By Alexis Simpson
We arrived in Rothbury, MI Thursday night, and had to find our whereabouts at Electric Forest in the dark. The festival grounds are immense, so be prepared to walk a lot. The lineup of Electric Forest was also extensive, so the plan was to see as much as we could but to pace ourselves since the festival was 4 days long. Our first stop was the Ranch Arena to see The Glitch Mob. Throughout the weekend, this group was mentioned by many festival attendees as being one of the best.
Next we ventured into Sherwood Forest. Sherwood forest is especially magically at night, and is what distinguishes Electric Forest from all other festivals. The psychedelic lighting and art installations scattered about the forest make it a wondrous place to explore. There are also two smaller musical stages located directly in the forest which allow for a more intimate musical experience. There are many nooks, hammocks and other hidden areas where fans can sneak off to get some rest. Performance artists in varying costumes hang out in this area as well.
On the other side of Sherwood Forest, is the Sherwood Court stage which was the farthest hike, but held some of the best performances. The Thursday night highlight was Umphrey’s McGee who also played Saturday night.
Zeds Dead closed out the Ranch Area stage, and was one of the most talked about performances of the weekend.
Exploring the festival by day allowed us to get a better grasp of all that the festival has to offer.
Hammocks, hula hoops, and skin seemed to be in.
But, be careful…The undercovers were there to make sure things didn’t get too out of control!
Lauryn Hill was our first performance of the day, and the one I looked the most forward to. She was wonderful live, and despite taking the stage an hour late, won over the forgiving EF crowd.
The heat on the other hand, was unforgivable. The humidity was ridiculous and the temperatures ranged from around 85-89. UGH. But by day, we had even more performance artists, interesting outfits, and art installations to enjoy.
The String Cheese Incident was especially well-received at EF.
Today started off with Unicorns!
Next we headed back to Sherwood Court to see Schoolboy Q of Los Angeles, who is huge in the hip hop realm right now. He was excited to perform and seemed to kick out of the uniqueness of the festival.
Stephen Ragga Marley killed it on stage and helped the festival continue to feel the love despite the heat and humidity.
A surprise top performance of the day was from Detroit’s own Muzzy. His enthusiasm drew a huge crowd, and we can’t wait to see him perform again!
We started the day by checking out the food and shopping selection in the campground section of the festival. Our fave was the crepe and coffee stand. The girl working the stand told us that she is a food vendor at over 30 festivals!
Next Seven Lions on the Tripolee Stage had everybody dancing as the sun was starting to set.
Next Cashmere Cat chilled things out a bit.
Tcyho of Ghostly International continued the ambient atmosphere.
Cut Copy livened things up with their sexy electro-pop quirkiness.
Lastly, Moby, an electronic music classic, showed the festival just how much he loves music with an energetic performance that was entwined with more than enough beeps, squeaks, and booms to rival any DJ out there.
Lastly, Electric Forest exceeded all expectations. It’s true what they say about the festival being surrounded by vibes of love and community. In order to partake in all the amazing activities that the festival has to offer, one needs STANIMA. There is so much to see and do, that the festival leaves you wanting more and looking forward to coming back again next year for another exhausting yet exhilarating four day weekend.