Electric Forest Review 2015
Electric Forest is one of those festivals that everyone needs to attend at least once in their lives, if not every year. As a first time attendee of EF I was completely blown away by the sheer magnitude of the event. According to festival organizer, nearly 45k attendees converged on the picturesque town of Rothbury, Michigan for a weekend DJ’s, jam bands, art, and perfect weather. The atmosphere of EF was dynamic, it was alive. The various stages stacked throughout the grounds with staggered line-ups provided opportunities to soak in the various vibes of DJ’s and bands.
When I first arrived to the festival the line for the entrance was unreal. With so many people crammed into a small funnel it felt like sand passing through an hour glass. It was a little overwhelming when we were so excited to get in and get setteled. If I could make two minor suggestions it would be multiple entrances to decrease wait times and a shuttle system back and forth to camping. As I began to adjust to the larger scale festival I became enthralled by essence of the atmosphere the festival had to offer and spent time checking out art and a huge variety of vendors.
One of the trademarks of EF is the Sherwood Forest – the epicenter of the festival and a phenomenal night time experience – it lived up to its legendary reputation. The glowing of the LED lights of the majestic lasers dazzled and amused throughout the weekend. I finally got the phrase “Lost in the Forest” as I quickly found myself lost in the dreamy, psychedelic land where stages are situated glowing installations, lanterns, and huge trees.
Kascade at the Ranch Arena was a grand start to this amazing festival for me. With pyro and energetic fans, everyone was on their top notch gear and ready to have some great times! The music had everyone in the right mood to start this epic 4 day festival out right. Fans were all united in chanting, dancing, and grooving together collectively ready for what the next few days in Rothbury, Michigan would hold. The Ranch Arena acted as the main stage at EF where most of the headliners played, and was equipped with all the top notch protection our hearts could desire.
With so many great acts and performances it was so hard to pick and choose which acts to new indulge in. EF has 5 amazing stages constantly playing and it was really a battle to pick and choose and traverse the distance back and forth to each stage to catch each specific act in play. Outside the back of the Sherwood Forest was the Sherwood Court, the second largest stage of the festival. This stage was home to jam-band legends and experimental genre defying acts like EOTO and Umphrey’s McGee.
The String Cheese Incident was never a disappointment; they brought their A game and performed stellar. I’ve gone to see String Cheese Incident before, they were just as exciting as the last time, with great grooves that appeal to everyone.
A variety of unique collaboration that happened at EF – The String Cheese Incident and Skillrex, Preservation Hall, Big Gigantic, Bassnectar and many other musicians all participated in super jams throughout the weekend. It was truly a treat to see these different acts/artists team up together for delicious collaborating to bring us all something special at this festival.
Some bands, like Accidentals, couldn’t get enough of the forest! They played a total of 5 times throughout the 4 day festival! Talk about WOW, they were never a beat off and awaiting their next opportunity to continue to provide harmony and melody in the enchanted forest.
DJ’s such as Carnage always brought the groovy and succulent bass drops for all those bassheads throughout the crowd. Pumping up the energy for crowd and atmosphere, there was a jolt of life back in crowd as there was “Carnage” in the sea of people.
Black Tiger Sex Machine performed a stellar performance as well, with great energy and enthusiasm, the crowd was roaring for mirroring the energy of the act. The crowd was energetic and alive as the people in the front row of the barrier was jumping up and stomping down.
To wrap things up, Big Gigantic magnetized thousands of people for their set it was unbelievable how many people were amassed for the awesome duo of saxophone and drums. Signs sailing in the air it was a sight to see all the crafted arts proudly waiving in the night sky as the forest filled with euphoric music from Big Gigantic.
With the addition of 2 new stages as mentioned by previous festival attendees, I was excited to experience it all. The weather was acceptable and welcoming for all of us descending upon Electric Forest. I have successfully survived my first EF experience and look forward to heading back next year for another amazing musical experience.