Rothbury, Mich. – population 432 – swells to about 25,000 from June 26-29 when Double JJ Resort hosts its annual Electric Forest Festival.
Attracting some of music’s biggest names, the fourth annual fest features hula hoop and yoga workshops, carnival rides, light shows, and the Sherwood Forest: a treed area filled with sling-type hammocks to relax in.
ARE FRIENDS ELECTRIC?
They are if they’re musicians. The lineup for the EFF is heavy on jam bands, hip-hop, and electronica, with a sprinkling of roots, blues, and rock.
This year’s headliners include former Fugee and rapper Lauryn Hill, ex-Swedish House Mafia DJ Steve Angello, Aussie elec tronica band Cut Copy, DJ legend Moby, German house music duo Booka Shade, and rapper Flying Lotus.
Fest fave country/bluegrass/funk jam band The String Cheese Incident will have three shows, and prog-rockers Umphrey’s McGee is playing two.
The smaller stages will feature an even more eclectic lineup, from Gemini Club and Alex Metric to GTA and Michigan’s own Cosby Sweater.
Getting there is half the fun. By car, the Double JJ Resort is 2.5 hours from the Petoskey area; 3.5 from Traverse City.
There are several different levels of camping: “Group Camping” for a minimum of 20 people; the “Tripolee Comfort Campground” features air-conditioned restrooms, an ATM, and sites only steps from the festival gates. “The Good Life” camping includes decked-out tents, RVs, or cabins, plus a restaurant, health and beauty offerings, a lounge, and premium viewing of the stages.
In addition to all that music, the EFF offers other diversions to help make the festival’s ambiance unique.
The Sherwood Forest section features hanging hammocks for you to rest in, with art installations, light shows, and surprise performances. Daily yoga keeps you grounded; and for an extra fee, the Gold Rush Water Park helps keep you cool.
And Psychedelic Friendship Bingo is a new, hyped-up interactive game show that will feature three big games each festival night, complete with celebrity guests.
And this is all in addition to the usual roving stiltwalkers, hoop-twirlers, and other circus-worthy performers that pop up with little notice.
So how do you deck yourself out for such a weekend? Well, at the EFF, pretty much anything goes, although we’d recommend clothes that keep you cool, since the temperatures are likely to be high, and you’re in the middle of farmland.
Last year’s EFF showed just how crafty festival attendees can be, with lots of self made costumes, elaborate hats, bizarre techno-dancing worm and lizard creatures, and neon-colored rave gear.
And of course, once dusk arrives, glow sticks are the item of choice, because at the Electric Forest Fest, looking electric is the most necessary accessory of all.
The 2014 Electric Forest Festival is June 26- 29 in Rothbury, Mich. For more, visit electricforestfestival.com. If you guessed the subheads were song references, you were right.
In order, these songs were made famous by Gary Numan, Eddy Grant, MGMT, and The Beastie Boys.