After a summer of festivals, Backwoods Experiment isn't quite ready to say "goodbye" to the outdoor fun that the warmer months have to offer.
The band, including Chris Musto, Tim Mayo, John Vassiliou and Andrew Moat, dubbs itself as bluegrass, experimental and psychobilly. Backwoods, along with 16 other lineups, will hold the Backwoods Harvest Jamboree Friday through Sunday at the Road Knights Motorcycle Club, Haleeka Road, Cogan Station.
"We've had this idea for a long time because there's really nothing to do," Mayo said. "It'll be a good place to meet with family and friends and enjoy some good music."
Festival promoter Lonnie Wilcox said he jumped on board to promote the festival for the same reason that Backwoods wanted to host it. Coordinating promotional posters and videos for his clients at Wilcox Graphic Innovation, he said he wanted to push for something that he, too, could be a part of.
"I've been wanting to do this for a long time," Wilcox said. "I want to see them succeed and make it farther from this small town. I think this will help open a lot of doors for a lot people."
The all-weather festival has accepted all acts, from jam bands, to Russian gypsies, to Zydeco, to bluegrass. The bands include Dakini, Lumpy Gravy, Owen and Moat, (((PSD))), Dirty Mojo, Seth Foresman, and Blue Sky Mission Club, based out of Ithaca, N.Y.
"By mixing the styles of music and bringing in musicians from all areas, as far as New Jersey, we think the festival will have a different feel," Moat said.
"A lot of times," Mayo added, "you go to a festival and by the third band, you feel like you're hearing the same thing that you already heard. These bands will have the stage for an hour, hour and a half, so it won't be like, you get into something just in time for them to be done."
Wilcox also said that with 19 acres of property, camping is encouraged.
"With three days of music going until all hours of the night, it's a great chance to camp out and keep those under the influence off the road," he said.
The beauty of the event, Wilcox added, is that the festival offers so much to do.
"It's amazing how many people you will meet or bump into," he said. "It is a small world and the festival will be relaxing and fun."
The family friendly event should crack down on some of the problems that sometimes surface at festivals. While alcohol will be permitted on the grounds of the festival, it will not be served as part of the festivities.
"No matter what the festival, there's always some kind of problem," Mayo said. "We want this to be fun for the whole family."
Mayo is no stranger to festivals. He and Backwoods Experience played at about 12 festivals throughout the summer. A few years ago, though, one festival made headlines when an overdose reportedly occurred on its grounds.
Mayo said those who attend should make a pact to always look out for whomever they're with.
"People have to look out for each other, take care of each other," he said. "Another thing that's good about camping out for the weekend is that it eliminates substance driving, so camping is encouraged because of that, too."
It is the hope of organizers that the Backwoods Harvest Jamboree will become something that will continue to grow over the years.
"Thousands of people go the GrassRoots Festival (held each year in Trumansburg, N.Y.)," Mayo said. "It's just good, clean fun that started with a small family. Now people are brought from Africa and Tibet - and to hear all the different music is really cool."
The gates will open at 11 a.m. Friday, and noon Saturday and Sunday. Vending, including goods and food, is free and encouraged. Organizers anticipate a wing trailer, food by Old School Pizza, and vendors selling candles, clothing and tie dye items, but others are being accepted.
Grills also will be permitted on the festival grounds, but, according to Moat, the planned bonfire will be big enough for everyone to roast hot dogs.
A weekend pass, with camping included, is $20. Children younger than 14 are free. Those who wish to leave the area and come back can do so with an arm band. Tickets are available at The Harvest Artisan Cooperative and Gallery, 46 1/2 W. Fourth St., or by calling 323-7201.
Backwoods Experiment also is supportive of nonprofit organizations. Those in attendance are asked to bring a nonperishable food item that will be donated to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
For more information about the jamboree, search for Backwoods Harvest Jamboree on Facebook or call Wilcox at 777-2665.