midwestern sales representative. “It just looked like parabolic dishes on top of a trailer.”

The plan to use the cameras came about when Danciak ran into Clinton State Park manager Jerry Schecher at a Kansas narcotics officers’ meeting early this year or late last year. Danciak was there to promote his equipment. Schecher was looking for answers to growing concerns about drug dealing at the festival, which was heading into its third year and was growing in popularity.

Had there not been a strong move this year by law enforcement to control the situation, Schecher said, the state would not have allowed the festival to continue.

“This is a crowd that has a high expectation of privacy and freedom, and I respect that, within limits,” Schecher said. “I struggled with this a little bit, but I felt like we were doing it for the right reasons. If it was meant to be Big Brother and spying on people, I wouldn’t have done it.”

One festivalgoer said the hidden cameras were “a shame and kind of embarrassing.

“I feel like it was really a big mistake because people at a festival are trying to have a good time and let loose. I would be willing to bet that most people wouldn’t be OK with that had they known,” Ali Mangan said.

She said law enforcement should have at leased publicized the hidden cameras. The surveillance was conducted at the expense of the privacy of people not selling drugs, Mangan said.

Safer means

The main things the cameras captured, Danciak said, were hand-to-hand drug transactions and drug use. After zooming into an area where drug sales were happening, police could then send an officer in to make an undercover buy that was caught on camera.

“We could see if there was a problem and then address it rather than just having to focus all of our foot patrols or enforcement in that area all of the time,” Schecher said.

Danciak said the result was a safer way of busting drug deals.

“No fighting, no running, no guns drawn, nothing,” he said. “It was just, ‘You pop around the corner, you’re there, you identify yourself and you see people just deflate.’”

He declined comment on whether the cameras covered the festival stage areas or campground areas outside the festival.

At least a month before the festival began, Schecher said, promoter Brett Mosiman was notified of the plan for security cameras. Mosiman did not return phone calls Thursday seeking comment.

The cameras’ presence was not publicized in the Lawrence area before or after the festival.

The article in Government Security News said the images produced were so good that some alleged dealers entered pleas based on the strength of that evidence. But Dist. Atty. Charles Branson, whose office is charged with prosecuting the cases, said he did not know of any cases in which that happened.

Many of those arrested at the festival were allowed to plead to lower charges in a massive docket call a few days after the hearing.

Police seized more than $11,000 in suspected drug money, but some of that came outside the festival grounds in a Kansas Highway Patrol checkpoint.

Lt. Kari Wempe, of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, the lead agency at the festival, said the camera system worked well.

“It gave a good overall aerial view of the grounds, which we would not have had otherwise,” she said.

But so far, she said, the sheriff has no plans to buy any of the company’s equipment. Schecher said he would like to use a similar system at the park in the future, perhaps for catching people who try to break into pay stations, but not necessarily for next year’s festival.

“Kevin has nice toys, but they’re expensive,” he said.

tourmaniac Wed 9/20/2006 05:06PM
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tourmaniac

I like how everyone believes law enforcement over the promoters. Absolutely incredible.

simple-alex star Wed 9/20/2006 05:16PM
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simple-alex

i dont buy them saying they didnt know what technology the law enforcement was using. how do they not know? screw that.

The Glick Wed 9/20/2006 05:17PM
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The Glick

DOWN WITH FREEDOM!

scitank Wed 9/20/2006 05:19PM
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the promoter may not have known about it but honestly how many promoters are going to cancel a festival or anounce that cameras are in use a month in advance and eat all the deposit money they have laid out for bands allready or risk losing profits for the amount of tickets that would go unsold

scitank Wed 9/20/2006 05:23PM
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im actually convinced that they are being used at all festivals now. i know for a fact unfortunatly, that they were used at the last schwagstock. if they are in use for schwagstock you know they are in use at the bigger festivals. someone who runs the show has to know whats going on!

BIGMIG Wed 9/20/2006 05:46PM
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roses are red, violets are blue,
in soviet wakarusa, cameras watch you

torn&treyed Wed 9/20/2006 05:54PM
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from an economic standpoint the money generated in these tiny towns by a couple of days of festival ends up being more than said town could ever see or hear or know of without it,Bulding play grounds and keeping up the pubic schools. you would think the authorities that be could at the very least realize that simple fact. Its not like the heads are there all year.

tiddlywinks Wed 9/20/2006 06:05PM
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If you really want an eye opener in regards to the technology that is being used all around you, as in Big Brother, check out prison.com It reads like something straight out of a sci fi novel.

Serious stuff.

I was not the least bit surprised at what they did at the festival after reading this paper.

cocheese Wed 9/20/2006 06:44PM
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cocheese

It doesn't matter if Waka knew how the fuzz would act, it's on state ground right? As long as it is on public property they can do whatever the hell they want. I personally don't buy this shit, they knew the fuzz was gearing up for a big bust. I had heard several reports of them video taping people the year before, so they could replay it for officals that could give them the funds to bring the hammer down. SHAME, SHAME!

overall Wed 9/20/2006 07:38PM
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overall

The timing of this stuff is kind of odd for me, as I saw a rerun of "Enemy of the State" just last night. The film isn't a documentary by any means, but it certainly gives cause to think about the widespread proliferation of hi-tech video surveillance and our general loss of privacy.

But the fact of the matter is, no matter how stomach-turning this trend may be, we have no God-given or Constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy. Illegal search and seizure stuff is covered, but not privacy.

So if we're walking on a street, or playing in a park, or even camping in a campground, anyone can snap our picture, capture us on their camera phone or roll their digital video until the cows come home. It's legal.

I'm not going to get into whether or not the Wakarusa promoters should have fallen on their swords and eaten millions of dollars in bills by announcing what they may or may not have known in advance about video surveillance. But I will speak to the knee-jerk reactions of those who claim "this is why we need to speak with our votes."

Just what electable individual do you think is going to champion some massive crusade against police using cameras on state-owned property? I mean, I'm sure it would provide a couple minutes of satisfaction for somebody to cast a vote for a Green Party candidate, or some other flake who claims they can solve all the world's fat cat woes. But the reality is that fringe candidates can't get elected and, should the logic gods take a day off and one of these people actually does get to take office, they wouldn't be able to find anyone to work with them to pass legislation.

The only reason I even mention that is to show that we as a group have only one effective way to fight back. Knowing that this stuff will continue to happen at festival after festival (since cops still get to make tons of busts at each one), our community needs to grow up and act like nice boys and girls for just one weekend.

Think about it. If hundreds of thousands of dollars is going to be laid out for equipment and personnel, festival-based police efforts must remain profitable. But if no busts occur, no profit comes in. And if no profit comes in, there's no justification for continued growth in police presence at these events.

Long story short, if we can go three days without a joint, we can make these people go away on our own.

So stop the whining and the finger pointing and the buck passing long enough to ponder just how much of this crap we've brought on ourselves by making so lucrative for scores of cops to swarm all over our festivals. If we cut off their income (i.e. our court fines), we cut off their need, their desire and their ability to show up.

For heaven's sake, folks, if we could all just suffer through three solid days at a mega festival without a joint, can you imagine the headlines????

400 COPS SHOW UP AND HAVE NOTHING TO DO

All I'm saying is we can't control the politicians, so why not control the cops instead? And the easiest way to do that is to take away their reason to exist at festivals.

So if the whiners on this thread REALLY care about the festival community, maybe they'll agree to take on some responsibility, claim some ownership in this situation, and go through a small three-day buzz sacrifice to make things better.

But why try to fix things when it's so much more fun to just smoke a bowl and lay all the blame on the promoters of Wakarusa? Right?

tourmaniac Wed 9/20/2006 07:38PM
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tourmaniac

Everyone will be able to address Brett directly about it on Friday afternoon: http://www2.ljworld.com/chats/2006/sep/22/brett_mosiman/

mr2bits starstarstarstar Wed 9/20/2006 08:04PM
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Overall, if people did as you suggested (though maybe not such a bad idea) there would simply be more arrests for underage drinking, public drunkeness, etc. Sadly, the only way to ensure the headline you dream of is for none of us to show up.

keithk1055 Wed 9/20/2006 08:29PM
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f..k kansas. and the pigs. festivals that arent on private property are not a good idea. it seems silly to even try it where the nazis have free reign. and even if it was on private property it sounds as though the kansas nazis will get ya on your way there. i think everyone should boycott wakarusa next year to send a message to other festivals that if ya screw us by luring us into police traps you will not be supported anymore and it will be the end of your festival. oh and by the way. the cops are nothing but a huge money making machine. these pigs have to bust harmless peace loving people so that they can pay themselves. they dont make money off of murders and rapes. in fact that stuff costs them money. not to mention its more dangerous for these cowards. they would rather bust peace loving out of state music lovers and fine them thousands upon thousands of dollars in fines and charges. they are all privacy invading thiefs and i hope karma does a number on all of them. and i say everyone should boycott wakarusa until its moved from public land to a private property where the cops cant come in. i know i wouldnt lure thousands of my brothers and sisters in the community to something i put together unless i had enough control over it to ensure basic rights. so since they are now "aware" of what the pigs surprised them with this year there is no excuse to have it happen again next year. MOVE IT TO PRIVATE PROPERTY!!!!!!! i like the legend valley idea. that place is very nice. although they had a group of 3 cops walking/atv'ing around the place. but they never did anything at anytime that i saw. get it onto private property and out of kansas!

