Living in the OC: Neighbor embraces festival.

June 22, 2016
Kevin Schultz, at left, with his friend, Gary Knapp, Jr., of Montague

Kevin Schultz, at left, with his friend, Gary Knapp, Jr., of Montague.

‘Living in the OC’ is sponsored by Springstead Law Offices, with locations in Hart and Fremont, 231-873-4022 (Hart),

By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

GRANT TOWNSHIP — Despite some inconveniences caused by Electric Forest, the gigantic music festival that invades the tiny community of Rothbury, Kevin Schultz embraces it.

Schultz, 45, has lived on West Wilke Road nearly his entire life. He has resided in one of the closest homes to the festival since 2000. Rothbury, the first festival on the Double JJ Resort grounds, launched in 2008, and then a second Rothbury music festival happened in 2009. Electric Forest began in 2011. Tens of thousands of people from across the country and other countries attend the annual festival that mainly features electronic dance music (EDM).

SpringsteadVertical_091015“I love the music,” said Schultz, who grew up listening to heavy metal. In his younger years, Schultz attended metal concerts, such as Metallica, Ozzy and Slayer, at Val Du Lakes Resort in Silver Lake. But now that EDM seems to be taking over the music scene, the middle-aged Rothbury native says he likes the bass thumping just like he enjoys metal guitar licks. “A lot of EDM is metal-based, like Excision.”

He has a fantastic view from his front yard of the ferris wheel, which is an iconic feature at many EDM festivals. He also enjoys “getting lost” in the Sherwood Forest.

Due to his close proximity to the event, he decided to build a lemonade stand for his son, Spencer. Now in its third year, the lemonade stand has been a popular spot for festival goers walking from EF to the nearby Lucky Lake Campground. He doesn’t provide the lemonade for financial gain, rather he wants to keep festival goers hydrated in the hot sun and dust.

The neighbor said there are some hinderances caused by the festival, such as traffic, trash, and thefts. No one has stolen anything from Schultz in the six years of EF or the previous two Rothbury festivals, however, he has heard of festival goers falling victim to larcenies.

Despite the few bad seeds, the majority of people who attend provide positive energy, he said. “I have met some really cool cats at this festival over the years, which has resulted in lasting friendships. That’s what this event is all about: friendship.”

EF begins tomorrow and continues through Sunday. Today, thousands of festival goers arrived on the grounds with early-entry passes.

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