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Our Story

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About The Venue

Welcome to Poconos Park, where nature and entertainment come together in perfect harmony. Nestled on over 200 acres of private land, our property is a unique oasis that makes our festival and events unique and unforgettable. Here, you’ll discover a stunning amphitheater, a charming Lakehouse, spacious festival grounds, and ample parking.
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Venue History

From the beginning…

In 1892, Jacob Ottenheimer, an immigration agent for the Canadian Pacific Railroad, acquired 12,000 acres near Bushkill Falls in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. On this land, he established “Forest Park,” a luxurious summer resort catering to German-speaking Jewish people. Forest Park enjoyed prosperity until World War I, when anti-German sentiments and federal pressures compelled Arthur Lederer, Ottenheimer’s son-in-law, to sell the resort.

Unexpectedly, the new owners diverged from the expectations of Forest Park’s detractors. In 1919, Lederer sold the resort’s buildings, 750 acres, and a lake to Locals 22 and 25 of the Dress and Waistmakers’ Union, a union of Jewish garment workers from New York City. This purchase marked the birth of “Unity House,” envisioned as a hub for worker education and leisure activities.

Adjacent to Unity House, the People’s Educational Camp Society inaugurated Camp Tamiment, a summer retreat for additional New York City workers. Despite initial optimism, the Locals’ venture into managing a worker resort near affluent vacation homes faced challenges. Consequently, in 1924, they transferred ownership to the General Executive Board of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU), the largest women’s union in the United States.

Under the ILGWU’s stewardship, Unity House underwent significant enhancements, transforming into a “workers’ paradise.” Emphasizing the promotion of labor values over profits, the ILGWU expanded facilities, increased staff wages, and subsidized attendance to ensure affordability for members. Unity House flourished during the 1920s, offering a plethora of recreational activities, educational lectures, and cultural events.

The 1930s and 1940s witnessed further developments, with Unity House becoming a pivotal venue for union solidarity amid the Great Depression and World War II. Notable figures, including Eleanor Roosevelt and various politicians, visited the resort, affirming its significance within the labor movement.
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About Us

The crew here at Poconos Park are a group of people dedicated to making events awesome. Combined, there’s well over a hundred years of experience in the live music and events industry. Everyone here at Poconos Park works here because they truly love the feeling of putting on events for our community and customers that they will remember forever. We’re all about making memories!

If you’re interested in joining our crew, check out our job opportunities HERE.

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Our Crew

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John M Oakes

Owner, CEO & Janitor

John Oakes is well known for hosting some of the best music and motorcycle festivals out there. A long time entertainment entrepreneur, he has a couple decades of experience touring, managing musicians, and producing events, culminating in having his own venue. He’s had incredible success with many huge musicians and a number of marketing campaigns with various companies. You’ll usually find John with his phone in hand, radio on his hip, handling 8, 22, or even 37 things at once.  When he’s not working hard.. Wait, we really don’t have anything to say here because John is NEVER not working. Even if he’s out on a run with his dog Otis, or spending time with Sam, he’s still got his phone in his hand, doing some sort of work. We’re pretty sure that he works literally 24/7 - even when he’s sleeping.

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Renee Crowell

Renee Crowell is a woman of many hats, and spends most of her days at Poconos Park chasing around and cleaning up after John. Renee really is the TCB lady, takin’ care of business on the daily. When she’s not at work (which isn’t often!) She's spending quality time with her husband, Chris.

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Otis Oakes

Director of Dog Operations; VP of Treats

Otis Oakes is our Director of Dog Operations; he handles all canine aspects of our business. Otis plays ball; enjoys handling operations at the venue, and loves spending his off time with John and Sam. Otis also loves spending time in the break room, getting treats from the site crew.

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Jon Halperin

Talent Buyer

Jon has nearly 25 years of experience as a music talent buyer at legendary music venues like Southern California’s Chain Reaction and The Glass House, along with festivals like Coachella and Warped Tour. He has a wide range of experience across genres, and brings an incredible level of talent to everywhere he works. Jon works remotely from California, enjoying the sunshine all year round.

