The Midwesterner’s Guide to Music Festivals Pt. 4: Venturing Further

For this installation of “The Midwesterner’s Guide to Music Festivals” we’re continuing our quest and branching out, covering music festivals from all over the United States. Whether it’s down south for Wakarusa or out east for Rootwire, organic focused like The Werk Out or all electronic like Movement; globetrotters from near and far will be able to find something of interest in this week’s edition. Here is this week’s scrumptious list of festivals:

1. Wakarusa









WHEN: June 5th-8th, admission on June 4th included in VIP passes

WHERE: Ozark, AK

Cost: $204 4-Day GA, $139 3-Day Pass, $109 2-Day Pass $705 VIP (prices shown without tax and fees)

Style: Multi-genre focused on jam and EDM

Extra Attractions

16 artist collectives and performance troupes will be in attendance at Waka this year. Activities, performers, and installations include: workshops, stilt walkers, flow jams, meditations, audiovisual installations, a slackline park, spray art walls, mobile art installations, a New Earth Sacred Temple, and much, much more. Here at IndyMojo, we’re crossing our fingers for a repeat appearance of last year’s Ferris wheel; buy the weekend pass if you see it!

Things to Know

You must buy parking passes for your car at Wakarusa; up to 5 people can ride per car and split in on the cost. Passes can be bought for the main venue, west woods, and riverside locations. At this point, only riverside spots remain, but they’ve been known to release more passes as the festival nears. Don’t count on it, though, last year’s extra releases sold out in about 15 minutes. Other words of wisdom: you are truly in the middle of nowhere at this festival, come prepared. But to begin…

Oh yes, Wakarusa. By now this name should resonate with seasoned festie goers and newbies alike. With kick-ass lineups, artists, and one hell of a location this festival is not one to miss this summer (or any summer for that matter). Nestled on top of Mulberry Mountain near the southern edge of the Ozarks, Wakarusa can be a bit of a hike to get to from most parts of the Midwest. But, as past attendees will tell you, it’s well worth it.

Ranging from festival mainstays like The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, and Umphrey’s McGee to lesser known acts like The Werks, The Magic Beans, and D.V.S.*, fans are drooling at the thought of this year’s shenanigans. In addition to the musical lineup, Waka has one of the more diverse art and performance influences that you’ll find at a festival. Make sure to check out the woven wooden domes from Helping Hands, the interstellar 3D projections in the tree line from Maizz Visual, and the atmospheric sculptures and installations from BhuddaBones Art, just to name a few.

With a lineup that nears the greatest of the year, completely subjective of course, planning a trip down to Arkansas can be tantalizing. Unbelievable scenery, unbelievable tunes, and unbelievable artistry will exude from the Ozarks the weekend of June 6th. And, with all of the sights, sounds, an experiences promised be had at Waka this year it only one problem exists… which shows to hit?

Must See Headliners

-The String Cheese Incident



-John Butler Trio



-Xavier Rudd


More Lineup Surprises


-The Werks




-The Magic Beans

-Random Rab



2. The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival

The Werk Out Poster 2014 Photo













When: August 7th – 9th

Where: Thornville, OH

Cost: $99.99 GA, $179.99 VIP (OG Status)

Style: Diverse, ranging from freak out jam to downtempo and everything in between.

Things to Know

If there’s one festival that pays respect to the Midwest music scene, it’s The Werk Out. Thrown annually by Ohio natives, The Werks, this year’s lineup features multiple night performances from nine different acts. That’s right, nine different acts! What does that mean, you ask? You’ll not only get to catch double the performances from your favorite bands but you’ll get to hear all of the deep tracks that rarely get played in one-off festival performances.

Although this festival does prominently feature many bands and artists that first made their mark in the Midwest, don’t think that that’s all that there is to see (read: hear) at The Werk Out. Emancipator, Phutureprimitive, Dopapod, Twiddle, and many more round out the out-of-the-region acts. If you like a healthy heaping of face melting rock, check out The Werks. If you’re more into mind-bending jamtronica, find Papadosio for your fix. If chilled out downtempo is your thing, Emancipator is the act to see. Jonesin’ for some high-energy trashgrass, the Rumpke Mountain Boys are your guys. All in all, there’s only one thing to do: grab a beer, go dance, and have a good time. 

