Atop the Ozark mountains in Arkansas, Backwoods Music Festival took over 4/20 weekend with a spectacular lineup of artists, vendors, workshops, and the best of vibes within the community. For their 4th year at Mulberry Mountain, Backwoods had taken over one of the most renowned outdoor music venues in the United States and in doing so curated one of the most unique weekends for festival goers. As always, Backwoods meshes electronic music artists alongside with instrumental jam bands with all types of genres that all ‘n all embodies a true vibe for a music festival! We were fortunate enough to be brought out for a crazy weekend of media coverage. Dive deep into our review of the 4/20 weekend with photos and videos to make it feel like as if you were there!
Kicking off the festival weekend with setting up camp in a pretty consistent rainstorm made for quite the kickstart to the festivities. Being from Colorado, the amount of rain was a big enough concern to deter me away from busting out the camera with the consistent downfall. But truthfully, that made for a proper festival experience and was one of the better moments from the weekend. With that weather being as wet and chilly as it was, being dressed appropriately definitely made for an enjoyable and one of a kind time. After setting up camp and relaxing a bit with the drizzle, we went into the festival and first hit up some food vendors to fuel up for the night. The food varied greatly from various Asian-fusion vendors, pizza, bbq, and soul comfort but what was calling the most for the night was classic chicken tenders and fries. After scarfing down the warm food underneath a vendor’s tent for shelter, we were drawn to the nearby Space Disco stage with the thumping bass from Spicy Bois artist, Psyoptic. Coming up to that stage, the grounds were littered with odd yet very fitting art installation pieces that could easily distract a wandering brain to fulfill their time with exploration. Once we got to the stage it was nothing but good vibes and heavy bass with people of all types getting down in the rain and mud. Because of the rainstorm, multiple delays and even cancelations had happened throughout the night. Thankfully most of the artists were able to still perform and even Psyoptic was granted with a very lengthy set but in-turn one of my most anticipated artists, One True God, did not show, which was rather unfortunate because the following day was his debut album release. Again though, that made for an interesting night, as Colorado bass artist, SoDown had taken over the Space Disco for a ridiculously heavy set that combined both live saxophone and insane sound production.
@SoDown brought some heavy vibes to @Backwoods at Mulberry Mountain 🔥🤌
The bass heavy set from SoDown led perfectly into one of the most sought out bass artists, Boogie T, who was set to annihilate the main stage for one of the headlining spots. Rain was still a factor so no camera was out, but that made for such an epic time to get down and wobbley. This set from Boogie T was particularly a special one with the majority of his set being 4/20 themed as he was the last set to see officially on the stoners holiday. He threw down all of his cannabis songs within the first hour and he had actually forgot how long is set time was and when he was told he had an extra 30 minutes… it was no holding back for him! The man went off with insane mixing and mashups of unreleased bangers, classics of his, and some other dope songs from DramaClubRecords & his friends. It was bonkers and unquestionably ne of our favorite sets from the weekend! Check out this video of his set below with an interesting take on Jack Black’s iconic voice samples.
Big Gigantic followed up the intensely rowdy set of Boogie T to end out the main stage and their live take with EDM is just something spectacular. The duo have been changing up the scene for over 10 years now and their performance at Backwoods was just an ideal Big G set. Their performance was packed full with top value production from amazing visuals to playing out all their big songs meshed with some dance filled vibey songs, Big G catered to the crowd and to 4/20 and in doing so made for another memorable performance from the festival. The night was not close to being over though. Even on a Thursday, the late night sets were popping, especially from Arkansas local, Flintwick who had a booking from 2am to 3 where he absolutely popped off on the Space Disco stage. After driving from Colorado to the festival and experiencing Tornado capable weather, we had called it an early night half way through his set, but the festival was very much alive.
Friday came up with haste and before we knew it, it was mid day and lunch was calling. I had some time to cook up bratwurst that we had packed and with the food in hand, we had traveled the grounds during the peak of day to get a firm grasp on the grounds and see what Backwoods had to offer. Wandering from the campgrounds to the Backwoods stage, where locals and smaller acts play (as well as Silent disco to end the night in the early AM hours,) we had encountered multiple campsites with lush smiles, poppin’ bottles and activities to keep them busy throughout the day. Within the distance from the backwoods stage to the Space Disco, the road had vendors of all types lined up along side with workshops scattered in the forest across from them. Having this much to see made the short distance traveled last a few hours. Vendors ranged from all types of hippie and raver clothing to unique flow toys, jewelry, accessories of all types, gems & minerals, spices and healthcare, and even jerky! The amount of vendors truly was a positive compared to some other festivals and the way they had it set up made it basically one long ‘Shakedown Street’ where the festivals mainly commutes through to go from stage to stage.
