Wakarusa looking for local bands

By now you should already know that Northwest Arkansas scored big time last month with the news that a giant music festival is moving here from Lawrence, Kansas.

That’s right, The Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival is taking place at Mulberry Mountain near Ozark on June 4th – 7th, 2009.

Wakarusa is not small potatoes, y’all. The festival usually pulls in huge-name talent like The Flaming Lips, Emmylou Harris, Leftover Salmon, Ben Harper, Bela Fleck, Guided By Voices, Spoon, Son Volt and hundreds upon hundreds of others.

Naturally, the biggest question around here has been “Who’s playing this year?”

The list is expected to be released sometime this month but there’s some pretty exciting news being announced today in terms of local talent that might make the cut.

Besides bringing in gigantic bands from all over, Wakarusa also takes care of the smaller up-and-comers in the music scene. This year is no exception.

The Waka Winter Classic is a touring talent showcase that is traveling to 15 cities this winter to find bands to play alongside the music legends it’s known for attracting. Besides playing in front of thousands of people at this year’s festival, the winners in each city will have their music featured on the Wakarusa website and will compete in an online talent show for a chance to play the main stage. Yes, you heard right. THE MAIN STAGE.

The tour is coming to George’s Majestic Lounge here in Fayetteville on Thursday February 26th. But listen up local bands: You have to submit your entry to the Waka Classic website before February 12th.

Even cooler is the fact that the winner of each showcase will be decided by the fans in attendance so even if you’re not in a band, you can come out to support your local favorites.

We’re still waiting to hear exactly how many entries they’ll be accepting for each city. As soon as we find out, we’ll let y’all know.