Must See Headliners

-Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon played in its entirety by members of Papadosio, The Werks, and Dopapod

-The Werks (x3)

-Papadosio (x2)


-Future Rock (x2)

-Zoogma (x2)

-Dopapod (x2)

More Lineup Surprises


-Rumpke Mountain Boys (x2)

-UV Hippo (x2)

-DJ no DJ (A Live Band Tribute to Daft Punk)



3. Spring Awakening Music Festival

Soldier Field, Chicago

Soldier Field, Chicago

When: June 13th – 15th

Where: Chicago, IL

Cost: $246.09 GA*, $363.21 VIP* (21+ only)

*Includes tax and fees

Style: EDM

Things to know

This is NOT a camping festival, so prepare to hit up some Chi-town buddies to do some couch surfing or save up and split in on a hotel with some friends. Also, the VIP section is 21+ so keep that in mind. No totems/rage sticks, glowsticks, LED gloves, food, or empty water bottles are allowed inside the venue. With no outside food or water allowed in, make sure to being enough cash to grab adequate food and hydration inside the gates. Also, the music ends at 11:00pm each night so you might want to plan on hitting some after parties to keep the good times rolling into the late night.

Held in Soldier Field in Chicago, IL, Spring Awakening is a relative newbie to the festival circuit. One of the few all EDM festivals that we’ll be covering in this series, Spring Awakening is a festival geared towards all the bass loving EDM cats of the world. Featuring huge names from all over the electronic scene: Tiesto, Pretty Lights, Kaskade, Diplo, and Benny Benassi just to name a few, Spring Awakening promises to be a rager. Chicago won’t know what hit it.

Must See Headliners

-Pretty Lights



-Big Gigantic

-Knife Party

More Lineup Surprises

 -Benny Benassi

-Bingo Players

-Paper Diamond

-Manic Focus

-Thomas Gold

4. Movement Electronic Music Festival 

Movement Photo

Hart Plaza, Detroit

When: May 24th – 26th

Where: Detroit, MI

Cost: $130 3-Day Pass (Tier 2), $55 1-Day Passes for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Style: EDM

Things to Know

Movement, like Spring Awakening, is NOT a campout. It’s held in the heart of Detroit, so plan on finding a place to stay for the weekend. And, unlike most festivals, Movement runs Saturday-Monday so plan accordingly. Also, this one is HUGE. Last year’s attendance was over 107,000 so be prepared.

Movement Electronic Music Festival takes place in Detroit, the birthplace of Techno. A Mecca, for decades, as many see it. A hard won and well worn spot for producers, DJ’s, and rave culture as a whole. Located downtown in Hart Plaza and on the city’s riverfront, Movement boasts 5 stages and over 100 acts to see. If you haven’t heard about this festival before and need to know you need to know one thing: it’s old school. For many festival goers, be prepared to see producers that have been doing it right since you were a toddler.

National and international musicians make the yearly pilgrimage to the holy land for Movement, and for many, it will be their only stateside appearance of the year. Music runs from noon to midnight each day, so it might be wise to get some late night plans in order. Don’t worry though, the people over at Paxahau (the producers of the event) have you covered. There are literally dozens of afterparties that have been organized around the city that weekend; all that you have to do is pick a couple.

Must See Headliners 


-Richie Hawtin


-John Digweed

-Carl Cox

-Loco Dice


5. Rootwire Transformational Arts Festival

Rootwire Hooper

When: July 17th – 20th

Where: Terra Alta, WV

Cost: $125 4-Day GA

Style: Organic and electronic blend

Extra Additions: Gallery works and presentations will be held by Alex and Allyson Grey.

Things to Know

While holding a nearly identical name as to Rootwire Music & Arts Festival, Rootwire Transformational Festival is loosely associated with the festival from which it gets its namesake.

Rootwire fans the world over held their collective breath this year; waiting to hear if their beloved festival would be thrown again. After it was announced that Rootwire Music & Arts festival would be changing locations this year, nobody knew what to expect. After months of waiting it was announced that Papadosio and EQ Endeavors would split, with EQ picking up the responsibilities for this year’s festival. This year has some of the bigger acts to grace Rootiwre’s stages: Shpongle, Beats Antique, Love & Light, the list goes on. With the changes to the organization for 2014’s event, it will be interesting to see how Rootwire will transform itself as well as the rest of us.

Must See Headliners


-Beats Antique (x2)



-Love & Light


More Lineup Surprises



-Cosby Sweater




Continued from The Midwesterner’s Guide to Music Festivals: East Coast Styleeee