Backwoods Changes for 2016
We first want to thank everyone for the amazing and most valuable feedback you provided after the festival. We want you to know we heard you and are making the following changes and additions for the 2016 festival to improve your experience and the festival overall.
Click on a link below to read more about the changes we’re making:
- New Security Company
- The Addition of Shade Structures
- Road Infrastructure to Keep Vehicles Off the Walking Paths and Help with Dust
- Cheaper 10 lbs of Ice
- Additional Water Spraying for Dust Control
- Better VIP Bathroom and Shower Maintenance & Full Time Attendants to Keep Them Clean Constantly
- Ultimate VIP Ticket Added
- New Woods Camping in the Venue for Ultimate VIP
- Glamping Option in Music Venue
- Elevate Now Changed to VIP Lounge
- Sit Down Table Cloth Dinner with Artists
- Porta Potties Moved into GA Woods Camping
- Safer Cashless RFID Payment System Throughout the Entire Festival
- Improved Artist Hospitality Kitchen
- Double the Size of Shakedown Street for Double the Vendors
- Tropical Island DJ Booth at the Lake Island
- Increased Beach Size
- Giant Slip-N-Slide
- Giant Hay Maze
- Closer VIP Entrance to Main Stage
- Third Level and New Tower Added to Treehouse at The Meadow
- New Motherland Stage Design
- Meadow Treehouse Porta Potties Closer to Road
- More Water Stations Added
- More Lighting Added
- More Art in the Woods
- Daily Trash Pick Up Service from Your Campsite
- More VIP Viewing Areas
- Filling of Ground Holes
The security company which provided security for Backwoods last year has been replaced with a new, more professional, better trained company whose staff handles some of the largest events in the state of Oklahoma.
Backwoods was hot there’s no doubt about that, but the lake activities and wooded areas with hammocks really helped people to cool off in the shade last year. Even so, we want to add more shade structures for attendees to get out of the sun in some of the most sunny areas.
The vehicles such as golf carts and ATVs kicked up a lot of dust over the three days onto our patrons last year. We’re creating a new road infrastructure that is separate from the walking paths of our patrons. This way it will be less dangerous, and less dusty.
Last year ice was sold by a vendor and the price was set too high for festival attendees. Their only option was a large 20lb bag of ice. This year, Backwoods is caping the price on ice and selling a smaller bag of ice at a cheaper price for those who don’t want to spend as much, and/or don’t need as much.
Last year we had the Kendrick Fire Department spray in the mornings before the venue opened. The water sprayed on the dusty paths was to help keep the dust under control, but by the afternoons it was all dried out and dusty again. This year we’ll be having them come out once in the afternoons again to double up on this. Along with moving the carts to their own path and off the walk ways, this should really help with the dust control for 2016.
Last year the company we hired to keep the VIP toilet trailers and showers clean didn’t hold up their end of the bargain and it lead to some pretty dirty showers and toilet trailers at times during the event. This year we’re bringing in a new company for cleaning, and adding full time bathroom attendants who will sit out front of the trailers, and constantly clean as well as head off any issues before they arise with the VIP bathrooms and showers.
Ultimate VIP Ticket Added
This year we’ve added an “Ultimate VIP Ticket” which gives the Ultimate VIP experience to attendees including sit down dinners, free activities, a helicopter ride, free festival transportation service at the event, in-venue camping options, private viewing areas, and more. It’s the closest thing to an all-inclusive package you can get at a festival.
The new Ultimate VIP Ticket now has the option to camp in the new cleared out wooded area near the cabins inside the main venue with 24 hour access! Glamping is also located in this area around a new pond Ultimate attendees have access to.
We’ve also added a Glamping Option for those who want a total hands-free camping experience next to a lake in a shaded area of the woods inside the venue. We setup a tent and two single beds for you and provide you with two Ultimate VIP Tickets. This is the high-class and hassle free way to go camping with the Ultimate VIP experience.
While Elevate was super cool last year, we feel that it quickly got crowded especially when our larger headliners went on stage. To add more value to all our VIP packages, we’re turning Elevate into a VIP lounge during the day and after dinner with VIP chill-out sets, couches and chairs, and a private bar.