FormulaOBX Thu 9/21/2006 06:08AM
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One festival I WILL NOT be attending next year.Thanks for the heads down.

overall Thu 9/21/2006 06:12AM
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overall

mr2bits raises a very valid point. Cops will probably keep showing up until there's nothing going on to bust people for.

Well, that or until festival owners get as smart as Coran Capshaw and hire an in-state power broker to co-promote their festivals and grease the skids of local and state authorities. It also helps to hand-select a conveniently accessable property that happens to sit in an impoverished community (with only 70 jail beds), willing to sign a deal with the devil to run interference in return for much-needed civic infrastructure revenue.

Look, cops are going to keep coming, whether Brett is running a festival in Lawrence, Ethan and Mr. Brown are doing their thing in Florida (on land OR sea), or the Walthers are tossing their party in West Virginia. Heck, they already caused Haymaker to shut down, and it looks like High Sierra may be a bit iffy for next year, as well.

ALL festivals of any signifcant size (and some that don't even draw 3000 people) either have or will have this same problem. So to suggest that people boycott a particular event is a bit silly. The cops would then win, as to them, it would mean that they've shut down one more 50,000-person crack house. High fives all around, boys.

And after they see that they can shut down a large festival in Kansas, simply by showing up with four cameras and scaring a few Chicken Little the-sky-is-falling hop heads, do you think they'll give up there? Hell no, because they'll be more confident and more intent on making all the dominos come down.

So before sounding the battle cry to crumble Wakarusa, give some thought to what that may bring about. And also ask yourself where you're going to go instead.

Seriously, "private property" doesn't mean squat, from a legal standpoint, when it's easy to demonstrate that the safety of thousands of people is at stake. And believe it or not, some people (and warrant-granting judges) actually perceive drugs and the criminal element they sometimes attract as being threats to public safety.

So please don't chime in with the "cops can't come on private property" junk, as it's wrong. They can and will. And if they don't, it tends to be by choice, as they can do just as much harm by setting up on streets and highways immediately outside the festival. Hell, Paul, the director of the "Down on the Farm" festival, got arrested in a group search on the freakin' dock of the JamCruise last year.

So where does that leave the state of our festivals? It's right back in our hands.

Unless and until we're able to police our own actions, take responsibility for our own choices, and act within the framework of the law, we're going to continue to see the cops find more effective ways to take our parties from us. And that means the big ones AND the small ones.

So unless we want to see the festivals go away, leaving us with nowhere else to gather but the dank basements of our mothers' houses, packed onto ratty old couches, listening to Allman Brothers' 8-tracks and smoking out of homemade bongs, we might want to think about something as simple as not showing up with anything that'll get us arrested.

Luthur Thu 9/21/2006 06:17AM
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Updated article. The State Park official now says he did not tell Mosiman (Waka Promoter) about the super spying.

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/sep/21/festival_promoter_unaware_spying/

jambandfan Thu 9/21/2006 06:32AM
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damn overall, you must be a preacher in your off time. plenty of fire and brimstone to go around (j/k). but seriously, it's not like 30,000 were arrested at wakarusa - i think i remember the tally to be somewhere around 200 or so. and in all 5 bonnaroos combined (that's damn near 500,000 people), not even 1,000 of those got arrested.

now, i'm not saying that the tactics used by the police were just or fair. i'm not supporting their actions. i'm simply saying that they (the boys in blue) don't really impede on our festivals all that much. i've yet to have one negative encounter with police at any single concert, show, or festival that i've attended - and that number is anything but small.

i guess what overall is saying is true - just be careful, and THINK! if you fuck up, it's on you; nobody else can be blamed for our own mistakes. but the problem i have in this whole saga is the fact that the guy running wakarusa pleads stupidity, when that simply is not the case. the guy knew what was going on, and it looks as though he played a large part in the setup of the whole thing. he's just looking out for his bottom line ($$$$), nothing more. i don't respect the actions of shady business men. just be truthful and say that you didn't want the sketchiness there, at least you couldn't be labeled as a liar. say your aim was a strictly "family friendly" atmosphere. that's how it is at the Monterey Bay reggae fest, they won't even let you smoke cigarettes, and that's their "thing", so people are cool with it and continue to come. just a bad situation all the way around, and if he doesn't change his tune, he'll be flat outta the festival business.

hippiehick Thu 9/21/2006 06:48AM
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A word about selective enforcement.
In some towns in the US we have heroin and crack problems and in some places we have meth problems. Unfortunately for the police...these people usually don't have any money. Arresting many of them causes the cities to spend money on them in jails while they sit waiting for hearings. Even if no jail time is given defendants have trouble paying any incurred court fees.
Not so with festival goers, here the police have an opportunity (fish in a barrel) to arrest people they know will have bail, fees, lawyers and most of all they are not violent suspects.
No one is saying smoking a joint is not against the law, it sure is bucko, I think what we are trying to say is America has bigger issues that need the fine police attention, peaceful gatherings to honor music should not be the highest priority on any given weekend.
Worst thing about this is the police flat out ruined any chance of Kansas ever making more money from Festivals, they made sure they will stay as poor and backwards as they always have been. I would like to say that the Kansas Police are keeping Kansas in the stoneage and the incredible amount or harm it will do to the residents and income could certainly not be worth all this great publicity.

milk Thu 9/21/2006 07:10AM
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Festivals work with the law enforcement hand in hand.
That way everyone makes money. The promoter is just as much swine as the police. Its all about the money ya'll.
If you wanna listen to live music stay home and buy the CD,its cheaper then jail.

overall Thu 9/21/2006 07:19AM
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overall

Well said about the personal responsibility stuff, Bleezy. But a new article in today's Lawrence World-Journal shows the original info source, the park manager, recanting his story about having told Brett Mosiman anything ahead of time about cameras.

Instead, this picnic basket guard now says he's pretty sure he told something "in passing" to Brett's partner. And Brett's partner says this was a 20-second conversation, held two days before the festival, in which the park manager said something about surveillance activity, but mentioned nothing about cameras or taping.

BTW, today's article sites only 80 arrests at this year's Wakarusa. And weren't there more than 15,000 daily attendees? That's what local officials say was the daily cap held to by the promoters. So fewer than one-half of one percent of attendees got arrested.

For four cameras, costing over $250,000, that supposedly were able to cover 85% of the grounds, their effectiveness certainly seems to leave significant room for improvement and little reason for rational fear.

Frankly, as a fan of smaller festivals, and a witness to what's happened with cops at those gatherings of late, I'd welcome an opportunity to attend an event that only presents a .5% arrest rate.

Hell, THAT'S what Wakarusa should tell ticket buyers. Not that cameras are onsite, but that only one in every 187.5 people got arrested this past year. That would make Lawrence a "safe haven" compared to just about any other host city.

Teabagger star Thu 9/21/2006 07:39AM
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Teabagger

To overall -- It's obvious you were not there. It was a total police state. Many many more folks were harassed, fined, ejected, and had items confiscated than were arrested.

To bleezy -- It's obvious you were not there. You think the "boys in blue don't really impede on our festivals all that much"? How about driving ATVs through the concert grounds during the shows? How about bum rushing a group of people because someone lit a cigarette? How about chasing people through a peaceful crowd knocking over unsuspecting patrons?

All of these things happended. And much more. It was an absolute disgrace. Someone was almost had their wristband cut for throwing a water baloon, in 98 degree heat! Others were yelled at for misting water at crowds because "it could contain something other than water".

All of these heavy handed tactics were used on our peaceful community. And that says nothing of the cameras recording our every move or the roadblocks set up as "safety checks" on the way in.

This festival had some great bands, but it had the absolute worst vibe I've ever seen.

Based on my personal experience, I would never attend again, no matter what assurances I received from the promoters. My wife and I spent over $1000 traveling to and attending that festival. The majority of that was spent in Kansas. The state of Kansas made it perfectly clear that weekend that I was not welcome. I'll make sure to stay away from now on and never spend another dime in their (police) state.

greatful71 Thu 9/21/2006 07:42AM
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"If you wanna listen to live music stay home and buy the CD,its cheaper then jail."

Just don't go with an intention to buy or sell drugs....and be discreet if you need to do something that "the man" frowns upon...

