Backwoods Pondfest organizer Lowell Wurster (standing) at a recent Lucid show, along with his father George Wurster on harmonica.
The normally quaint Twin Ponds campsite is gearing up for about 2,000 music lovers to descend on the park for two days of music, camping, culture, art and all around good vibes.
Backwoods Pondfest Music Festival will open it’s eighth year Aug. 8, but Twin Ponds’ music festival history goes back nearly 25 years. Before Backwoods, it was Pondstock, another multi-day music festival. Before Pondstock, smaller festivals were held yearly.
One draw that Backwoods relies on, and has kept it steadily growing year after year, is the camping. Many of Backwoods’ festival goers roll into Twin Ponds early Friday and camp through until Sunday.
“A lot of people take it as an outing for their families,” said Backwoods’ organizer Lowell Wurster. “People come up for the great music and the camping.”
Others can take advantage of a discounted ticket for just the Saturday shows.
Wurster says that 23 bands have been booked for Backwoods this year on their two stages. Shows are timed so that there is no overlap in music. Festival goers won’t have to pick between bands and can see all 24 sets over the two days.
“It’s the biggest cultural, arts event in the North Country. We have bands that have toured the country and toured the world. It’s such a diverse lineup. If you’re a music lover, it’s something you can’t miss,” Wurster said.
Besides the bands from out of the area, four of the bands, including Wurster’s band Lucid, are from Plattsburgh and the surrounding area, with other local favorites from Vermont and Glens Falls.
In previous years, the feedback Wurster has received is that Backwoods doesn’t have the same “feel” as other large music festivals. People can leave their tents and feel secure and even have small at their camping site.
Gates open at 9 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 8, and the music will play into the wee hours of Saturday and Sunday. Many of the campers even help clean up Sunday morning.
Saturday starts with yoga and a disk golf tournament at Twin Ponds’ newly built course.
An advanced pass for the entire weekend is $70 or $85 at the gate. Children 6 and under are free, and 13 and under are discounted. Tickets are available online or at several local businesses. A list of businesses, as well as the lineup of bands, can be found at www.backwoodspondfest.com.