10th Electric Forest: Who, Where and When.

June 23, 2022

10th Electric Forest: Who, Where and When.

By Ross Field, Contributing Writer.

ROTHBURY — As the 10th Electric Forest Festival opens this Thursday, June 23, with hundreds of musical acts playing on nine different stages spread over hundreds of acres it can be daunting to figure out who to see and when and where they are playing. This is particularly difficult with the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) acts as they are so numerous and so different from each other.

Here I offer my take on what acts not to miss. However, because I do not hold myself out to be any kind of expert on EDM, I have enlisted the help of Mitch Mathers, a Grand Haven resident, Shelby High School graduate, and an EDM artist himself. In fact, Mitch will be performing at the Electric Forest in an early morning set at the RV Renegade Stage.

If you are a fan of rock and roll and bluegrass, do not miss any of the String Cheese Incident’s shows over the course of the festival. In fact, on Thursday night, park yourself in the Carousel Club, as Nth Power, a New Orleans funk and jazz band, and Butcher Brown, a hot funk and fusion jazz quintet from Virginia, take the stage before the String Cheese Incident.

After what will likely be a one-of-a-kind String Cheese performance, Cory Henry — one of the finest Hammond B-3 organ players of his generation — and his band close out the evening.

If EDM is your flavor for the evening, Mitch recommends heading for Sherwood Court where the dubstep of Smoakland opens up the evening, followed by Surf Mesa, and Detroit’s own Cannons.

Other options Thursday night include a solo set from Joel Cummins, keyboard player for Umphrey’s McGee, at the Honeycomb, and be sure to catch the Disco Biscuits when they close the night out at Sherwood Court.

Start your day on Friday at the spectacular Carousel Club, where the modern bluesman, Fantastic Negrito, is the first act, and is followed by Midland, Michigan’s own indie-rocker, Michigander.

Then head over to the Ranch Arena where the country-rock of Kitchen Dweller is the first act of the day. Next up at the Ranch Arena is the incredible guitarist, Cory Wong. Wong plays a variety of styles, and is a member of Ann Arbor’s, Vulfpack, a fantastic funky rhythm-and-blues outfit. Don’t be surprised if Wong sits in with the following band, the String Cheese Incident.

The Tripolee stage has historically been the epicenter for EDM at the Forest, and Saturday is no exception as the schedule is loaded with acts that Mitch recommends like west Michigan’s own, Wreckno. Later on the young duo, Moore Kismet, will blast their melodic bass music across the massive arena. Mitch also recommends Of the Trees, Liquid Stranger, and Subtronics.

One other EDM act to try to catch on Friday is Detroit’s DJ Holographic who will be playing at the Observatory at 6:30. Techno music was first created in Detroit in the late 1980s, and the Electric Forest has had some great techno artists over the years including Kevin Saunderson and Richie Hawtin, and DJ Holographic continues to represent Detroit’s techno music this year.

If you catch only one show over the entire festival, make sure it is the Saturday night String Cheese Incident concert. Their Saturday night “Shebang” shows at the Ranch Arena are legendary for over-the-top light shows, acrobats, and fireworks.

The Carousel Club is also presenting some great acts like the Everyone Orchestra, the young guitar-whiz Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, and jazz-rock pianist Marco Benevento. In between those sets, be sure to catch the sunny rock and roll of Michigan’s Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers at the Observatory Stage in the middle of the Forest.

Of the many EDM acts on Saturday, Mitch recommends the trip-hop artist, Tokimonsta, at Sherwood Court at 7:15 p.m., and the house music artist Dom Dolla’s midnight set at the Tripolee.

Sunday, the last day of the Electric Forest, is largely given over to many flavors of EDM. The big acts at the Ranch Arena are Griz and Louis the Child, but don’t miss Felly or Chelsea Cutler. Both acts combine folk and pop with EDM to create moving, mellow soundscapes that should be perfect under the trees and lights.

Over at Sherwood Court, catch the funk trio SunSquabi and then the Electric Forest veterans, Big Gigantic, who will probably have one of the larger crowds of the weekend.

Two acts that Mitch highly recommends are playing that afternoon at the Observatory. Tsuruda is a classically trained musician who combines elements of hip-hop with dubstep and EDM to create otherworldly oceans of sound. Khiva produces deep dubstep tracks that percolate with gigantic beats within a minimal soundscape.

For anyone looking for a more soothing way to end the festival, the neo-soul singer, The Della Kit, is playing a set at the Honeycomb. Counting as her inspirations such artists as Ella Fitzgerald, Jill Scott, and Joni Mitchell, the Della Kit’s rich vocals will be a soothing way to decompress after four days of music and art in the Forest.

One last piece of advice: be spontaneous and venture about the Forest as many magical things every minute of the day and night, and the smallest stage on the site, the Grand Artique Trading Post, has a revolving lineup of smaller folk and rock groups playing on the most intimate stage in the Forest.

Oh, wear comfortable shoes and drink lots of water!

  • Photos by Allison Scarbrough

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