PHOTOS: Severe weather causes music delays at Wakarusa

A group stops to help push a golf cart out of the mud after a severe thunderstorm hit Mulberry Mountain during the opening day of the 2013 Wakarusa camping and music festival on Thursday.

Photos by Todd Gill, Flyer staff

The 10th anniversary edition of the Wakarusa music and camping festival got off to a wet start on Thursday.

A severe thunderstorm complete with heavy rain, winds and lightning hit Mulberry Mountain just as music was set to begin at around 12:30 p.m. on the main stage.

Wakarusa officials placed tarps over sound equipment, evacuated the main stage area and urged the thousands of people who’d already packed the festival grounds to seek shelter inside their vehicles.

After about 90 minutes, the storm had cleared and the sun was shining, which brought the festival back to life, but officials were eyeing another approaching storm cell and were hesitant to open the main stage area until the threat of lighting had passed.

A few weather delays aren’t likely to send fans packing, though, since over 100 bands are set to perform during this year’s event, which runs almost non-stop on five stages through late Sunday night.

We had to leave at about 3 p.m., but we’ll head back out in the morning. Here are a few photos from day one: