Backwoods Back Under Fire

The estate of a man who died at an Oklahoma music festival last year is suing organizers for hiring unqualified security and creating an unsafe environment. 


Patrick Murphy of Stillwater, Okla., died at Backwoods Camping and Music Festival in Depew, Okla. after being subdued for removing his clothes and charging the stage. The Medical Examiner’s Office concluded that Murphy died as a result of cocaine and methamphetamine use, taking heat off what was initially being investigated as a possible homicide.

The recently filed lawsuit alleges that the coroner’s report is in error and that Murphy’s death was likely caused by positional asphyxia, according to the Tulsa World. It further goes to claim that security threw Murphy to the ground, tied his wrists and later his ankles with zip tie and left him face-down in the dirt instead of seeking adequate medical attention.

At the event last year music duo Fyer reportedly pulled out after the members were assaulted by security for crossing a fence. Festival organizers said on the event’s Facebook page that Event Security LLC had been fired for the following year as the result of “several incidents which Backwoods had to relieve some security staff of duty due to inappropriate actions.”

The statement further acknowledged “We failed our patrons by hiring a company who wasn’t able to perform for us.”

The plaintiff, Kyle Endicott, who oversees Murphy’s estate, seeks $75,000 in damages from festival organizers Backwoods Productions, Pro Security, Event Security, Tatanka Ranch, which owns the location at which the festival was held, and others.