I've never been to Wakarusa...and I don't know that I plan to, but this comment is silly...folks need to grow up and act like adults...you can be a little spun if you like...just keep yourself under control and you will have a great time...so will those around you...and you won't play into the games that give our scene a bad rap.

jambandfan Thu 9/21/2006 08:09AM
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teabag, read the thread and see my first post before you talk to me. here, i'll quote myself and make it easy for you, "and to the ones saying that those unfortunate people who got harrased, humiliated, and violated - shame on you. educate yourself on the actions of the kansas law enforcement [that weekend] before you cast any judgement".

and i will repeat the statement of mine that you quoted, "the boys in blue don't really impede on our festivals all that much." we don't live in amsterdam, and even if we did, police would be a presence there as well. it's the police, what do you expect. Wakarusa is the 1% not included in "all that much". that doesn't happen at EVERY festival in this country, this year it happened at one, wakarusa. unfortunate, yes. uncalled for, yes. a commonality, no way.

futhepharmer star Thu 9/21/2006 08:20AM
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futhepharmer

face it people. Waka's dead. you can't even move it somewhere else, cuz the name Wakarusa ia soiled. Everyone I've talked to (and thats a lot of people over the summer) are hard-core festy goers that say they will NOT go back.
Now the park manager, promoter, lawrence KA officials, are all backpedaling cause they realize just how much money they WONT make next year. that'a right good people of Lawrence Kansas, no more christmas in July for you. Yes, us hippies generate a whole LOT of money that gets spent in your little towns. Now, the good people of Lawrence KA need to get mad and vote out anyone who had anything to do with this law enforcement fiasco. Thanks to the high visibility of Bonaroo, the whole festy scene is deteriorating. undercovers and FBI were even at moe.down this year and even raided a dayglo bus on sunday, thinking that they were getting an lsd kingpin, which they didn't cause what kind of kingpin would travel around in a dayglo bus? at least they're not very intelligent without their expensive devices. goodbye Waka! you will never be able to sell enough tickets to pay your talent again

itspitpat1 star Thu 9/21/2006 09:22AM
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UPDATE for those following the story:
http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/sep/21/festival_promoter_unaware_spying/?city_local

yeah, so "Schecher now says that, upon further thought, he didn’t recall speaking to Mosiman personally about the cameras. But Schecher said he was certain he told Mosiman’s partner in the festival, Nate Prenger, about the cameras roughly a month before the festival while the two were at the park together.

“I just kind of mentioned to him in passing,” Schecher said.

Prenger said he remembers Schecher saying something about “surveillance activity” a day or two before the festival or just as it was starting, but only briefly. He said he didn’t recall Schecher saying anything specifically about cameras.

“It was presented in such a manner that I didn’t suspect that it was anything that would violate people’s privacy,” Prenger said. “I did not know they were taping things. I did not know the extent of the operation. It was literally a 20- to 30-second conversation.”

ranger cletus needs to get his story straight, yesterday they knew a month advance, now it's "i told them in passing". booooooooooo!

adamlangolf starstarstarstar Thu 9/21/2006 10:50AM
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I AM SO SICK OF IGNORANT HIPPIES AND THEIR BAD ATTITUDES. I love the music and love GOOD PEOPLE with a positive outlook. But trustafarians and custies alike we need to look for the good. Wakarusa was amazing...and if your drug habits don't outweigh your MUSIC APPRECIATION...AND YOU WEREN'T AMONG THE FEW MISFORTUNATE EVENTS..then you had an awesome time. I myself am somewhere in the middle of this scene. I got into because of Phish(roughly 40 shows). I am now a parent trying to be responsible and still catch some shows. Music is not the only thing that matters and this is coming from someone who spends 3 hours a night writing Electronic beats and writing acoustic guitar songs. I love ALO, Jack, Keller, Spearhead STS9, Pnuma and countless "jambands". I met so many good people at Wakarusa. I had the time of my life. 5 days without kids for the first time in 3 years and I was very appreciative. I attend the 1st and 4th Bonnaroo and Wakarusa is so much better of a festival. With trees..a lake..very close camping...I saw so much more music then I ever would at Bonnaroo and still enjoyed recreational activities. I am moving to Seattle, WA from Indianapolis, IN in April but was definitely planning on coming back. Seriously...Brett is trying to save face and is probably crushed to not throw Wakarusa next year. I really enjoyed Lawrence..it may not be mountains but it was really cool and the organic grocery there is nice. I am just so frustrated with you kids concerned about being "heady" or people trying to keep other people from supporting Wakarusa because you've talked to some serious "festy goers". Your terminology is lame and your unneccessary coaxing is bad. Try working your butt off in this "scene" an inch at a time...experiencing your favorite band calling it quits ....growing up...and still listening to people complain about something they know nothing about.Throw your own festival whiners. Congrats to Brett. Sorry about the cops. I'll be back though. Peace, Adam Langolf

gambit starstarstarstarstar Thu 9/21/2006 10:55AM
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first I was not at this fest. but I have read every post to this and all I can conclude is that you all need to stop the blame game and take responsibility for your own actions, Its just easy to place blame then to assume it. would it have mattered if the promoter told every person that came thru the gate about the cameras and pigs. NO. the dealers would’ve still dealt and buyers would still buy. we all know the law so lets get a lot smarter about your goings on because the PIGS sure are. I live in the Midwest and they will lock you down for 2 years for a gram of pot depending on what county you are in and I'm sure its that way in every state so lets stop the Kanses hate because only our votes will change things. Rights are rights but a wrong is a wrong. my point assume someone is watching you at all times and be aware of your surroundings (paranoia can be your best friend)

joeyricecakes Thu 9/21/2006 10:59AM
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unlike some other festivals, Wakarusa is held on PUBLIC property, thats right, a public state park. So...unfortunately there can be as many cops as they want, and they can do and use whatever technology they want. It's that simple.

clasbrown Thu 9/21/2006 11:00AM
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teabagger isn't exaggerating, it was out and out harrassment and it was everywhere all the time. though far and away the ugliest i've ever seen a festy get, don't kid yourself about the percentage of arrests or about wakarusa being some anomaly. this has been a growing unfortunate trend for the last few years. think of high sierra, small, seminal, and california's best festival. forced to put a section on personal rights from the aclu on the back of their festy program. sounds like they'll be looking for greener pastures. hard to believe considering what they've given that community and the fact that we're talking about nor-cal not kansas.

cubzfan18 Thu 9/21/2006 11:14AM
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everyone that keeps making this a political thing:
#1: Drugs are illegal.
#2: You have no Constitutional rights when you pay money and are dealing with a private entity like Wakarusa. You throw them away when you pay money to go there and see the band.

blower starstarstarstar Thu 9/21/2006 11:36AM
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I'm sorry, but hiring a bunch of cops to provide saftey for a bunch of peaceful people is a joke not to be taken seriously. Cops are the only threat I have ever felt at a hippie fest. I don't buy it. The promoters had to know what was coming. At the same time they are bieng blackmailed by local sheriffs, what can they do?

The High Sierra is a perfect example. The cops are totally cool with local punks jumping the fence and stealing from the festifarians. Yet they randomly search vehicles, and force sobriety tests for drunk people walking in the fest.They have gotten worse and worse and are in direct violation of their contract. It is just the local Sheriff bieng assholes, not a wide spread epidemic in California. I hope they move the fest this year to punish the sheriff.

I can only imagine that it is ten times worse in a place like Kansas. Video camaras? WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO OUR CONSTITUTION, REMEMBER THE BILL OF RIGHTS? They must not be teaching civics in our public education system anymore.
That is harrasment not a personal responsibility issue like some of you want to pretend. This is a breach of the US constitution. I have a real job, a family, pay my taxes.etc...When I go to a fest I want to party. When I go see the same bands at my local club I don't get harrassed by the pigs. Why should I accept it at a high priced festival? It is not in accordance with our laws to put camaras in public places to monitor innocent people. If they do they better damn well produce a warrant and proable cause to arrest me. I am sure they do this type of crap in minority only communities and it is just as wrong and just as illegal. Just because you are a hippy does not make illegal searches acceptable.

There is no way I will spend any money Kansas or any other backward ass conservative community unless I absolutley have to. I only see two ways to combat this. First, get the local community mad at the cops by cutting off their money. Cancel the fest for a year or move it elsewhere. The local economy will suffer and the people will not be happy. Secondly, festivals must hire legal observers to monitor the cops. They can provide legal support and document all illegal activities undertaken by the cops. If the local Sherriff was hit with large class action lawsuits, due to their behavior they would change.

cliftonhanger420 starstarstar Thu 9/21/2006 11:43AM
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They should move the festival to western new york, we have lots of open farm land here. the laws are a little more loose in the state of new york than kansas. i read in one of the comments that you could do 2 years for a gram of pot in certain counties of kansas. that's bunk! it sounds a little bit like Texas. in new york, an oz or less is a misdemeanor. i'm a parent of two that grew up after going to numerous shows, just like adamlangolf, but i don't like the comments about ignorant hippies. if your children are with you than be responsible, but i also believe in freedoms. "When Freedom Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Are Free". Between the Grateful Dead and family + Phish, I've been to well over 100 shows, plus many other great concerts (some jam bands and some not) i would not want to waste my money to be harrassed by the police. i would want to party as hard as i feel like it without having to constantly look over my shoulder (as long as i'm not hurting anyone) Buckeye Lake in Hebron, Ohio always partied till dawn and never had to move my car, with no police is sight and it was always peaceful. Phish put on some great festivals with very little police presence and it raged (Limestone, Plattsburgh, Big Cypress). I think they need to find another place to hold the festival, especially if Kansas has that tight of an ass. I think if all those cops took a break and smoked a phatty, maybe they wouldn't have to be such pricks. that's my $.02. peace.

