Each year, it seems as if new festivals pop up out of nowhere. Whether it is their inaugural event or the hangout has been occurring for a few years, it is very easy for a music festival announcement to get lost amidst the other amazing summer happenings. Fortunately, that is not the case with Stroud, Oklahoma’s Backwoods Music Festival, right off of the historic route 66.

By simply releasing a scrambled initial phase of their line up, they grabbed the attention of many and held it with great music and a very interesting location. One of the most intriguing parts of Backwoods is that their line up is mostly comprised of incredibly talented up and coming acts as opposed to bands that many music fans are already familiar with. Musical discovery is one of the best parts about attending music festivals and Backwoods has selected some great acts to play career-defining sets. Below are six of many acts who you definitely will not want to miss at this great festival. 

1. The Earful

If you are going to Backwoods to get down and dirty, then The Earful is for you. The San Diego based band is a jazz livewire and their music guaranteed to make you want to dance. Just one listen to the bass line and sax solo on their track “Ill Logic” and you’ll understand how they were able to name their 2011 LP “funk for your earhole.” The Earful has been gracing their audiences with honest-to-god booty shaking music  since 2008 and they will not disappoint at Backwoods.

2. Bowlsey

Don’t be fooled by the fact that you have not heard of Bowlsey yet, because this band is incredibly bold. Hailing from Oklahoma City, the hometown heroes of the Backwoods Music Festival are ready to impress with their down for anything attitude and their sheer talent.  Check out their track “Queen Of The Ghetto” to hear dynamite vocals and rap over some infectious synth pop grooves. This could be a huge set for Bowlsey, they are sure to impress in front of this eclectic crowd.

3. Adam Ezra Group

Hailing from Boston, MA, The Adam Ezra Group has acquired many impressive accolades over the years such as The New England Music Award’s 2013 “Band Of The Year” and 2012’s “Album Of The Year,” yet they are more than the great praise they receive. While the band is named after front man Adam Ezra, all group members contribute their past experiences from travel and activism to the music they create. The Adam Ezra Group exudes sentimental Americana and a deep appreciation for those that have influenced them along their journey. Their video for “Dear Miss Hallelujah” is the epitome of the band’s honest nature, take a look and see for yourself.

4. Calliope Musicals

There is something so intriguing about this band, although it is not initially apparent. It may be their free-spirited personality, their happy-go-lucky sense of wonder, or their infectiously catchy music, Calliope Musicals will surely instill their audience with good vibes and the festival spirit during their anticipated set. Self-described as, “a cheerful psychedelic party folk band from Austin, TX,” Calliope Musicals embodies just that during their recent performance with KUTX. Watch below for a taste of what to anticipate from this fun-loving tribe.

5. The Motet

The Motet perfectly encapsulates the spirit of Backwoods. The 7-piece funk outfit is a fantastic band that, “has dedicated over a decade to the healing power of funky dance music” and it certainly shows. The band just released their 7th album and they are ready to hit the road for the summer, encouraging festie-goers to let loose and dance to their disco-infused jams. Check out their live performance of  “Like We Own It” off of their most recently released self-titled album, and get ready to turn it up.

6. Manic Focus

With an original style and unique sense of mixing music, Manic Focus is in not your typical EDM DJ. Taking influences from hip-hop, classical music, and the electronic acts before him, John “Jmac” McCarten inspires his audiences by exploring the connections between contracting genres and mixing them into one entrancing track. “One More Whiskey” is just one great example of his work, pairing light bluegrass twang with a darker hip-hop beat and morphing it into one unbelievably catchy groove. Here is hoping that Manic Focus pairs up with main stage act Break Science on their collaborative act “Manic Science” during the course of the show!


Be sure to check out these acts and more at Backwoods Music Festival in Stroud, Oklahoma from September 4th – 6th, 2015. Click here for more information on purchasing tickets and the festival itself. 

– Marisa Frydman (@musicalmarisa)