Electric Forest Opens With Long Lines, Big Ambitions

June 25, 2015

EF 2015 - 6Electric Forest Festival coverage is sponsored by Springstead Law Offices, with locations in Hart and Fremont, 231-873-4022; www.springsteadlaw.com.

By Mark Lewis. Contributing OCP Writer.

GRANT TWP. —  For the fifth-straight year, festival goers came from all around, flooding the normally sleepy village of Rothbury with good cheer, wallets full of cash, and thumping bass – lots and lots of thumping bass.

License plates from as far away California, Texas, and Alaska – yes,

that Alaska – graced carsas far as the eye could see, as an expected

40,000 revelers poured into the festival site on the property of

Double JJ Resort Thursday morning, entering the festival proper from a

large field just north of Winston Road. Cars started to queue

Wednesday, hoping to get the choicest camping spots, while latecomers

were relegated to far-flung locales across the festival’s multiple

campgrounds – which double as a horse pasture the rest of year.

“This is amazing, incredible,” said a nearly speechless Alan Browner,

19, as he sat atop a friend’s truck while waiting in line for a

vehicle search. “You ain’t seen nothing yet,” someone yelled a couple

rows away. Indeed, it is Browner’s first large music festival, so all

he had to go on where the tales of friends and various Internet

accounts. “I’m just going to go wild,” exclaimed the Ohio native. “But

I’m going to pace myself, too. I don’t want to wear myself out the

first night. Don’t want to be some kind of an amateur.”

Though known primarily for a lineup that boasts some of the top names

(Skrillex, Bassnectar, and Flux Pavilion, to name a few) in Electronic

Dance Music (EDM), the festival, which was birthed from the earlier,

much larger ROTHBURY Festival – held at the site in 2008 and 2009, and

included a wider variety of music than the current incarnation of the

festival – still has ties to its jam band roots. For several years

now, the String Cheese Incident has dominated the festival’s main

stage for three out of the four nights, bringing with them a crazy

quilt of musical styles and a mind-blowing stage show to help Electric

Forest bridge the “real music”/electronic music divide.

The still-diverse lineup is helping to bring the two tribes together.

“I don’t care if they play a drum set, a drum machine, or on a coffee

can,” said Sophie Chandler, 23, of the Chicago area. “I just want them

to play all night, if they can. And I know they can, because they

wouldn’t be here if they couldn’t.”

Sophie will get her wish, as the music gets started Thursday afternoon

and then will rarely stop until late-night Sunday. Between then,

memories will be made, friendships will blossom, and yes, the bass

shall thump.



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