spaceface7 star Thu 9/21/2006 12:02PM
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I guess the real question is; How many of ya'll are going back? Me and a few buddies drove 18 hours from western new york to be there and the music from 11am till 7am was amazing. But I think the only way I'd be going back is if they had claypool, umphreys, biscuits, and cheese. Just keep smart and (for this fest) stay the hell away from shakedown. And please stop saying things that shouldn't be said on the online I think that's half the problem (they are watching!!)

vida421 Thu 9/21/2006 03:11PM
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vida421

The music and offen the musians are fueled by drugs at one point or another. This was a crack down, not law enforcement...and its very political.

melkava8 starstarstarstarstar Thu 9/21/2006 05:00PM
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melkava8

Dispite all this negative publicity, every person I know that has been to Wakarusa has had the best time! I am still upset I didn't get to go both years! And when it happens again I will be there! The name is not soiled, if you've kept up with the press and not stopped reading after the first public article you will see that this was something the promoters had not really been made completely aware of. Yes they were made aware of police presence and “surveillance activity” but this happens at every festival, everywhere. Give these promoters a break, it wasn't them out there arresting people, it was the cops. And what have cops always done to hippies... I can think of 100's of stories off the top of my head about many of my friends whose rights have been violated over our years of attending events like this. The lesson we should all learn here is not to say "f*ck wakarusa" but to be safe, if you're going to do what could get you in trouble do it on the damn DL. The days of true shakedowns are over people. Even back in the phish days, undercovers busted people left and right on shakedown. Promoters like those who put on Wakarusa are in it to bring us together centered around our love for music. Lets not forget that. It's about the music. And lastly, I completely respect that Brett has made this public announcement AND that he is making himself available to discuss this. That takes a good person who cares about their fanbase.

hks1986 starstarstar Thu 9/21/2006 06:57PM
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Just imagine this guys... I'm from MS & went to Wakarusa for my second time this year! I can't tell y'all enough how much fun it was for me! I didn't take any crazy drugs all festival long, wanted to when my friends were, but for some reason i felt like trying it out in a different perspective, for a change. Not to offend anyone or sound cheesy, but i had more fun without the stuff. Wakarusa is a beautiful place, that will always be etched in my mind for so many reasons. I recommend to anyone that goes to try it this way, it really is just as awesome. I hate so many people got into trouble, but we can't let it hold us back now....can we? really can't stand the cops and they're agenda but i never saw any when i was groovin' at the shows... Maybe next year we'll all hide our stuff a little better, alright...? Also i can't thank enough everyone who put on the festival, from the top to the bottom. Y'all amaze me each year, so don't stop. And in closure, I entered a raffle near the Revival/Voodoo stage for 2 VIP tickets and the second i got back home i had a message saying i had won!!! It was PHREAKIN AWESOME FEELING!! I couldn't believe the luck!!! So take it for what it's worth friends, could it be a karma thing...? I truly believe so.. Wakarusa was great and so were the people there: bands, people, volunteers, etc. don't let a few bad apples, bad vibes (not saying the people who got arrested because i could have been right there with yall, but just saying in general) spoil the whole bunch guys. Oh yeah and 10klf was trully out of sight!! I had a fantastic summer and Wakarusa made it happen!!
Keep on Going, Trucking, etc...
This festival deserves to be around for a while and we all know it. Can't wait to see who'll be there next year... I'm sure there will be some surprises.
Peace, Love, and the spirit of what it's all about. But, i can't leave out hope and faith.
Holla

rmbray Thu 9/21/2006 07:24PM
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To Adam Langolf:
Do you think deep thoughts? Do you ever get into the groove of a song. Do you ever think about what happens after you die? THAT'S being heady, dude. It has nothing to do with drugs at all, but drugs (certain ones) do expand or visions and thoughts and let us see things we might not otherwise experience in this life. Anyway, about being responsible, I bet you'll turn into one of those hippocrite parents who drugtests their kids because they want to be "responsible." Well enough said..this ignorant hippie has to go back to scratchin his balls cuz ignorant people have nothing better to do.

greengrass Thu 9/21/2006 09:56PM
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greengrass

you fools kill me...be smarter than these idiots..its not hard to use Jedi mind tricks to keep the "criminal justice" former 3rd string tackle dummies of your ass...you just gotta know how to play the game..yes the Wakarusa festival sucked..the promoters treated the bands like shit, and there was no food or drinks of any sort provided for the artists, much less anybody who knew what the hell they were doing(stage hands/managers..mostly anyone who pretended to be working).it is obvious this failure of a fest will never happen again...sparing everyone the misery of that hell on earth..lets hope that the so called "promoters" made a little blood money, they will soon sink into oblivion.. but dont think for one minute these promoters didnt know about the police tactics..It was such a joke compared to a real festival..the rookie promoters were probably just praying no one would die...they just forgot to grease the right palms...you people have no idea how much you are lied to everyday by people you trust...quit yer crying , and never mention this debacle again.. the whole thing was such a joke...200 people for Shooter Jennings?? c mon!!

hippiehick Fri 9/22/2006 01:28AM
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TO ADAM LANGOFF:
It is your intolerance that mirrors the Kansa Police perfectly. It is people like you we need to look out for. Stop trtying to convince people that you are that dumb. We don't need to use these comments to oint out how little education you have, and we cerrtainly don't need to use these comments to prove that you missed the point so far 99% of readers laughed. PS Adam, I did start my own festival on private property but we stil have no way of preventing ignorant intolerant people lie yourself from buying tickets.

overall Fri 9/22/2006 05:55AM
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overall

OK. Here's one of those "The emporer has no clothes" shout outs for everyone to throw discussion darts at...

The last time I flew, I literally had to unzip my pants, right there in the middle of the concourse, and open the right side of my fly, then the left, so that a security cop could see I had nothing but Mr. Happy in there. And this is while I had a completely clean-shaven face, I wore khakis and a polo shirt, and I was travelling with my wife, my daughter and my mother to Orlando.

I was horrified by this treatment and I was irate. But if I didn't submit, I'd have to skip my vacation.

Did I place the blame for this situation on the security guards? No. I knew they were simply following orders. But I sure as hell stewed for quite some time over the true root cause of the problem. And that was the "lifestyle choices" of the religious and political zealots who blindly carried out orders to down the 9-11 planes.

Just like the Saudi hijackers are directly to blame for our having to show up at airports an hour earlier and stand around in our socked-feet like refugees, selfish drug users are to blame for our having to live with the increasing presence and the associated actions of zealous police at music festivals.

So you can whine about police and your horribly inaccurate (and impossible-to-prove) assessment of Constitutional rights as much as you'd like. But the fact remains...the ONLY reason cops are at our festivals is because people bring drugs to our festivals.

Instead of blaming the sheriff's deputies, or the local cops, or the state patrol, or private security, or the state, or Brett, or the park manager, or the company that wanted to alpha-test their surveillance equipment, or the people of Lawrence for stepping on everyone's buzz at Wakarusa, realize that the true culprit is the guy passing you a phatty in the crowd.

The emporer has no clothes, folks. But he IS holding a sack of kyndbud if you want to duck around that tent over there.

BlowsAgainsttheEmpire starstarstar Fri 9/22/2006 06:39AM
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BlowsAgainsttheEmpire

Ah, Kansas, one of the states in the USA that takes DNA samples from citizens accused of a crime or arrested for a crime but not CONVICTED of a crime. I'm sure they'd like nothing more than to swab you. Read the below.

BTW, I was not at this event. The cameras ARE a privacy violation regardless of what is or is not currently on the law books. And people DON'T have to take it. They will fight back. I do not believe the festival promoters and their PR spin, liars. Police liars. Look whats happening out on the streets. Indeed. Then do something about it.

http://www.stateline.org/live/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=136&languageId=1&contentId=129960

http://www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-statutes/getStatuteFile.do?number=/21-2511.html

toeknee420 Fri 9/22/2006 09:16AM
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toeknee420

Wow. I guess the meaning of the a two party system in Kansas is the KKK and the Nazi's. What's next? The door to door forced removal of Heads? Freedom or saftey, one must be sacraficed for the other. But this is rediculous. How many people were killed or raped in Kansas those days? Thats the tragedy. They could have taken that man power and saved some lives instead of fucking around making us pay fines to feed their machine. It's a shame. I heard many good things about the vibes out there, but now I'll make sure that whenever I'm going cross country, I'll avoid Kansas all together.

andrewe843 starstarstarstarstar Fri 9/22/2006 10:04AM
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Wakarusa was a fantastic event with tons of great music and great people. (Plus extreme heat). However we did experience an incident in which we felt we were wrongly made an example of although we were not arrested or ticketed like many others. Early in the morning, not bothering anyone we were approached by a bike cop and had stuff seized from us, a shaking experience on the last day that we tried not to let damper our otherwise excellent experience, Wakarusa still was one of the best festivals i went to this summer.

tourmaniac Fri 9/22/2006 10:25AM
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tourmaniac

"the promoters treated the bands like shit, and there was no food or drinks of any sort provided for the artists, much less anybody who knew what the hell they were doing (stage hands/managers..mostly anyone who pretended to be working)"

Any band that played any of the main stages had access to all that you speak of above, plus more. People that play the open-mic stage don't get free beer, sorry brah.