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Michelle Pillow

Ticketing & VIP Director

Michelle is the resident ticket - master (but in a great way!) She handles all of our ticketing and VIP, making her probably the most VIP of all of our crew. She makes sure our guests can get their dream seats, ensures the VIPs feel truly important, and spends a lot of her time editing and spell checking everyone’s work! In her off time, Michelle loves shopping for vintage and unique items and hanging out with her dog, Aja.

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Sam Luettke

Production Coordinator

Sam is a veteran of the music touring industry with plenty of experience on major A-list tours, including recent tours with legendary acts like Elton John, Carrie Underwood, Blink 192, System of a Down, Metallica, and many more. She is a pro wrangler of musicians, crew, and more. Sam has the talent to make things run efficiently and smoothly no matter how crazy things get (and let’s be real, in the music industry, things are often pretty crazy!) She is a true asset to the Poconos Park team. When Sam isn’t hard at work managing the production, she’s searching for unique vintage items, or hanging out with her dog Otis.

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Savannah Rose

Event Director

Savannah Rose is a self-proclaimed “motorcycle carnie” - having spent years working in events, ranging from music venues & tours to motorcycle events, to even literal carnivals. Day to day, she runs the events for Poconos Park - from planning, production and execution. If she’s not running events, or chasing John around for answers, she’s probably riding one of her various custom Harley-Davidsons around the twisty back roads of the Poconos with at least one of her two dogs, Monkey and Ozzy Pawsbourne.

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Andy Lee

Facilities Director

Andy acts as the handyman and Facilities guy for Poconos Park, fixing, building and doing whatever odd jobs are thrown his way. Andy is also a veteran of the touring industry, coming from multiple large tours and events like Warped Tour, Coachella, Mayhem, Stagecoach, X-Games, and more. On top of that, he is a Marine and spent quite a few years serving our country. We’re not sure exactly where we found Andy, but we decided to keep him on and put his skills to good use. When Andy isn’t building or wrenching, or supporting the Veteran community, he’s usually out riding his motorcycle or spending time with his dog, Bailey Sue.

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Megan LaPorte

Digital Marketing Manager

Megan handles the digital marketing and media for Poconos Park and all of our festivals and events. You can generally find her at her laptop with tons of tabs open - from managing websites to Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and everything in between, Megan has her hands full making sure Poconos Park is fully digitally connected. When she finally gets a break from computer work, you can find her riding her Panhead across the country!

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Ralph Lucchese

Director of Video & Content Production

Ralph is our man with the cam, handling all of our photography, videography, content production  and more. Ralph has a keen eye for a good shot, and has taken the majority of the photos you see of Poconos Park. Ralph works hard to make us look good! Ralph hails from New York, and is U.S. Air Force Veteran. When he’s not making killer content for Poconos Park, he’s recording podcasts and other creative endeavors.

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Eric Styer

Audio Engineer

Known by the crew as “Audio Eric” - he is our in-house master of all things audio. From recordings, to even creating custom music tracks for events, Eric is talented when it comes to sound. You’ll find him running around handling a variety of things at Poconos Park. When he’s not here, he’s usually doing music producing, creating his own music, or hanging out with his wife, Christina

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Gilbert Coronado

Director of Business Development & Community Engagement

Gil is a local to the area, and a huge asset to Poconos Park. He handles our community engagement as he has his finger on the pulse of the Poconos. Gil works closely with local businesses, charities, and more to ensure we are supporting our local community.

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Griffin Johnson

Maintenance Manager

Griff is a legend in his own right here at Poconos Park - if you were to make it backstage, you would find “Griff’s Garage” - a magical lair of tools and supplies that Griff keeps a close watch over. (He’ll only let us in sometimes.) Griff handles maintenance, hard work and heavy lifting here at Poconos Park. Oh, and answering nearly any question the crew has, too. When he’s not here working hard, he’s spending time with his daughter.

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Stephanie Lavelle

Backstage Coordinator

Steph is our Backstage Coordinator, handling all aspects of backstage life and ensuring our artists and entertainers are well taken care of. She keeps the place lookin’ sharp and ready for our acts to enjoy! Steph came to us by way of Long Island and is now spending her days in the Poconos with her kids.. That is, whenever she’s not hard at work here at Poconos Park.

Our Past Events top style

Our Past Events

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265 Tom Ridge Drive Bushkill, PA 18324

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