Introducing Backwoods’ New VIP Concierge Host: Blake Sandridge
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Recently we caught up with Blake Sandridge, the first ever VIP Concierge Host at Backwoods! Adding Blake to our team is one of several new perks that we’re adding to our VIP experience this year.
What’s up Blake! How’s it going?
I’m doing great! Thanks for asking 😊
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Of course. I’ve lived in Fayetteville for the last 15 years or so, and my first festival experience ever was on Mulberry Mountain back in 2013. That year I volunteered was a complete mud pit, and I decided to keep coming back because I guess I figured things could only get better from there! Since then, I’ve worked box office, financial management, and VIP roles at many music festivals.
What made you want to apply for the VIP Concierge Host Position at Backwoods?
Well, on top of it being right up my alley as far as my prior experience is concerned, I’ve been really impressed by Backwoods the past couple years they’ve been on Mulberry so I jumped at the opportunity to get involved. Every time my friends and I have been to Backwoods we’ve gone VIP and purchased upgraded campsites, so I’m very familiar with that experience – ways that it is very strong, and areas that I think it can be improved. I think it’s really valuable to have a dedicated team on-site for VIP ticket holders, so I’m really happy that Backwoods decided to make that change this year and bring me on board.
What’s your plan before the festival to make sure everyone is informed and updated?
We’re about four months out from the festival, and I’ve already emailed every person who has either purchased a VIP ticket or an Upgraded Campsite. I’ll be following that up with a phone call and a text message, so everyone will have multiple ways to reach me before they even arrive on the mountain. Loading everyone in quickly and smoothly can be a hectic undertaking, so most of my efforts pre-festival are aimed at eliminating those logistical issues as much as possible.
What are your team’s duties?
As soon as you enter into the VIP area, there will be a tent set up with my team and we’ll be there throughout the entire festival. We’ll be available all weekend to answer questions, troubleshoot issues, and really take care of whatever else needs to be done for our VIP ticket holders. I know first hand – when you go to an event as a VIP, you either feel like you got what you paid for… or you feel like you don’t know what you paid for. That’s the essence of what my team is here to do. We’re here to ensure that anyone who paid for an experience that’s elevated receives an elevated experience.
How many team members will you have?
Right now it looks like there’s going to be a team of four of us including myself.
What about Backwoods 2020 are you most excited about?
100% without a doubt the music lineup. It’s absolutely incredible this year. Something I’ve always been impressed by is how diverse the music selection is at Backwoods, and after seeing the complete lineup it’s clear that Backwoods is not messing around this year. Mulberry is home to other festivals, but I definitely see Backwoods as the spiritual successor to festivals I used to go to on Mulberry Mountain back in the day.
How many Backwoods have you been to?
My first Backwoods was in Oklahoma back in 2016, and I’ve attended every single one since then on Mulberry Mountain.
Any concerns for this year?
Nope. We are going to crush it!
Do you have any future plans and ideas to improve the VIP experience at Backwoods even more?
Oh yeah, lots of ideas. Assuming I get invited to come back, I have some goals for next year and the years after that to refine the experience even more.
Thanks Blake. See you on the mountain in a few months!
Hell yeah! Likewise – I’m looking forward to it.