For two hours nightly during dinner, Elevate will convert from a VIP lounge to an upscale dining hall for Ultimate VIP ticket holders to indulge in a sit-down meal with private shows only for them.
Attendees who choose GA Woods Camping will not have to walk to GA Car Camping or wait until the venue opens to reach a porta potty. This year we’ll be adding some porta potties inside GA Woods Camping making access easier.
We’re always trying to find ways to keep our attendees and their things safer. Having a lot of cash at the event is always a worry for some. Wallets go missing and are lost a lot at festivals, and if your cash is there you’ve got a big problem. This year we’re adding a safer and easier payment system tied in with your RFID wristband. You’ll pre-load money from a credit or debit card prior to arriving at the event onto your wristband instead of bringing a large amount of cash. If you need to add more during the festival you can use machines similar to ATMs to load more onto your wristband. Since it’s attached to your wrist, it’s almost impossible to loose or get stolen! You can load more than you need too because if you don’t end up spending it, it can be refunded to your debit or credit card after the event!
The Artist Hospitality Area for Backwoods is being moved next to the new Elevate VIP Lounge so that we can use the brand new kitchen rather than a make-shift one in the barn like last year. This means even better food at artist hospitality, and a cleaner/safer environment for food safety.
We know everyone loved the arts and crafts vendors at Shakedown Street. That’s why we’re bringing you more art and creative vendors for your shopping pleasure. Twice as many cool things to look at and buy if you decide you love something!
During the day, many people loved hanging out on all the amazing inflatable toys Backwoods puts in the lake. What was missing was daytime music. The new DJ Booth located on the island in the middle of the lake is going to solve that adding music to our lake and beach activity area throughout the day!
As the attendance at Backwoods increases, we want to make sure everyone gets a piece of our sandy beach. That’s why we’re increasing its size!
This one almost needs no explanation. Get ready for a giant Slip N Slide added to our water features at Backwoods!
Another activity we’re adding for 2016 is a giant hay maze. Enter if you dare, and try to find your way out, or get lost in the three semi-truck loads of hay bales!
Although we thought the VIP entrance to the festival grounds last year was beautiful (walking under the Tatanka Ranch Sign) we heard the cries for a closer entrance to the large field adjacent the Motherland stage. That’s where the VIP entrance will be this year, right across the street from the VIP Comfort Camping field.
We’re building a third tower at the center of the Treehouse at The Meadow this year, even higher than the two on the sides. The tower will be able to accommodate DJs as well as bands elevated even higher above the crowd. We’re also looking at adding video screens to the Meadow as well this year.
While we loved Motherland’s design last year, the current plan is to keep it fresh by designing a completely new Motherland stage. We may choose to recycle last year’s castle pieces in a new art installation for attendees as well! Get ready for a NEW design and surprise at Motherland!
The Porta Potties were a little far off the path near the Meadow. You had to walk through a dark field last year. This year we’re going to move them closer to the road for you.
Last year we had free water available in several places inside the music venue, as well as in the camps thanks to Lybation Hydration and The National Guard sponsorships. While we tried to provide free water for the first time, we understand we need even more. We’re going to add additional water stations around the venue this year and in camps.
Certain areas last year could have used more light for safety purposes. We’ll be adding more lighting this year.
We’ll be adding a lot more professional art installations in the Nirvana Woodlands this year, bringing in some of the artists from around the country known for their amazing night-time festival work.
We’ll be coming around with a trailer and fresh trash bags for your trash and recycling this year. This will help keep the grounds even cleaner. We ask you help do your part by being prepared in the mornings right before the venue opens to help bring your trash to the road next to your camp site to keep the Woods clean.
Last year we had planned to setup some VIP viewing areas at the front of the stage at Motherland and The Meadow. Someone in production for the stages commandeered the barricades, not knowing what they were for and it eliminated two of our viewing areas before they even were setup. We weren’t able to get more barricades out in time for the show. We did have a a viewing area at the Front of House at Motherland, but it was closed at times to VIP. This year we’re going to make sure we have those VIP viewing areas setup, and no one steals our barricades.
Gofers dig holes. Lots of them. We want to do a better job of re-filling any gofer holes in the ground right before the festival. We can’t guarantee they won’t dig them back up the night before, but we’re sure being more pro-active here will help smooth out the grounds a bit.