BlowsAgainsttheEmpire starstarstar Fri 9/22/2006 10:35AM
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BlowsAgainsttheEmpire

And I wonder if the company that 'loaned' the cameras in use at Wakarusa is the same company that is manufacturing the below that United States Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne believes he has the right to test on American taxpaying citizens?

Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2006 10:40 a.m. EDT

Air Force: Test Weapons to Microwave Mobs

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/9/13/104359.shtml

cellacapella Fri 9/22/2006 12:27PM
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cellacapella

Ok-- Wakarusa was bad.. but I think that High Sierra Music fest this year was just as bad.. My brother in-law was hassled by the cops there for simply looking too happy.. He was jogging along with a water jug and singing and the police stopped him and searched him..good thing he didnt have anything on him at the time!! And many of my friends were arrested for public intox-- we are at a festival!!! Drinkin' is a given!! There were also drug dogs roaming the camp grounds and insane random searches.. I think we should make it clear to the locals that we are there to have a good time, and there to contribute to their economy!! HSMF happens in a little town of Quincy, and during the festival..our people spend ALOT of money there!! All I gotta say to the cops is..CHILL, MAN!!! We arent hurting anybody..just trying to have a good time!!! It just sucks to have people with guns running around in the mix with us..is it really neccessary??? Hoe the issue is solved and our festiville can thrive in peace...

BlowsAgainsttheEmpire starstarstar Fri 9/22/2006 12:50PM
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BlowsAgainsttheEmpire

Ah, California, where HMSF takes place, also one of the states in the USA that takes DNA samples from citizens accused of a crime or arrested for a crime but not CONVICTED of a crime. Not cool. Read on: http://www.stateline.org/live/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=136&languageId=1&contentId=129960

vida421 Fri 9/22/2006 01:17PM
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vida421

I myself am not pro-drug, but I am pro-right to be left the f alone. If a person isn't bothering any one else, let it go. Don't mess up there whole life. Sounds like some of you are happy that people are going to jail for stupid sxxt. There are molesters and murders that do less time then some drug users. Get a clue.FREEDOM, look it up.

EVILFUNK starstarstarstarstar Fri 9/22/2006 01:41PM
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EVILFUNK

this is exactly what i would say in the position of the promoter. i have been avoiding (boycoting) high sierra for a few years over this kind of stuff. i wish they would take a stand against the police or moove the event to booneville...or do somthing for gods sake! its like high sierra doesent care what happens to heads when we risk our asses by attending thier festival(supporting thier festival). untill high sierra makes a move to deal with this as wakarussa is here, i will not show at high sierra! too bad, they hire awesome bands!

as for wakarusa - props for telling it like it is! props for pulling the plug if you cant fix this! i hate to let the bastards win but it must hurt you to throw us this awesome fest and have this bullshit happen. if you were bigtime high rolling showbiz assholes you would have 'stable security' and other defenses against this that could be bought...but you are not bigshots, you are fans trying to share with other fans. you dont deserve this!

props to fans starting bands, websites and festivals - this is a big part of what makes this culture! thank you for doing your best. now that the man is trying to copy our culture and make a quick buck (FUCK BONNEROO)the real product stands out!

fuck cops! they should all quit their little gang and get jobs! or at least go back to shooting prarrie dogs or whatever kansas does in its spare time. stop ficking with hippies! go home! tunr off your little cop tvs and make love to your little cop whives! when you are done put in your favorite elvis record and smoke a fatty. after all of that sex, drugs and rock and roll see if you still feel like harassing hippies! id be suprised if you did! you know, in my part of the world we make our police work! actually keep peace. i can see one oput my window right now, she is not harassing anyone! she is WORKING! try it you lazy kansas pigs!

tourmaniac Fri 9/22/2006 02:36PM
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tourmaniac

From an online chat with Brett earlier today...

Moderator: Welcome Brett Mosiman,organizer of the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival.

Brett Mosiman: I'd like to thank the LJW for the opportunity to chat.

The_Original_Bob: Brett - Good afternoon. The one question that would clear up doubt in my mind... When did you know about the high tech spying equpiment? During the Festival, sometime after, or when you read about it a few days ago in the LJWorld? I will take as word that you had no prior knowledge.

Brett Mosiman: I personally found out about the hitech surveillance stuff when I read the article last friday. I'd like to say though that we feel we should take responsibility for the everything that happens at Wakarusa. We will work hard to be involved more in these areas in the future. We see ourselves as stewards of a great event and take that very seriously.

alm77: I have two quesions for Brett. First, have you considered holding the festival on private property and hiring a security company like Bonaroo and Phish's end-of-tour festivals? Secondly, what are your plans to gain the trust and interest of fans once again?

Brett Mosiman: We have considered other sites and private sites but I'd like to point out that Wakarusa became the second or third biggest camping festival at this site for a reason. It's a great great site and our first choice is to work thru these issues with the folks who had the vision to let it happen in the first place. We have also been working on our own securrity plan and that may very well include new security companies and procedures. We hope by communicating directly with the fans they'll know we always have their interest at heart. It's why we are.

Wakarusasucks: Not one person on the festival staff saw the police or someone else installing these hidden cameras at the site in the days/weeks leading up to the fest?

Brett Mosiman: Actually there is so much going on I don't think that seems as far fetched as it seems. When we found out about the security trailer - we all had seen it, I thought it was a communication post that I had been told about from KDOT and one of our staff thought it was a Lawrence Freenet post. So it didn't occur to us to look for cameras or shadow the Law enforcement officials. We have learned a lot from this experience and hope to continue to get better at what we do.

Wakarusasucks: when did it "quickly become apparent that law enforcement's primary mission wasn't the safety of the festival goers?"

Brett Mosiman: I should give some backround. We had found graffiti and the law enforcement officials had found cash and vehicles after year two. So the park and the festival concurred that increased enforcement was in order to make the festival safer/and more fun in the long run. Had we not made that determination the festival would have ended period. We still support the mission of getting rid of illegal profiteers. What we may have uncovered is that we differ on the methods. We hope to come to a reasonable compromise on that issue. In looking back, I think we would have been much better served to notify everyone that there were surveillance throughout the park and that would have accomplished the mission of chasing away the profiteers. Law enforcement chose to follow a different path.

planetwax: Brett, It seems you've bitten the hand that feeds you. Knowledge about the equipment used on the grounds gives me a sick feeling for everyone, regardless of any criminal intent. You've become "big brother" watching over us and using our music as a way of character profiling our behavior. You can rationalize spying on your neighbors all you want, but we know it's really about your bottom line. Part of the problem is that concert-goers are willing to be subjected to such rude treatment. Pay over a hundred dollars for a weekend show and then submit to being searched. We LET this happen.

Brett Mosiman: First, I despise profiling - which I think went on here to an extent. Second, we didn't use or condone the use of the equipment. I have stated before that I think it was unecessary nor justified. Keep in mind that we do this at the pleasure of the park and they too feel like we have bitten the hand that feeds. We walk a tight rope to keep all parties happy. This clearly did not help our bottom line. I also point out that you or anyone else hasn't been to an outdoor ampitheater without getting your purse, blanket or backpack searched for the last couple of decades.

DB: The fifteenth item in the Kansas Bill of Rights states that, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons and property against unreasonable searches and seizures shall be inviolate; and no warrant shall issue but on probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or property to be seized. " My question is this: In your opinion, Mr. Mosiman, were these rights upheld by the overbearing police force during Wakarusa?

Brett Mosiman: I am not a lawyer. I do not know if legal rights were broken. I do know that for most Americans actions like this don't sit well and don't pass the smell test. This is a societal issue and if you are uncomffortable with these kind of things -0 don't complain about it, do something about it. Write, vote and raise hell.

Wheat_Thin: Is there any way, realistically, for fans to come from out-of-state and assure they won't be 'profiled' on the way in?

Brett Mosiman: I have to admit that law enforcement around the country has deemed that you and these festivals are "low hanging fruit." The good news is that after 5 days, hundreds of officers and lots of equipment; I am unaware of any major cash siezures or felony convictions. Bottom line, they figured out that this is a calm, peaceful courteous crowd that is there to have a great time not break the laws or ruin society. Answer, I would think LE would move to greener pastures like people who hurt others.

The_Original_Bob: Waka takes a lot of planning. Have you started planning for next year and if so, how has this affected your plans?

Brett Mosiman: We actually have notes throughout the event for the following year. We have been in planning since. This controversy has been a distraction but we hope it hasn't hindered what should be an incredible event next year.

oldgoof: Has the Kansas Highway Patrol yet responded to the Open Records Request detailing the amounts spent on this drug dragnet?

