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Escape to the Ozarks for Backwoods Music Festival 2023 

  • Event Parking
  • Celine Jerly
  • 9 minutes

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Music meets adventure in Arkansas, as the Backwoods Music Festival returns to Mulberry Mountains in the Ozarks. Experience the best of Indie, Hip Hop, and EDM, with a perfect blend of art and nature in the mix. Let’s get you ready for the weekend campout – here’s all you need to know about the festival that has it all! 

Back after a break, Backwoods Music Festival in the heart of Arkansas’ Ozark mountains promises to be all that the fans eagerly wait for every year. The festival grounds set out amongst towering trees, rolling hills, and fresh mountain air is the best complement to the multi-day event’s vibrant energy.  

In 2023, Backwoods is bringing back the best of EDM and jam bands touring the country. Winners of the ongoing Backroads Tour will also join the four-day lineup featuring house, techno, and bass artists. But there’s more than the music to look forward to – discover art in the woods, ride the Ferris Wheel, hike, shop, and celebrate the weekend in the campgrounds. 

With so much to explore, you’ve got to plan out the weekend for a hassle-free festival experience. So, keep reading for all the latest information about Backwoods Music Festival.  

The closest airports are over 50 miles away; So, a road trip to Mulberry Mountains is inevitable. Lucky for you, Way’s got everything your car needs for happy trips! Count on us for the best gas discounts, finding EV charging, auto insurance, auto refinance, car washes, and as always, the best parking near you! 

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Where is Backwoods Music festival? 

After it’s hiatus in 2017, Backwoods Music Festival took up residency in Mulberry Mountains. Previously, The Tatanka Ranch in Stroud, OK, was the festival’s venue. And before that Keystone Lake Park in Prue, OK, hosted Backwoods Bash – as the music festival was originally known.  

Mulberry Mountains is a camping event destination off Hwy 23 (Pig Trail Scenic Byway), in the Ozark National Forest. It was also the venue for the well-known Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival, before it was cancelled after the 2013 edition. You can also catch the annual WAKAAN Music Festival and Rendezvous in the Ozarks at the same venue, among several other events. 

How to Get There 

Fort Smith and Fayetteville are closest to Backwoods at Mulberry Mountains. Fort Smith Regional Airport is only about an hour’s drive away, while Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) is around 65 miles north of the event resort. Boone County Regional Airport is another option, with similar drive time to the Mulberry Mountains. 

The address for Backwoods Music Festival venue at Mulberry Mountains is 4117 Mulberry Mountain Loop Ozark, AR. Use the map below to plan your route: 

Road tripping? Kansas City or Dallas is only a five-hour drive from this location. Oklahoma City is closer with a drive time of only three and half hours. Driving from Tulsa or Little Rock will take you a little over two hours. No matter which city near Mulberry Mountains you start the journey from, make sure to get a good look at the route and plan regular stops for a hassle-free drive. And if you need parking along the way, you’ll find it right here for cheaper rates than drive-up prices.  

Also See: 5 Safety Tips for Spring Break Road Trips 

When is Backwoods Music Festival? 

Backwoods Music Festival 2023 dates are April 20 – 23, Thursday to Sunday. 

When the festival debuted in 2008 as Backwoods Bash, Keystone Lake Park in Prue hosted it over Memorial Day Weekend. Later in 2014, after its re-branding as a crossover festival, the dates changed to Labor Day weekend. In 2018, the event moved into Mulberry Mountains with an early April schedule. But the 2019 event was in June and the 2021 festival was in August. So, the annual Backwoods Music Festival dates vary from year to year.  

How many people attend Backwoods Music festival? 

Mulberry Mountains can host up to 25K people during festivals like the Backwoods Music Festival. Tickets are easily sold out for the event, so you can expect the campgrounds to be filled to capacity.  

The festival has designated areas for camping, parking, vendors, the main stage, and other activities. So, there’s no need to worry about crowding. If you are camping onsite, moving your vehicle during the festival isn’t easy. Unless you have an emergency, your car or RV must remain parked throughout the weekend. However, you can leave and re-enter the Day Parking lot by the entrance. But this area mainly serves those using offsite accommodation.  

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What are the festival timings? 

