We at the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival have put on three years of great art, music and camping and are preparing for our fourth year with an outstanding lineup of talent. We want to inform you of our efforts regarding security for the 2007 Festival.
We are working hard to make sure this years Festival is the best it can be. The management of the Festival has met with County and Park officials to address concerns about appropriate security and law enforcement for the festival. We have been assured that there won’t be highway checkpoints and there won’t be surveillance equipment. We have instituted several other programs this year to provide for a positive approach to security issues.
It must be clearly stated that Wakarusa did not have a hand in planning the specific law enforcement efforts for the 2006 event. We were not aware of specific law enforcement tactics prior to the event and we in no way support or condone such heavy-handed tactics. In fact, we are working tirelessly to insure a peaceful and harmonious event for 2007.
After the June 2006 Wakarusa, an article appeared in a trade publication GSN: Government Security News in which a surveillance vendor NS Microwave boasted it had installed surveillance equipment at the festival and claimed that tape recordings from the secret surveillance resulted in over 140 arrests and let to several convictions. NS Microwave was trying to sell its system, and many of the assertions made in the article were reckless and false. A much more thoughtful and well-written article entitled, “Surveillance Stories” subtitled “Nobody at Wakarusa was arrested because of secret videotapes” written in the Kansas City Pitch, a local arts and entertainment publication, debunked the mythology that arose from one unsuccessful vendor’s effort to sell their system.
The Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival for 2007 stands for art & music, peace, sustainability and harmony. It is a positive and powerful platform for the artists and the message they bring to their audience. In short, Wakarusa is not the enemy it is the solution.