In the Woods with Levi Parker: Backwoods Music Festival
Recently, Sensible Reason had the pleasure of getting to know Levi Parker, CEO of LEPAudio and Production Manager of Backwoods Music Festival. Levi filled us in on what to expect at Backwoods Music Festival and also gave us his tips of the trade for the upcoming Backwoods Labor Day Weekend festivities.
What are three things that you would want someone who has never been to Backwoods to know about the festival?
“The vibe is the most important thing to me about Backwoods. I have been involved with Backwoods since 2010 and it is one of my favorite shows to work. Backwoods, for as long as I have been involved, has always gone by the motto: “Good People. Good Music. Good Times.”
In my opinion, they have lived up to that motto every time. Everyone, from the bands I work with, to the festival goers, to the staff that head the festival continue to be some of the greatest people I get to share any event with.”
“In earlier years Backwoods was all about show casing amazing local music. In recent years, especially this one, Backwoods is bringing a lot more heavy hitters from multiple genres across the country. However, even with these big names, Backwoods remains true to its roots with a great lineup of local talent. This combination is really great as it allows local festival goers to see their favorite bands at the same festival as some of these big names; and for attendees who may be from outside the area to experience what Oklahoma has to offer. You’ll hear everything from jazz/funk, pure EDM, indie acoustic and maybe even a little slice of rock thrown in here and there. There is really something for everyone.”
“Backwoods is true to its name. We party in the woods. If you love nature and the ability to really interact with the outdoors while enjoying your music, Backwoods is the place for you. With a crazy new venue this year, this will be even more true. What could be better than the option to ditch your car and head to the woods for some real-deal woods camping, while being just a short walk from the heart of the action at the festival?”
What are your three favorite memories from the first year that you attended Backwoods?
“The realization: The first year we took over production for the festival it was still just getting started. From what I gathered they hadn’t had much luck with production companies prior. One of the festival bosses introduced himself and said he would be helping us take care of all the band logistics and what-not. I told him that if he had better things to do, we had it handled. He didn’t really believe me. After the first night though, he couldn’t stop talking about how tight we ran the ship and that he was flabbergasted at not having to worry about it.”
“I’ve worked in the audio industry for a long time, and have been around my share of local talent. To be honest, I came to Backwoods the first year expecting the worst, but boy was I wrong. I was inundated with extremely talented musicians who loved their craft. The music they created was some of the most passionate and technically spectacular that I had been around in years. That first weekend really set the bar for making Backwoods one of my favorite gigs ever.”
“This isn’t from the first year, but still one of my favorites. It was Oklahoma hot on this afternoon. This band had been playing for probably half an hour when suddenly at the end of a song the drummer runs off stage and disappears for like maybe 15-20 seconds and then reappears and starts the next song. Come to find out he had ran backstage, hurled his guts out, then got back on stage and kept playing like a monster. Now that’s hardcore.”
What is something that Backwoods has that no other festival offers?
“There are a lot of festivals out there. What I think sets Backwoods apart right now is that we are new, we are fresh and we have something to prove. We are going to be pushing the limits at every opportunity to make sure we have one of the best festivals around for you to come to.”
What are 5 things that every newcomer should bring with them to Backwoods?
“Good vibes: This is one of the chilliest, friendliest festivals you will ever be at. Come with that in mind and you’re sure to have a good time.
Various ways to keep cool: Whether it’s battery powered fans, cooling towels or light clothing. If you’ve never been to Oklahoma, or the south in general, it can still be sweltering even in September.
The ability not to sleep for three days: There is always something going on. Even if the main music venues are shut down, someone is usually having an after party in the campsites.
Camera: Even if you buy a throw away at Wal-Mart, bring something to record the memories. I can confidently say you’ll make some you want to remember forever.
Sunscreen: Seriously! And use it! I can’t count the number of people I see that are literally purple from sunburn at the end of the weekend. I always imagine how not cool that is going to be when the tired and beer wears off in the next few days.”
How do you personally contribute to the Backwoods community?
“I am the Production Manager for Backwoods. It is my job to make sure that the artists have everything thing that they need for their performance; and that the sound, lights, lasers and special effects are going to blow your mind.”
What are you looking forward to most about Backwoods 2015?
“We are growing massively this year, I can’t wait to see it all come together and watch everyone get to enjoy what we are creating.”
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The countdown is on: 164 days until Backwoods Music Festival 2015 in beautiful Stroud, Oklahoma blows your mind. Get your tickets here!