Later on in the day, after exploring the vendors & workshops and getting to recoup some energy back at camp, an up & coming bass artist was about to take over the Space Disco and it was one not to miss. Space Bass is coming into the scene hot and even though he may have been a new name to me, he had quite the group of homies decked out in his merch supporting him. It was quite the sight to see honestly and in that, it made for one of the most memorable sets of the weekend. Everyone was just getting down and the style of bass music was just next level, with insane music production and mixing skills, he had everyone sucked into his set and it had, in my eyes kicked off the night. Without a doubt, he is a ‘Chronic artist’ to watch out for with his rise within the scene.
Shortly after Space Bass, a trance DJ was set to take over the main stage. Mau5trap artist, Morgin Madison, brought a one of a kind set to Backwoods as he was the only one to offer the sounds of Trance. His set was on the main stage as the Space Disco stage was set for heavy bass music for the night, Morgin’s vibe fit in perfectly at the main stage. He was followed up with another artist who also brought a one of a kind performance. A U.K based producer, Koan Sound, who’s second half is still residing in the U.K., had offered some of the best Drum and Bass sounds possible to the crowd of Backwoods. Koan Sound has always had an interesting take on the genre and with their ‘natural’ sounds that pop, crunch, and crinkle, they had found their iconic sound very early on and have been one of the must see’s for DnB heads for years since! This was the last of electronic music on the main stage but not for the night. During Koan Sound’s set they had booked another wobbley dubstep artist on the Space Disco stage and he had 30 minutes still to play after Koan Sounds, so I made sure to hustle to Dirt Monkey for a half hour of carnage through wobbles.
@Dirt Monkey was the vibe for Friday night at @Backwoods at Mulberry Mountain edm musicfestival backwoods dirtmonkey dubstep lasers bassmusic
After the chaos from Dirt Monkey, Backwoods Music Festival practically took a chill pill for 3 hours with jam bands that took over the main stage. Lettuce was the headliner for the night and had packed the main stage out! Not only was the main area poppin’ but Backwoods had set up the RV campsites in perfect view around the entrance to the festival. The whole festival grounds was able to hear the lush jams from Lettuce and it was truly a spectacle seeing people get down to them all over the grounds. Being a headliner on the main stage they had their time slot go until 2 am and that is when the bass kicked back in. For the late night set, one of the bigger EDM producers on the lineup had Backwoods tight within his grasp. Apashe, a Belgian born, Canadian based producer that has truly impacted the scene with his immaculate twist on EDM by blending in classical music to his rowdy production. His set was quite diverse from house music, to moombahton, and of course trap and dub. Apashe had hit all of the cues for a one of a kind set and it turned out for a straight packed set even for being after-hours.
Leading later on into the early hours, the Backwoods tent transformed into a silent disco where three different channels offered huge varieties in music and also gave smaller, more local producers a chance to play out their music. On Friday night, Pinneapplebeatz, Guero and Oreoku were taking over the channels, but one in particular really stood out as practically the whole tent was headbanging to his music! Oreoku was throwing down insane beats and rowdy bass and that made for him to be jumping all over the place with dance moves. A definite must see again and an artist to watch out for on their rise!
Saturday rolled around and it was another vendor day full with food trips and chill vibes. We had ventured to an Asian-Mexican fusion vendor where we got Korean BBQ Nachos and three Barbacoa tacos. Of course the one drizzle of rain happened to come at this moment so the camera didn’t eat first but rest assured, that was hands down the best meal of the weekend. During the heat of the day, the Space Disco stage still held strong with throwing down wonky bass and giving smaller artists a chance to throw the f-down. One of the notable performances was from Baelien, who had a set that was primarily experimental bass music. Throughout her set, she had thrown down multiple songs of hers, including a couple unreleased and with her sound design and ease with performing live, she definitely is a CHRONIC artist to watch out for!
For a second time, Arkansas local Flintwick had a big time slot performance, but this time he was at the main stage from 6:15 to 7:15. His experimental take on glitch hop, half time, and just wonky bass music made his set to be an absolute banger! It was early enough on in the day where the stage was still filling in and by the end of his set he had a pretty packed out crowd that was geeking out to his intricate sound design.
