Electric Forest gears up for back-to-back festivals in 2018.

October 12, 2017

Electric Forest gears up for back-to-back festivals in 2018.


By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

ROTHBURY — Electric Forest organizers have announced the dates for the gigantic music festival that takes place at the Double JJ Resort, drawing 40,000 or more people each year.

Last year, was the first year that the festival expanded into two weekends, and 2018 will also offer a two-weekend format. The dates are June 21-24 and June 28 through July 1, and tickets go on sale in December, according to the Electric Forest Facebook page.

The permit approved by the Rothbury Village Council is good for three years, said Village Clerk Carol Witzke, so it covers 2017 through 2019. However, the permit is also contingent upon the production company, Madison House, meeting with local officials, Witzke said.

“It was dependent on their following all the rules,” the clerk said. “There has been no follow-up discussion with Madison House.” Witzke said she is confident the meeting will happen.

“I anticipate we will have it soon,” she said.

Festival organizers may have jumped the gun with their announcement, since the final details have not yet been ironed out. “I was surprised,” Witzke said, referring to the EF’s announcement Wednesday.

The festival, which has been ongoing since 2011 followed by its predecessor ROTHBURY in 2008 and 2009, has been the subject of controversy among the locals.

Issues with traffic, noise, trespassing, litter, thefts, drug activity, nudity and other issues have been cited by nearby residents. Witzke said there were fewer complaints this year – even with the two-weekend format – compared to previous years. The people who live in closest proximity to the venue reported problems, though, she said.

Regardless of issues, the village reaps the rewards of the festival by receiving a portion of the ticket sales.

The village received $380,000 from last year’s ticket sales, Witzke said. A large portion of that money was given to Grant Township to finish repaving Water Road, the venue route.

“In a village of 400 people, when you bring in 40,000 people, it creates infrastructure problems,” Witzke said.

Money from ticket sales will also be banked for future projects, she said. “The people in Rothbury will see a difference.” Future road projects beginning as early as this fall are in the works.

When the Double JJ annexed into the village, it created lower taxes for village residents, she said. So, village residents are seeing a financial benefit from the festival.

Since the festival will be done prior to the Fourth of July, it will be less draining on local ambulance services for medical calls at Electric Forest, she said. When the festival occurs too close to the holiday, it creates a manpower issue for Oceana County EMS, she said.

Whether you think it’s a benefit or a detriment to the local community, it looks like EF is here to stay for at least the next couple of years.

This story is copyrighted © 2017, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.


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