Electric Forest has been a name to remember since the festival was conceived about a decade ago. Now it has become a doubleheader of musical allure and artistic expression with a unique charm and grace. Sporting such glaring headliners as Bassnectar, The String Cheese Incident, My Morning Jacket and Flume, along with so many more supporting acts that put on a show beyond words, the beauty of the forest, ornamented by innovative and refined artwork will surely be complemented sublimely. There is little reason for surprise when masses of enthusiastic fans will be flocking to the scene for the shared experience. From the organization to the production, to the art and music itself, the collective human spirit will be more than satisfied by Electric Forest 2017. Here are 7 reasons why you don’t want to miss it…
If you have not been to Electric Forest yet since it began almost a decade ago, this year will be a great opportunity to experience it from a perspective that will be new to many veterans. For the first time, the festival will be happening during back to back weekends (June 22 – June 25, June 29 – July 2). Organizers chose to do this because they felt it would result in maintaining the more close-knit atmosphere that Forest has been famous for thus far, rather than approach the population of much larger festivals in one weekend, and lose its original charm that brought it so much recognition from the community initially.
A few headliner acts of the multi-weekend celebration are more than enough to turn heads toward Rothbury, Michigan this June. Bassnectar alone procures a following who flocks to feel the vibration of his eclectic sound compounded among decibels of refined output with influences from the most underground EDM of the past few decades to the most heavy rock and metal music of the past half century. The String Cheese Incident has been a force to reckon with in the jam scene because of their unique blend of bluegrass induced sounds electrified by modern percussion and highly decorated originality. Both Odesza and Flume induce a melodic twist through the ambience of their soundscapes that is hypnotic and alluring, coupled with visuals that are mesmerizing as well. My Morning Jacket is a band that stimulates the senses with soothing rock and roll reminiscent of Southern retrospective combined with alternative understanding.
Supporting Acts Galore
Much of the expressed sentiment regarding the blissful combinations of creative balance between the work of these musical artists may be applied to the rest of the stacked lineup. Breaking Biscuits will be a well anticipated merger between members of the Disco Biscuits and Break Science to burst boundaries of sound and rhythm for the pleasure of all ears to behold. Thievery Corporation is notorious for luring audiences into a marriage of worldly sound combining elements of eastern instruments with universal beat. Big Gigantic and Conspirator will be sure to leave the crowd craving more glitch-funk as the roof is torn off by sounds that are difficult for anyone to stand still. The Revivalists add a wondrous contrast due to their highly organic smooth funk rock with indie undertones, while Tycho creates moods that are uplifting and pensive within a variety of dulcet harmony.
On top of the lineup’s enticement by itself, there are also numerous curated performances which include multiple acts organized specifically to complement one another by their essential nature, and by the manner in which they are presented. Bassrush is an event meant to showcase the heaviest bass with most accurate exposition possible by a superb combination of production and quality coordination. Claude Vonstroke’s “Birdhouse” will give the audience a true taste of the vision he craves through the masterful method of output as decided and facilitated accordingly. Crew Love and Foreign Family Collective are collaborative efforts between respective labels and artists meant for demonstrating the fluidity of a group of creative individuals progressing toward a common goal; in this case to expose original music through formats catering to genuine expression. Future Classic, Heldeep, No Xcuses and Night Bass compose very similar sentiments for their own specific styles and flavor of sound comprising of dance, house, bass, and a variety of artists to make everyone move in cadence. Turntablists focuses on showing the crowd the roots of live sound mixing through the use of the original medium of spinning and scratching on a turntable to create beats in the moment using analog mechanics.
Beyond Art Installations
If an itinerary so astronomical is not enough to make audiophiles interested in E-Forest, perhaps it would help to mention that the visual aspect of the ceremony is arguably the main attraction. Art installations that rival the most prestigious adornments in the world reside at EF and have been known to impress universally, exploring vast arrays of aesthetic possibility. On top of the actual installations, the people themselves are a sight to behold, including wandering performers who take attendees by surprise with charismatic poise and joyful disposition.
Another special feature that gives EF a very unique emanation is the curated event called Her Forest. This will be giving the feminine side of the festival opportunities to shine with flying colors considering the voluminous impact of women on the scene as a whole, and in making the forest so special. From the artists and the work, to the inspiration and production, the conglomerate of energy between women is at the very least grounds for the intentional experience of sisterhood involving the various aspects of enjoying the festival and what goes into making it happen altogether. Through mindful performances, group camping, connective meet and greets, and constructive, bond-forging activities, the women of the forest will no doubt empower and support each other to find new ways of enriching the time for themselves and all whom they interact with.
Philanthropy and Conscious Environmentalism
For a few years now, Electric Forest has been sponsoring the growth of music programs in Michigan schools with a Music in Schools Program. Various lineups have included high school music performances in the mix, and EF has purchased instruments for many schools as well, keeping curriculums well supported and funded, which is more than appreciated by the schools and families involved. On top of the philanthropy, a consciousness of environmental sustainability is crucial, and the Forest family does not fall short here either, especially with a program titled Electricology. Attendees have the opportunity to earn and redeem points based on their environmentally conscious actions including efforts to recycle and learning where to bring all potential waste in a manner that adheres to proper management. There are numerous rewards offered through cooperating vendors, travel mediators, and the festival stores, including the possibility to win free tickets for life. This program will do well encouraging attendees to maintain a sustainable outlook and be friends of the forest in every way.
Electric Forest takes place June 22-25 and June 29-July 2. To see the whole lineup and buy tickets visit electricforestfestival.com.
Images and video courtesy of Electric Forest/Madison House