Brett Mosiman: I am totally unfamiliar with this issue. Don't know.

bluzbill: Brett - it became apparent that the state park's "no glass" policy was being abused by law enforcement officers to confiscate glass ware from vendors. Why was this allowed to happen? I am sure that every other weekend of the year that just means no bottles. Did you not have any control over what was happening on-site?

Brett Mosiman: Actually no we didn't have much say there. The park and law enforcement makes the decisions on what priorities they will key on. I do think that unlicensed vending was a key issue for the park and the glass issue had more to do with that. This is an area we hope to visit with officials about. I think there can be a compromise here. We get visitors from all 50 staes and many are not aware of some of the special nuances of the rules they will face.

tourmaniac Fri 9/22/2006 02:36PM
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tourmaniac

Second half of the conversation, scroll down to read the first half...

logrithmic: According to the Lawrence Journal World article of June 12, titled “Police Presence Dampened Festival Campers Say,” your spokesperson, Heather Lofflin, was aware of the “heavy police presence,” and said “we have to support the police… the police have been here for people in trouble as well….” She went on to say that instead of focusing on the police, people “should be focusing on the music.” Interesting that you now claim to have been unaware of this “heavy police presence.” Also I'm aware that TV and newspaper reports pointed this "heavy police presence" out. Please explain how you could be unaware.

Brett Mosiman: There has been several attempts to clarify that we did know of increased law enforcement presence. In fact, we supported that and have said so throughout. We simply did not know of their methods. We had no idea they were privy to this free technology. We didn't see it because we weren't looking for it.

WAKA06_Survivor: Have any sponsors pulled out of the next festival? Also have any artist expressed to you that they will not play the festival in '07?

Brett Mosiman: No this has not effected either of those areas and hopefully it won't. We look at the sponsors as partners and there are lots of great things planned for the future like a sustainability village and speakers on conservation etc. They support these kind of things. As for bands, Wakarusa is a special event for them to play to their fans in a unique environment and that won't change. We like to say, Wakarusa is a festival for music fans by music fans and we think that gives it a very different feel from most events.

jackl2400: Can the police point to any instance where the high-tech equipment solved a crime of violence of the festival that we would all agree is a crime and would have justified such surveillance, such as people stealing from other folk's tents or cars? Or was it all just about cracking down on victimless crime like drug sales and use?

Brett Mosiman: I am not personally aware of any instances such as you speak. Could have happened but I am unaware. I also understand that none of the surveillance has been used in any prosecutions either.

TheRealDecider: Would you care to go on record and tell everyone how much you profited on this year's festival?

Brett Mosiman: The festival was profitable this year and we are very proud of that. We lost several hundred thousnad dollars our first year but it was apparent that Wakarusa was a very special event that deserved to continue. We think that today.

Noweigh: Brett, The Wakarusa Festival is another reason Lawrence is such a popular draw for tourists and visitors from all across the country. Please respond with the economic impact the festival has for local merchants. The chamber of commerce should be all over this. Doing business in Lawrence is tough enough already. Wakarusa Festival seems to be a real help to merchants in a tough market.

Brett Mosiman: Wakarusa did fill the hotel rooms in town and does obviously have a multi-million dollar impoact on the whole KS economy. Further, it benefits dozens of charity and NFP organizations. It is without a doubt a great event for Lawrence and KS.

Wheat_Thin: Have you thought about taking '07 off? (One of the major UK festivals does this). Would this allow time for a thorough examination of what went wrong this year and for the park and community to realize the potential loss of income?

Brett Mosiman: Great question. We have discussed moving, moving to private land, moving from KS, and taking time off. Our desire is to work with the officials in the state that have had the vision to give Wakarusa a great home. If that for some reason doesn't go well, then we will investigate all of the above. Hopefully the support in the community will allow for leaders & politicians to realize what they would be turning their back on.

Moderator: Thanks to Brett Mosiman for chatting. Any final thoughts on the festival, Brett?

Brett Mosiman: I thank everyone for their questions and for caring. Wakarusa became one of the country's three largest camping festivals by doing a lot of things right. The learning curve is steep when you become that popular that quickly. We feel as if we are constantly learning and work hard to make Wakarusa a better experience each year. We thank everyone for their support and understanding as we continue to work toward fixing our mistakes and getting better at what we do.

BlowsAgainsttheEmpire Sat 9/23/2006 04:28AM
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BlowsAgainsttheEmpire

The link for this story WAS on the homepage between the STS9 and Gregg Allman articles and now one must click 'Newswire' and then its the second article link from the top. Yet the other article links that were on the homepage at the time this one was up there are still up there and in the same order.

Hmmm . . .

Why was this taken off of the main page?

greengrass Sat 9/23/2006 09:34AM
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greengrass

Wakarusa..translation=whiney hippie..Look when you enter a festival/concert, especially one held on "public property"..you are surrendering your rights according to what is written on the back of your ticket(very small print)..which would say something like"by entering this fest/ the powers that be have the right to throw you out, search you, whatever they want"..so why do you act surprised that they cops would pull this type of bust??
its as easy as shooting fish in a barrel...do you people really think that the promoters didnt know about this??" you must get all your info from Fox News..they would never lie to us!! Next time have your mommy pack your nugs or molly for you, that way the mean ol policeman cant find it!! its time people take responsibility for yourselves, and quit blaming the cops for ruining the wakarusa fest..
And in response to "tourmaniac" , from the moment we pulled in the gate, we couldnt find one person who knew what was going on, much less point to anyone who could...the stagehands( i use that term loosely) were so disorganized and spun, it was obvious that this was a disaster in the making...and as far as the food/beverage provided fot the artists, there was none...none..
I recall seeing a bowl of cheetos on a table backstage..surrounded by people who were supposedly "working" standidng around swilling keg beer..
its obvious 'tourmaniac" is in cahoots with the fest organizers, so think before you bro brah me dude...you may not know what your talking about...there was no food provided, at all, and thats fine, but at least tell the artists/bands/crew BEFORE you get to the gates, so you can bring extra money to buy food from the vendors..its as simple as that...its obvious that the whole thing was a failure waiting to happen, and the promoters got caught with their pants down...And in response to whether bands would not want to come back...I know several who wouldnt touch that one again...it was such a joke from the word go, and it was admitted that there was a hefty profit made...making it even more hard to beleive the promoters didnt know about the tactics being used by the cops...maybe the cops greases the promoters palms, in exchange for the cameras...as a matter of fact, why dont some of you who were busted ask the promoters if they would pay your fine?? after all they admitted a healthy profit..so put your money where your mouth is, and if it is a fest"for the people, by the people, thats what we are," then help out your target audience by slippin them a few bucks to pay their fine....Anyone agree with that??
Take your heads out of your asses and join the real world..concert promoter do this for one reason"TO MAKE A PROFIT"...bottom line...you would be crazy to hold this mess of a fest in kansass again....face it you were lied to, and the ticket buying fans were the ones who got screwed...karma is gonna get ya....

vida421 Sat 9/23/2006 10:59AM
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vida421

wouldn't have been easier to give us a link to this rather than hog the whole board with your cut and paste job?

vida421 Sat 9/23/2006 11:00AM
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vida421

wouldn't it

futhepharmer star Sat 9/23/2006 01:42PM
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futhepharmer

actually, when Brett says that he doesn't think this will affect his ability to attract talent, he's wrong. These bands that we all love ARE us. They used to be us. they still are us. Rest assured, they are watching and listening to this issue with full attention. They aren't likely to book a prime summer date if they think the event will be cancelled due to low ticket sales. Also, I'm sure most of them are horrified as much as we are. Give it up folks, there will be NO Waka next year

itspitpat1 Mon 9/25/2006 12:14PM
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greengrass is angry over what? that there was no food provided for the side stages? i have lots of friends in lots of bands and sometimes there are refreshments for the side stages acts and sometimes there isn't. the idea of side stage is for bands to get EXPOSURE, not to make money and munch on a free buffet. just my .02

spacer0ne Mon 9/25/2006 12:57PM
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this all happened because of what went down with Abort last year '05. now he's facing some major time. poor guy. any of us that know him should fold their fucking hands together and pray that the federal gov't shows the kid some leiniency. lord knows he's gone through a lot. peace to the PNW.

spacer0ne Mon 9/25/2006 01:01PM
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oh yeah you might as well add summercamp to this list as well

BlowsAgainsttheEmpire starstarstar Tue 9/26/2006 06:18AM
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BlowsAgainsttheEmpire



Brett Mosiman what SPECIFICALLY are YOU going to do about law enforcement harassing people before and during the festival AND using cameras on YOUR customers at the grounds of YOUR festival? Brett have you written, voted and raised hell to your representation in public office about the law enforcement harassment at YOUR festival? If so, Brett, what was the response to the letters?

Using ANY type of camera to spy on USA Taxpaying Citizens and Customers of/at Wakarusa is WRONG. The law enforcement is WRONG for using the cameras to spy on festivalgoers. And Brett Mosiman you are WRONG for allowing this on your Wakarusa festival grounds.

