There’s more than music at Electric Forest

June 27, 2015

FullSizeRender (1)By Mark Lewis. OCP Contributing Writer.

Electric Forest Festival coverage is sponsored by Springstead Law Offices, with locations in Hart and Fremont, 231-873-4022 (Hart),

ROTHBURY – When one thinks of music festivals, it’s not absurd to conjure an image of days upon days of, well, music.

And while there certainly is plenty of music to hear at the fifth annual Electric Forest Music Festival, there are plenty of other things to keep you busy as well. Long known for its art installations and spontaneous displays of the weird, the festival also offers activities that have little or nothing to do with performing music.

Case in point: The festival offers a daily yoga session at the Tripolee area, where over 1,000 people stretch, strain, and get loose to the gentle rhythms of Hannah Muse, the yoga instructor who leads the group in her routine from atop the Tripolee stage.

While the yoga we practice in West isn’t exactly the same as the Indian ancients, Muse peppered the routine with historical notes on India and Sanskrit as participants go from one asana to the next.

For many at the daily ritual, yoga isn’t something they just do at festivals.

“I do this every day ‘in the world’,” said Tracey, from Oregon. “It’s awesome to have this here so we can do it, together, during the festival.”

Of course, not everybody comes prepared with yoga experience nor even the ubiquitous yoga mats nearly everyone carried in for the session.

“No, I’ve never done this before,” said Kyle, a “down south” resident who is visiting the festival for the first time. Standing on what looked to be a tattered beach towel, he said, “Saw people doing something like this at Bonnaroo and thought I might join them here. Besides, the view ain’t half bad.”

Note: Kyle was stationed at the back of the crowd so he could get a good view of all the “pretty people” in front of him.

If Yoga isn’t your thing, on the other side of the Sherwood Forest at nearly the same time – and the brand new Jubilee Stage, which is located on the backend of what was the main amphitheater at the original two ROTHBURY festivals, in 2008 and 2009 – a group of about 25 people got together, hula hoops in hand, to learn some of the steps to what organizers hope will be an not-quite impromptu ‘flash map’ Sunday night.

“Everybody meet behind the stage at 10:30 for the flash mob,” the leaders instructed the crowd. “If you have a (lighted) hoop, or know someone who does, get it and bring it.”

The crew started through the routine, having those who knew it showing those who didn’t until everybody got the hang of it.

“It’s not that hard (a routine) to learn,” one instructor assured the gathering. “We want everyone to be able to do it.”

Of course, if both hoops and yoga are too much for you, grabbing a spot in the nearest shady spot and people-watching is always a popular alternative. Where else are you going to see a man dressed as a dinosaur, two women dressed as space aliens, and a male/female couple not dressed at all, save for some strategically placed body paint?

Probably only at Electric Forest.

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