EF is here to stay

September 3, 2014

EF 1

ROTHBURY – It looks like the Electric Forest Festival is here to stay for the next decade … as long as it gets support from the Grant Township Board.

The Double JJ Ranch and AEG Live, a national concert promotion company that acquired Electric Forest co-organizer Madison House Presents in January, agreed to a 10-year deal to keep the gigantic music festival in Rothbury, according to mlive.

Norm Halbower, who is part of the Double JJ Ranch’s ownership group Antler Bar Amusements EF 2LLC, confirmed the deal Tuesday, mlive reported.

According to mlive, Halbower said the agreement between the ranch and AEG Live to host the festival became official when the properties’ former owners, Progressive Resorts LLC, failed to take necessary steps to reclaim Double JJ, which a court order gave it the opportunity to do.

A court order by Judge Terrence R. Thomas of the 27th Circuit Court granted Antler Bar Amusements LLC ownership of the property in November 2013 after Progressive Resorts LLC couldn’t pay the bills.

However, the court order gave Progressive a chance to reclaim the ranch if it paid off more than $7 million in debt owed to ABA by the May 19 deadline, which it failed to do.

Halbower told mlive that hosting EF is extremely vital to the success of the ranch because it brings in funds to upgrade facilities.

Dave Alvarez, general manager at the Double JJ Ranch, told mlive that ABA has invested $2.4 million in the property since May. New roofs, upgraded rooms, new flooring and cabinets at Back Forty cabins, and upgrades to the water park are some of the improvements.

EF 3Halbower said the only thing that could stop the festival from happening would be a lack of support from Grant Township board, which he doesn’t anticipate. Before last year’s festival, the board approved a mass gathering permit in a split vote. The township has supported the festival since it began in 2011.

The hugely-popular four-day music festival at the end of June attracts people from all over the country and has been dubbed one of the best music festivals in the world. It was estimated that nearly 70,000 people attended the 2014 festival, which was its fourth year. Prior to EF, the Rothbury Festival took place at Double JJ in 2008 and 2009.

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