Brett this 'regrettable controversy' as you call it in your press release above will NOT go away until PROPER amends have been made, to the festival, for the benefit of the festivalgoers and not for the benefit of law enforcement and Douglas County and others pockets.

adamlangolf starstarstarstar Wed 9/27/2006 07:52AM
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I am simply writing to respond to some people who have personally attacked a post I made. The post had some very negative words in the beginning but overall was simply standing up for Wakarusa and if either would have read the whole thing my position was positive. However they made some very un-fair assessments that were hurtful One compares me to the Kansas police and the other says I will drug test my kids when they get older. If either of you knew me you would never say this. I love Music, NPR, the mountains. I am a strong Democrat(leaning on the liberal side). I believe in getting things done and not just talking about them. I love kids. I love freedom of choice and believe we should all treat our lives like a treasure. Ours to invest. The post I made previously was not condemning of any one person but moreso just some general feelings. Anyone who was offended may be a part of the problem. In our scene..too many kids are not stable. I simply stuck up for Wakarusa because "family" wise, I thought it was awesome. Yeah ..the cops were bad but I am very aware of my surroundings and kept a constant watch. It was not that hard to avoid. I was just very cautios. rmbray...your comments are completely out of line. I write poetry every day..I would hope that someone thought I had deep thoughts. Deep is very relative. As far as getting into the groove... As I already stated...I have seen quite a few Phish shows...and I love to break it down. I went to Raves for 2 1/2 years and would dance non stop for hours. Take me to a New Deal show and I will dance myself into a heart attack..hehe. As far as being heady...I only made the comment because all to often I see these kids with huge ego's trying to convince girls they are the coolest person at the fest and flaunting there dreadlocks only to run into the person dealing heroine or doing something else very shady 10 minutes later. If you are going to have dreads...smoke..sure...drink...maybe... but vibes need to be positive and they don't have to come from an outside influence. The comment about my parenting was unneccessary and rude...and I did not specifically call any one person an ignorant hippie and I did not generalize our entire scene. I was merely commenting on a faction. To qoute unqoute hippichick... You bash me saying I missed "the point" and claim I am uneducated yet you misspell several words. Why are you attacking me. I had a great time at Waka and was simply frustrated with all the people attacking Brett with no facts...and that's what it seems like you are so quick to do. Now how in the world can you begin a statement saying I am intolerant and compare me to cops that were jerks...and then with little to no information about me you judge me personally based on one post I made? I think that shows you to be someone who is intolerant. If either of you knew me..well..I think we'd be sitting around a puff circle. Much love and I am sorry if I offended anyone. Peace, love and hugs, Adam

rmbray :: 9/21/2006 7:24 PMTo Adam Langolf:
Do you think deep thoughts? Do you ever get into the groove of a song. Do you ever think about what happens after you die? THAT'S being heady, dude. It has nothing to do with drugs at all, but drugs (certain ones) do expand or visions and thoughts and let us see things we might not otherwise experience in this life. Anyway, about being responsible, I bet you'll turn into one of those hippocrite parents who drugtests their kids because they want to be "responsible." Well enough said..this ignorant hippie has to go back to scratchin his balls cuz ignorant people have nothing better to do.

TO ADAM LANGOFF:
It is your intolerance that mirrors the Kansa Police perfectly. It is people like you we need to look out for. Stop trtying to convince people that you are that dumb. We don't need to use these comments to oint out how little education you have, and we cerrtainly don't need to use these comments to prove that you missed the point so far 99% of readers laughed. PS Adam, I did start my own festival on private property but we stil have no way of preventing ignorant intolerant people lie yourself from buying tickets.

jimcard Wed 9/27/2006 12:42PM
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Simple question that gets to the point of all of this, "why is marijuana illegal?" Again, simple question.

I have been searching for years to hear an answer that takes into account reality and FREEDOM. This is a specifically narrow question that only pertains to marijuana. To leave it at, "it is illegal", doesn't hold water.

BlowsAgainsttheEmpire Wed 9/27/2006 02:30PM
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BlowsAgainsttheEmpire

One generation got old
One generation got soul

Who will take it from you
We will and who are we
We are volunteers of america

All your private property is
Target for your enemy
And your enemy is
We

philhitz Thu 9/28/2006 11:00AM
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jimcard the answer to your question has two parts a) because the pharmecutical, alcohol & tobacco industries that pump countless millions into the hands of the politicos that run this country do not want it to be legal for fear of profit loss & b) anyone could easily grow it, so no money could be made from legalizing it

jimcard Thu 9/28/2006 12:54PM
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philhitz- I am in complete agreement with your first answer and how all those entities play their pathetic role in this prohibition on our liberty. I don't buy the second part. I know a lot of people will grow their own BUT more than likely a whole lot of people will head down to the nearest shop, buy their needed amount, and pay a fairly hefty tax on their purchase. There will be plenty of revenue, make no mistake.

FYI- The next time you see or here someone defend keeping marijuana illegal, I have no doubt that their argument (last and only) will be "what type of message would this send to children?" Remind them of the message that is currently being sent to them, which is, marijuana is the easiest drug for a kid to procure. This is a FACT. There are studies out there to prove it.

So to summarize, the drug dealers and the children thank all those who currently fight to keep this prohibition in place. If marijuana was legal, drug dealers would lose easy sales and kids would have to work a lot harder at getting their stash. Pretty pathetic in my opinion.

overall Thu 9/28/2006 04:48PM
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overall

What's more "pathetic" is the inability or unwillingness of pot smokers to organize and mobilize in an effort to legalize the plant in an effective yet non-threatening fashion.

And that doesn't mean staging camera-friendly smoke-ins or attempting to elect people who feably run for office just to hear themselves give doomed campaign speeches. Those things only cause "The Man" to feel more justified in his decision to marginalize us.

Frankly, it doesn't matter to me whether it's legal or not, so I'm not going to argue for or against it at all. But if I felt as strongly about the need for legalization as some on this board do, I'd find it extremely difficult to look myself in the mirror, or even muster the gall to type out a web-complaint on the matter, if I didn't dedicate an enormous amount of time to registering like-minded voters, making sure they put down the bong long enough to go to the polls, and try to convince them that fringe candidate votes are totally wasted (or in the case of Nader, in Florida in 2000, dangerously counter-productive).

Logic and rationale only go so far in matters related to wholesale social change. Engrained mores simply don't flip-flop overnight, no matter what those mores are based on. So if people want to see laws change, they have to change the people who make the laws. Simple math.

I'm not about to claim that a Democratic-majority in the House and Senate will automatically lead to any type of mass restructuring of our drug laws. But I do know that even the smallest of steps toward any such change will never happen if we continue to sit on our butts and let Republicans continue to get elected, or if we continue to waste votes on unelectable crackpots.

Alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical lobbyists are indeed powerful, but not nearly as powerful as the click of a voting machine switch. We can whine about mythical conspiracies as much as we'd like, but big business' money cannot elect a candidate.

These lobbies can buy TV ads, and those spots may possibly sway some voters. But if the people who smoke truly have the "strength in numbers" that many legalization proponents claim, it's high time they put their time to better use. And one way would be to start organizing behind electable candidates who will be forced to listen to them once they're in office.

After all, if the elected candidate turns their back on this newly-empowered segment of the voting public, the heads can just elect someone else the next time around.

philhitz Thu 9/28/2006 06:29PM
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overall -- you make some very valid points & i agree w/ most of what you have to say -- what you never take into consideration is that many of us do vote (never missed a vote since 1988 - even vote in august special elections on local issues)& i never vote gop or for screwballs out of leftfield -- & many times voting on something does not even count (see ohioans passing the vote on medicinal mj only to have it repealed by then state atty gen betty montgomery {who is heavily funded by the pharmecutical industry} - or even when proper tallies are screwed w/ {see diebold voting machines & their tally/probable hacking problems}) -- also there are instances where the non-elite are placed in lines so long, that they simply leave before getting to the actual poll (once again see ohio, specifcally cleveland area in 04 & 8 hour lines to vote) -- we must also face the fact that right now we are not the voting majority at the moment (or at least the past few elections state as such) -- & don't think that the dems aren't receiving money from the 3 industries that i described in my last post -- to believe that would be foolish on your part (and you seem like a genuinely intelligent individual) -- all i am trying to say is that if you're kid can become an obese diabetic from continuously buying soda pop from his/her school cafeteria, if you can crawl behind the wheel after 2 d-u-i convictions & nearly wipe out someone's entire family w/ your third & still not go to jail (this happened to me & mine), if you can take vioxx and die from it, if you can smoke marlboros until your lungs become so cancer ridden that you die, you should be able to blast off in the comfort of your own private dwelling or property & shouldn't be hassled about it elsewhere unless you are making a nuisance of yourself -- as said before -- this is a victimless crime -- but the money will stop it every time -- overall my friend, everything & i mean eveything is always about the money & nothing more -- one need to look no further than this idiotic war we're in right now & the financial ties to it to sumise these facts -- money is king!!!!! always has been - always will be -- why do you think the rich are hell bent on eliminating the middle class?