Backwoods Music Festival 2023 begins on April 20, Thursday. Gates open to the Mulberry Mountains festival grounds at 2 pm and close at 2 am. If you have a 3-Day pass, arrive at the venue by or after 8 am on Friday when the gates reopen. Main Stage performances are from 12 pm to 2 am on all four days of the festival. But after parties will go on till 3 am.  

Only cars parked in the Day Parking lot can re-enter the festival grounds. For those camping onsite, vehicles parked in the designated areas are not allowed to leave until Monday (April 23) morning. If there is an emergency, you’ll need a security escort to move your vehicle off the property.  

What to expect at Backwoods Music Festival 2023? 

Backwoods Music Festival is an annual outdoor multi-day event in a secluded wooded area offering an intimate experience unlike most music festivals. The community comes together to celebrate music, art, and nature.  

Apart from the hand-picked lineup of artists, the woods set stage for art showcases, interactive installations, an 80” Ferris Wheel, LED and Laser shows, games, workshops, yoga, bonfire, and more. You’ll also find a casino and over 80 food and merch vendors onsite. Additionally, the woodlands are open for hiking – up to the waterfall or down to the river.  

Come prepared for a cozy camping vibe – you can choose only the basic or glamp it up with luxury tents. If you don’t mind a long drive every day, stay at a hotel or another campsite nearby. Day Parking is available at Backwoods Music Festival in Mulberry Mountains; you’ll need a car pass in addition to your tickets.  


What’s the weather like? 

At the time of the festival, it can range from the high 60s to mid 90s. So, bring warmer clothing for the night and lighter options for the day. Storms and high winds are also a possibility; don’t forget to stake your tents and bring necessary equipment for wet weather.  

Get more details about Backwoods Music Festival 2023 rules and guidelines here

Also See: How to Plan a Camping Road Trip in the United States

What’s the lineup for Backwoods Music Festival 2023? 

The 2023 edition of Backwoods Music Festival is electronic focused, with some of the best EDM, techno, bass, electro-jam, and house acts on the lineup. The String Cheese Incident, Lettuce, The Floozies, and Big Gigantic are headlining on the different days. The String Cheese Incident will play two sets on Saturday, April 22, and also take over the Late Night Acoustic Taco Party on the same day. Winners from the Backroads Tour will also join the lineup.  

Backwoods Music Festival 2023 poster with lineup
Image Source: backwoodsmusicfestival.com

Check out the full Backwoods Music Festival 2023 lineup and artist updates here

Where can I get Backwoods Music Festival tickets? 

Tickets are available online on the official Backwoods Music Festival website. Make sure you buy all passes from the authorized platform; wristbands will be scanned for entry to the festival grounds. Car/RV passes are sold separately and parking is not included with GA or VIP entry passes.  

A variety of ticket types are available for Backwoods Music Festival 2023 – from 4/3/2-Day GA Entry + Camping to VIP Backstage Experience. However, VIP tickets and add-ons are limited and usually sell out fast. You can also have an ultimate glamping experience with the luxury pitched tents that come with beds and electricity.  

How much do tickets cost? 

GA Entry + Camping ticket rates range from $139 – $229 per person. The rates vary according to number of days you want to attend and Field/Shade camping options. GA passes are available for 4-day, 3-Day, and 2-Day camping. At the moment, single-day passes are not available to pre-book. Field Camping is next to your vehicle, but your car will have to be parked at the designated lot if you choose to camp in the shade. Car/RV parking rates are extra. 

VIP 4 Day entry costs $599 and includes a camping spot in the shade of your car from 2 pm on Thursday to 12 pm on Monday. You’ll have access to flushable toilets and showers, plus the VIP shades area near the main stage. Take it up a notch and enjoy a more comfortable stay at the pre-pitched bell tents. But it will cost you $1199 – $1899; both sleeping bags and luxury bed options are available.  

Car passes cost $49/vehicle. Any vehicle larger than a 16” van has to be parked in the RV/Camper/Trailer lot – passes cost $199 and does not include festival entry.  

Is there an age limit to attend the festival? 

No, all ages welcome but organizers warn that some content may not be child-friendly. Kids 12 and younger enter free, accompanied by a ticketed adult. Ages 13-17 require an adult festival pass and must accompany a parent or guardian over 18 years of age.  

Also See: 5 fun (and free) road trip games for kids

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