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Building a Backyard Music Venue

August 04, 2020 13 Comments

Building a Backyard Music Venue

The levitate backyard is the culmination of many years of dreaming about transforming the overgrown, poison-ivy ridden dumping grounds behind the marshfield shop into a space where the community could come together to share their love for surf, music, and art in a collective and inclusive environment. today, the backyard plays host to local and national musicians, kids art camps, fresh & healthy food, and more than a handful of hand squeezed margaritas. The process of creating the levitate backyard was many years and tears in the making, and to truly explain its creation, it is only right to start at the beginning.


Circa 2016 Backyard

"close enough construction" daringly tackled the most extreme construction project in levitate history: gutting and remodeling the back half of the surf shop and sprucing up the backyard itself. the remodel was like breathing life into a corpse, and might have driven steve hassett to live in his van for a period of time thereafter just to escape the memory.

"rough openings"

the first of many backyard hangs


Cantina Construction

after running small shows on a on an occasional basis in the backyard in 2018, featuring food trucks and self-run bars, it became obvious that a full time music venue/cantina/taco joint was the path forward. We all became obsessed with the concept of transforming the backyard into an oasis of music, food, drinks, and community. The construction process was monstrous: converting a barber shop to a cantina, somehow fitting a full scale kitchen and 6 bathrooms into the hold of the ship, convincing the power company to move a couple telephone poles, and also completely reimagining the backyard space. Big shout outs to Steve Hassett for running point, and completely dedicating his life to the space to life, straight through the music festival in 2019 - and to everybody at the festival who had to pick up the slack left in the wake of steve's absence at the fairgrounds for the three week build and strike of the Levitate music & arts festival.

Early days + heavy lifting

Twoey's speciality is in doing everything

hood going in...installing commercial kitchen equipment was serious business.

Many holes were dug, large and small. Mostly by hand.

Tile lifestyle - zephyr never came back.

Your new bar?

The beginnings of the best patio this side of route 3.

Finishing touches

A very special shout out to Nate Savje for our custom-made surfboard bar top. Nate shaped and glassed this monster at his house right down the road in marshfield, sandwiching together 3 SUP blanks and pulling off some very complicated laminations to give life to the coolest bar top around town. still no dings.

Another shout to chalk masters Kara Hoblin and Jess HassetT, who put in work to complete the chalk menus and murals down to the buzzer before opening.

AJ Hassett also put in the work until the bitter end as head sign builder, wiring and putting together all of our custom neon signs.


opening night

Opening night was a smashing success. Chadwick stokes of dispatch played an amazing set and the first of many tacos and margs were put down the hatch by a solid group of very special guests.

ribbons were cut.

Tacos and margies were for sure flowing.

Chadwick Stokes showed all of us a good time.

The opening weekend was a blur to say the least.


Letting the good times roll

Once the thing got up and running, there was plenty of time to sit back and let the good times roll in. No lack of trials/tribulations, but has been plenty of fun to go around for staff & guests.

epic shows

the elovaters came and ripped it for the second year in a row.

citizen cope

Donovan Frankenreiter

our amazing crew

We couldn't have pulled it off without the best kitchen, bar, and backyard staff ever...big ups to everyone for jumping into a first year project with gusto and pulling it off.

The biggest ups go to maria for holding all of it together at all times and being be most baddassest of all. Thank you for all you do.

après Beach delights

Another huge thank you goes out to each and every artist that has passed through the backyard and kept us rocking with live music every day.

fall fun

The fun didn't stop in the fall, we kept the ball rolling straight through spooky season and can't wait to do the same this fall.

back-stage kittens grew up: meet martha mae who is a girl not a boy

short-lived fire pit - replaced by gas powered variation per mfd.

more martha hangs

photo booth was supposed to be for the kids


Halloween blowout

After a long season, what better way to wrap it all up than with a hellacious halloween blowout? No lives were harmed but livers might have been...

A final thanks to our epic staff.

One of these is not like the other


Operating in 2020

After muscling through opening and our first half summer of being in business, we were extremely excited to rip it all the way from may-october in the backyard this year. 2020 has had it's dramatic curveballs and a late start - but the levitate backyard & Rexicana Surf cantina have been uniquely positioned to fulfill our mission of providing music, art, and community in a safe and fun way, straight through a pandemic and in full levitate style. Thank you all for your continued support, please swing by 3-9pm daily and enjoy.

Socially distanced jams with The elovaters

Backyard buildout round 1000000

Neighbor Ripping

Brand new mural thanks to alexis wells!

Ghost of Paul Revere came by and ripped it

We spent all winter tinkering with a new and improved food/drink menu that is loaded with locally grown goodness.


One final thank you goes out to every single one of you that has passed through the doors of the backyard over the past year. Your support and love has made the backyard a vibrant community hub, and we are so excited to keep on hanging out with you all for years to come.

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Eric Kuznacic
Eric Kuznacic

August 05, 2020

Hands down one of the coolest spots I have ever been to! We flew out from Wisconsin last fall for The Elovaters weekend and were blown away by the Backyard and the store! We had no idea what to expect but everything was first-class all weekend long. We had planned to make it back out there for the festival this summer, but we all know what happened with that. We look forward to returning and enjoying a show and some margaritas ASAP!

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