BlowsAgainsttheEmpire Fri 9/29/2006 06:09AM
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BlowsAgainsttheEmpire

the long voting lines problem can be fixed by requesting an absentee ballot and sending it back in. or by doing early voting(*assuming it is available in whatever area you happen to live/vote in*).

back to the privacy violations by OUR gov't at wakarusa.

People please file complaints about these violations with the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (John Perry Barlow helped start it). http://www.aclukswmo.org/ and www.eff.org. write the governor, lt. governor, attorney general, federal and state senator, federal and state representative, mayor, vice mayor, city council, sheriff, city chief of police, county attorney, city attorney, county commissioners, state park manager, army corps of engineers, etc. Write the Lawrence Chamber and tell them you won't put your $ into their pockets anymore and why. http://www.lawrencechamber.com/membership/aboutchamber/staff/
Write to Kansas tourism and tell them that you won't put your money into their pockets anymore and why. http://www.travelks.com/

Shake it up.

jimcard Fri 9/29/2006 08:56AM
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Overall-

1. You ranted but failed to answer the question, "why is marijuana illegal?" I know you don't care either way (nothing like taking a stand) but this is about personal liberty not social mores. Personal liberty is what America was built upon.

2. There are plenty of non-marijuana users who can't understand why pot is illegal and WANT it legalized. Do they have gall for not dropping everything to fight for legalization?

3. It generally takes majorities to elect candidates. Folks who prefer THC to myriad other drugs are a minority. You are in a fantasy world thinking that registering and organizing voters is the only way, or even a realistic way to change a silly law.

4. To prove my point, and to go much further, how many states in the last 10 years have held statewide referendums to legalize medical marijuana? I believe it is somewhere around ten. Almost all, if not all of those states voted YES. That's right the PEOPLE voted and approved.

Now remember, we are a republic of states wherein STATES RIGHTS supposedly reign supreme. In every case the Federal Government has stepped in and said, "nice try but it's not going to happen" and "we will come down hard on all those who defy us". The people voted, as you say we have to, and look what happened. I would say your theory is full of holes.

What do you think is going to happen when a state decides to put marijuana legalization (forget the medical part) on the ballot and the people APPROVE?

5. You speak about personal responsibility. I am, myself, a huge fan of it. But, lets get hypothetical for a nanosecond. Suppose you (Overall) were around in colonial America circa 1770. The King is seriously unhappy about what is happening on the other side of the pond. You personally don't care either way about "freedom from tyranny" and the "REVOLUTION".

When it is time for another local independence meeting (festival if you like) you stand up a say, "the King is pissed, we all need to show some personal responsibility and live by the laws of our land". Further, you state, "if we stay quiet, don't speak treason (freedom if you like) the King will leave us alone". Where would WE be today if your position was taken seriously?

6. I don't want to get personal Overall. Hell, I know that if you and I knew each other we would probably be good friends, but you accuse a lot of people in your posts of being whiners. All I can say is that you prove the old cliché, "it takes one to know one".

Sincerely,
A confused but always hopeful citizen of planet Earth and its territory, the USA.

overall Fri 9/29/2006 05:52PM
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overall

Jim-

I didn't realize the validity of my last post hinged on my answering a question that was not directed toward me in the first place.

While you actually answered your own question in Point #3 of your manifesto, here's my version... Pot is illegal because a large number of mainstream American citizens, as well as the majority of their elected officials, believe that it represents the first step on a slippery slope of harder drug use and abuse.

That's NOT to say they're right in thinking that. It's just to answer your question with the most plain and logical of responses. But if, as you suggested in a previous post, you've been looking for "years" for an answer that takes into consideration reality and freedom, try this one on...

Americans have the freedom to set community standards. Look at the Supreme Court's stance on the flexible standard for pornography as an example of this. In some states, elected representatives, those who have been placed in office by people who've exercised their freedom to vote, have opted to decriminalize or at least lower penalties for pot possession and sale (in small amounts). But since, as you admit, THC backers are in the minority, that's as far as things have gone.

That answers the "why" and it speaks to both "reality" and "freedom."

Frankly, if the pot-related opinions of the majority of voters were changed, allowing pot-supportive candidates to be elected, then there might be a chance in hell of seeing significant change in drug laws. But until then, it simply won't happen.

And please, don't start equating drug use with the American Revolution. That's the exact type of insulting hyperbole that I suggested makes those in "the establishment" disregard anything that comes out of our community's mouth. With that type of grandiose scale of comparisons, I suppose we'll next hear that the people arrested at Wakarusa were our generation's Rosa Parks and Metger Evers.

jimcard Mon 10/2/2006 09:20AM
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Overall-

The question WAS directed towards you in the first place. You had extensively whined about irresponsible pot users in your previous posts so the question was fair and valid. No one questioned the validity of your points, just the fact that while belittling pot users you skipped the basic question.

You keep talking about voters, candidates, majorities, "community standards", etc. You have conveniently ignored the point regarding "pot referendums" that have taken place in this country (see previous post).

One would think that these referendums are EXACTLY what you would desire. No need for candidates (middle people if you like), in fact, the purist form of democracy. The people vote and speak, straight up. Heck, isn't it the perfect forum for a community to vote their community standard. Isn't this exactly what you keep talking about? Or do we need to waste a bunch of time, find candidates supposedly willing to stand-up for freedom, and then maybe, as you say, have a "chance in hell" to change a pathetic law? As YOU stated previously “we can’t control politicians”.

It is clear you are hostile towards individuals who like marijuana and/or want it legalized. Heck, you compare directly the 9/11 hijackers to these same people. Overall, who is really using insulting hyperbole?

You bemoan the fact that pot users (or proponents of legalization) won't organize because they are consistently hitting their bongs (NORML, anyone?). Additionally, you blame these same pot users for the heavy handedness our government is using at our festivals. You play a tremendous blame game.

Sorry Overall, but as I stated in my first post long ago, you either have freedom or you don’t. There are no degrees of it. No one said liberty was going to be pretty but to make excuses for the withholding of it will never sit right by me and it is certainly not very American. I now steal a phrase, “give me liberty or give me death”! Though, according to you, “the establishment” must think I am some sort of idiot for actually believing the guarantee of, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.

Manifesto, Over and Out!

BlowsAgainsttheEmpire Mon 10/9/2006 07:03AM
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BlowsAgainsttheEmpire

'In loyalty to their kind
they cannot tolerate our minds
In loyalty to our kind
we CANNOT tolerate their obstruction'

BlowsAgainsttheEmpire Thu 11/2/2006 10:04AM
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BlowsAgainsttheEmpire

There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
There's battle lines being drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
I think it's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
We better stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, now, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

BlowsAgainsttheEmpire Wed 11/22/2006 04:41AM
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BlowsAgainsttheEmpire

So HSMF is staying. I bet Brett and Co do a similar deal and the LE giving a letter of 'assurances' to the fans. Still BS.

BlowsAgainsttheEmpire star Mon 12/11/2006 09:31AM
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BlowsAgainsttheEmpire

So Brett Mosiman and Wakarusa are coming back June 7th through June 10th 2007.

Boycott if you dislike what HAS happened in the past.

Stay AWARE for everyone who decides to attend.

Ah, Kansas, one of the states in the USA that takes DNA samples from citizens accused of a crime or arrested for a crime but not yet CONVICTED of a crime. They also make it difficult if not impossible for the DNA records to be expunged. I'm sure they'd like nothing more than to swab you and put the results into a database permanently without any oversight. Read the below.

http://www.stateline.org/live/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=136&languageId=1&contentId=129960

http://www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-statutes/getStatuteFile.do?number=/21-2511.html

Dr.Ich star Thu 1/11/2007 07:10AM
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Dr.Ich

i went last year although the line-up was amazing i will not go back to waka.....i saw some ridiculous things that should have never happenend not too mention big brother spying on you....

thelegendaryrob Mon 7/13/2009 04:13PM
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HI:I was brutally attacked in the campground at roughly 4pm, friday afternoon.my attacker used the martial arts weapon known as ;'nunchuks;';;-he was roughly 6'3, 6'4, and broke my jaw in three places.

two plainclothes security gaurds who were under the direct supervision of 'michael neville'--security supervisor, WITNESSED this attack, but took no action toward apprehending my assailant.--michael neville also owns nevilles truck parts of rogers, AR, in addition to 'supervising' security at wakarusa.

repeated inquiries toward learning the identities of these two gaurds-with an eye toward determining whether or not they were involved in ther attack and robbery in any way. have been met with REFUSAL by mr neville to help.

inquiries to both bret mosiman, wakarusa promoter, and nathan springer, wakarusa event co-ordinator, have ALSO been met with refusal to help locate these two witnesses.

so, now we are appealing to the PUBLIC:

if you have ANY information that would assist in identifying my asailant, or the two gaurds who witnessed the attack, PLEASE call (720) 838-6564

thank you.