MSP: ‘Well-behaved crowd’ at EF

June 28, 2014

ef 3By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

ROTHBURY — Despite a few minor emergencies, things are going well at the Electric Forest Festival this weekend.

According to Michigan State Police Sergeant Tony Harrington of the Gaylord post, no ef 2deaths have occurred. One man was taken by ambulance yesterday afternoon with a body temperature of 107 degrees, Harrington said. A tree was blown down by wind at the body paint tent today at approximately 3:30 p.m., causing minor injuries, he said.

“This is a very well-behaved crowd,” Harrington said of the world-renowned music festival that drew at least 40,000 people this year and continues to attract more attendees each year. The festival embraces music, art, individuality and peace, reminiscent of Woodstock, as free spirits from across the nation and other countries unite.

“This is a very pleasant detail to work,” Harrington said with a smile as he watched festival goers enter and exit the concert area.

ef 6Stuart Weaver of Alpha & Omega Mounted Security Patrol in Texas said his group has 25 horse-mounted employees on the grounds for the festival. Festival goers were petting his horse, Tony, as he stood by to help in the event of an emergency. Alpha & Omega is contracted by the festival to provide security. “We’re here to help people,” he said. “We give directions; assist with medical calls; anything we can do to assist is what we do,” he said. His co-worker Lisa Miles was on hand to assist with crowd control as the two greeted festival goers entering the concert area. Alpha & Omega also provides security at the world-famous Bonnaroo and Mystery Land music festivals.

eff 1Dylan Long, who lives just outside of Rothbury and works at the Double JJ Ranch as a cook, said he attends the festival every year. He said he liked the Rothbury Festival better than Electric Forest. The Rothbury festival began in 2008 and returned in 2009. There were no festivals at Double JJ in 2010. Then, in 2011, Electric Forest began and has continued every year. “They were more experienced festival goers,” Long said. “They ef 5were cool cats. This year, there are a lot of first-timers. They might need to expand the grounds,” he said, in order to accommodate the growing crowds.

“It’s easy to relax here,” said local resident Sara Sommerfield, who was with Long at the festival. Their friend, Hanna Cruz of Maryland, flew in to attend the festival. Cruz’s parents live in Rothbury. “I like the social aspect of it,” she said.

The 90-degree heat was not bothering the trio. Long said he got up this morning and met up with some fellow festies who offered him a “dunk-a-roo,” which involves dunking your head in a cooler full of ice water, getting slapped in the face, and then chugging a beer.

At the Tripolee stage, a couple from Wisconsin had some bad news to report. As Megan ef 4Weidner and Matt Bock were asleep on the festival grounds lying a blanket, someone stole their phone, approximately $50 and cigarettes. They awoke from their nap to discover that their things were gone.

Others are enjoying the festival with no mishaps. “Everyone’s really nice and accommodating,” said Emily Parker of Maui, Hawaii, who is originally from Grand Rapids. “It’s pretty clean for thousands of people being here,” she said. “The camping is nice,” said Parker, who is camping in the Good Life camp area. “I like the recycling,” she said.

Local residents are enjoying the festival as well. “This puts Rothbury in the map,” said Eugene Zainea of New Era. “It’s awesome. It reminds me of the Super Bowl. It’s kind of a crazy crowd, but it’s low key. They’re friendly people, and this (festival) is a boost to the local economy.”

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