Eventually, the main headliner of the night and perhaps the festival had started their run of 3 back to back sets. Kicking it off on the main stage, The String Cheese Incident didn’t hold back and offered quite the performance that dabbled in all styles of jam. That is what they are absolutely fantastic at and with them having two sets on the main stage it really gave them ample time to really get loose and weird with it! As any festival goes though, they have to have some musical competition to divide up the crowd and during the intermission and first 30 minutes of the second set; Backwoods had booked quite possibly the most followed ‘TikTok’ EDM producer (who has even more followers than Rezz,) and one of the hottest up & coming artists’ in the scene… None other than Zingara. This ever so popular artist on TikTok blew up with her bright energy, goofy vibes, and overall, her amazing talent on music production. Even though she is up and coming in the scene, she already has her distinct sound and because of that it wont be long until she will reach big headliner status and so for her set to be at the Space Disco at 11 on a Saturday night…well lets just say it was absolutely BONKERS! She threw down nearly all of her songs, some in VIP along with plenty of other new music from friends and peers that made for her set to be vastly different from the previous performances I had recently witnessed. She was ready to end her set due to the time, but with how Backwoods scheduled the stages, there was no artist booked for another 2 hours on that stage and so with the clear from the stage manager, Zingara played an encore that consisted of an unreleased song. Check it out below and be sure to catch her sometime as she is absolutely a chronic artist to watch out for!!!
The String Cheese Incident has a rather large band with multiple instruments and the take-down for this had gone a little bit longer than planned and in that had caused a shortened set for one of the headlining EDM acts, Of the Trees. Unfortunately the set breakdown impacted his set because regardless of what happened, main stage music had to end at 2 and so he had nearly a 30 minute set. Fortunately, Tisoki, who was booked to play from 2am to 3 had heard news of this and had offered his set to become a back to back (b2b) with Of the Trees that came to be one of the most unique sets to happen that weekend. The clash of spacey experimental trap music with heavier European style dubstep/ DnB created a b2b that no one had ever thought of. For going off a ‘whim’, the two really made the best out of the situation and gave the fans an exhilarating and impressive set that really made the crowd move! And of course, the stage was absolutely packed out, even more so than the night before. At this time the Taco Party from String Cheese incident was supposed to be going on, but from reports, it had gotten moved to Sunday for a day-time set. Undoubtedly once the late night partiers found out the Space Disco stage got flooded with music eager fans. The back to back sadly didn’t go on for an extended time but for the time slot they had, it was a party that became one of the most memorable moments from the weekend. Officially on the schedule after Tisoki, the stage was supposed to be finished but they had a surprise guest, wolf-e-wolf who kept the late night vibes going for another solid hour. Being on Dirt Monkey’s record label, he had a similar style to Dirt Monkey’s wonkyness, but he kept it a bit heavier for this set and the people wanting to go hard.
Sunday had come around with a rather chilly morning that made for snuggles at camp throughout most of the day. We had ventured to grounds to catch a couple anticipated sets but unfortunately some of the artists didn’t make it in. Which honestly just made for another true festival experience of wandering around and discovering what the festival has to offer. At certain times the FrickFrack Blackjack booth was open to offer attendees a chance to gamble away ‘valuables and non valuable’ items of random. It truly ranges in quite a wide range from books, accessories, small gadgets of kids, pointless toys, sexual toys, movies, broken items, and what ever else you can think. They hit the market right for festival activities and are becoming an instant classic to music festivals all around.
All in all, Backwoods Music Festival was an absolutely magical time that brought in some amazing talent, tons of art, and epic vibes. If I were to give any criticism as an avid festival goer, it would be to bring in more music to overlaps stages more so because sometimes having either just jam-band music or electronic music to listen to was just off. I feel like for any festival, you should be able to go from one stage to another and have music at both (or more if there are more than two.) Past that though, Backwoods had hit everything with a bullseye. The stage production was on point, set up of vendors and bathroom access was with ease, and everyone on the grounds (that we came across at least) was respectable and a good vibe to the festival and community. Overall, I, and the Chronic Electronic would love to come back to celebrate 4/20 again at Mulberry Mountain for Backwoods. Be sure to check out our photo gallery in the link below and if you absolutely loved Backwoods like we did, hop on tickets for next year for an extremely cheap price! Ticket link is below!