Get ready for camping, food and music at the Backyard Music Festival in Topeka

Music lovers throughout the Midwest have the opportunity to enjoy music of all genres at this fast-growing festival in Topeka.

This year marks the third year of Backyard Musicfest – a June 7-8 festival presented by 151 Entertainment and Deuce Alley Productions – at Forest Park and Conference and Retreat Center, 31589 SE 10th St., in the capital.

“Our first year we had about 1,500 visitors,” said Ronald Ruiz, the event's organizer. “Last year I think it was over 3,000. So this year I'd like to bring over 5,000 visitors here for the weekend. We want this to be a summer attraction for Topeka.”

The festival features live music, art, crafts, food and beer

Live bands will cover the musical genres of reggae, blues, Latin, electronic dance and hip-hop. The artists come from the Topeka and Kansas City areas.

Art, craft, food and beer vendors from across Kansas will also be on site.

Ruiz said the festival provides a platform for local and surrounding artists to showcase their talent. Steve Alley works alongside Ruiz as a co-organizer of the festival.

“We have some of the biggest artists in the country here in Topeka,” Ruiz said, “and we don't give them enough opportunities to showcase their talent. That's what this is about – bringing in a lot of local talent and getting them out there, from the Kansas City market to Lawrence, Junction City and Manhattan.”

Which bands will perform at the Backyard Music Festival?

On Friday, June 7, Joe Crofoot, Tyler Swain, Sunday Basement Boogie, Cloud 9, and Phantom Sam will perform, among others. On Saturday, June 8, Cozi Maganda, Mark and the Sharks, K-Stylis, and more will perform.

For the performances, four live stages will be set up on the grounds of Forrest Park. Each stage will play a specific genre of music.

Ruiz said the festival has grown tremendously since its inception. The festival was officially called 420 Fest and was held at a different location. Last year it was renamed.

This 19-year-old Topekan runs a convenience store at West Ridge Mall. Here's why.

In addition to the music and food vendors, visitors can also camp on-site, Ruiz said. Cabins are available and tents, RVs and camper vans can be set up on-site.

Entertainment such as live painting, jugglers, fire-eaters and more will also be part of the festival on both days, he said.

Space is still available for arts and crafts, food and beer booths. For complete stage plans, visit

How can you buy tickets for Backyard Music Festival?

Tickets can be purchased on the Backyard Music Festival website.

Single-day general admission passes are $25 each and can be used on Friday or Saturday. Two-day general admission passes are $40. Two-day camping passes per person are $20. Parking passes are $10.

“It's an experience. We want people to come to Topeka. It's the capital,” Ruiz said. “Who else is doing something of this magnitude in Topeka? Nobody. Nobody wants to take the risk because it's a lot of work.”

“Lots of nice people and good food”

Cliff Meinhardt, CEO of Dream Acres, said he is looking forward to the festival, which will be held in Forest Park.

Dream Acres is a nonprofit organization that provides a supported living environment for people with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Dream Acres will provide breakfast for all on-site campers on Saturday morning, with all proceeds from the breakfast benefiting the nonprofit, Meinhardt said.

“Hopefully there will be a lot of people and a lot of good food,” Meinhardt said. “An event where you can sit back and relax and enjoy good music.”

Keishera Lately is a business reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. Reach her at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @Lately_KT.