The 7th annual Electric Forest (EF) festival returned to its home in the beautiful forest of Rothbury, Michigan for the first of two weekends, welcoming over 40,000 fans for four days and nights of camping, live music, incredible art installations and the magic of the enchanted Sherwood Forest.
WATCH THE EF2017 WEEKEND ONE RECAP VIDEO HERE.
“We plan year around to raise the magic of Electric Forest from the year before,” Jeremy Stein Electric Forest Founder / Producer and President of Madison House Presents. “Experiencing the festival with the EF community brings all the hard work to life and inspires us for the next year, and in this case, the next weekend. We couldn’t be more grateful and humbled by the enthusiasm and contributions the entire Forest Family brings to the EF experience.”
“The first weekend of Electric Forest was an unbelievably beautiful experience,” said Pasquale Rotella, Founder and CEO of Insomniac. “We spent four days exploring the forest with thousands of inspiring fans and it was amazing to see such a diverse community come together to create art, appreciate all kinds of music, and transform the unique campgrounds into their temporary home. With so many first-time special sets across seven stages, and vibes that continued until the sunrise in the forest, I can’t wait for everyone to see what’s in store for Weekend 2!”
Now an annual Forest Family tradition, fans lined up at Electric Forest’s Main Entrance on Thursday afternoon, anxiously waiting for gates to open and for their time in the Forest to begin. Sets from Day 1 included headliners The String Cheese Incident and Above & Beyond, plus performances by fan favorites The Revivalists, Bob Moses, Kamasi Washington and many others, launching the First Weekend of EF2017. Claude VonStroke’s label party, The Birdhouse, took over Tripolee stage, kicking off the first of EF2017’s Curated Events, with performances from Claude Von Stroke, Golf Clap, Sonny Fodera, Jimmy Edgar, Machinedrum, Walker & Royce, and Maya Jane Coles. Eager fans flooded the enchanted Sherwood Forest to explore new art installations including the epic Caravan Elephant centerpiece, Mechan9 Robot, this year’s Art Installation Sponsorship winners The Night Lily and Pisces Pool, and more.
As festival gates opened on Friday afternoon, the Her Forest Curated Event kicked off at the Observatory Stage, hosting performances by Melodie Monroe, Dance of Anarkali, M.O.B.,Heartwurkz, Frankie Tanimal, Alfiya Glow, LYNX & the Servants of Song, and a special drag performance from EF2017’s Monarch Rachel and Their Royal Court. Performers for the debut of EF’s Her Forest Curated Event were selected from hundreds of fan submissions auditioning to be part of this unique celebration of women and all they offer to art. EF’s Her Forest program, which also hosted a Group Camp, Her Forest Circles, and informal “Meet-Ups” during Weekend 1, serves to nurture a culture of connection and empowerment within the EF community.
Friday night brought an epic 5-hour performance from Electric Forest’s original muse, The String Cheese Incident, for their second performance of three for Weekend 1. Bringing out an all-star lineup of special guests for a very special second set, SCI was joined on stage by Kamasi Washington, Matisyahu, Matt Hill of the Floozies, Break Science, Brazilian Girls, Liquid Stranger, and Eric Krasno. Sherwood Court hosted the Foreign Family Collective Curated Event, featuring a stacked lineup including Chet Porter, Fakear, Big Wild, Jai Wolf, Troy Boi, and TYCHO. Meanwhile, Monarch Rachel, EF’s first non-binary Monarch, and their Royal Court treated fans to drag make-overs in the newly revealed interactive art space, The Chapel. The Bassrush Curated Event on the Tripolee stage welcomed pulsing sets from Trampa, a special B2B from Liquid Stranger and Space Jesus, Eptic, Pendulum (DJ Set), Crizzly, Zomboy, Andy C and Nero (Live); fans danced into the early morning hours.
By Saturday, the festival had settled into the familiar, joyful rhythm that is so unique to Electric Forest. With many experiences and surprises still to be explored, some started the day with a Bloody Mary brunch at EF’s pop-up restaurant, the Woodland Grill. Others participated in yoga, relaxed in hammocks, explored the Sherwood Forest, or visited EF’s post-American war themed Hangar area for a hair trim at the Barber Shop or bowling and a game of pool in the Arcade.
On the stages, anticipation was high for Friday’s “This Song Is Sick” secret sets in the Jubilee Tent, which revealed performances fromAutograf, Louis the Child, Ganja White Night + Boogie T, and peaked with Big Gigantic + Illenium + Ekali collaborating on stage. On the other side of the festival, fans were preparing for My Morning Jacket at Ranch Arena. The incredible set from the rock band included a powerful rendition of Prince’s “Purple Rain.” Up next at Ranch Arena, Bassnectar delivered a driving set that his legion of loyal fans will not soon forget.
Sunday provided a final opportunity for Weekend 1 attendees to experience all that Electric Forest has to offer. Music from The Infamous Stringdusters welcomed fans in the afternoon, with special guest Bill Nershi from The String Cheese Incident. Yoga kicked off the morning at the Tripolee stage, and Her Forest held the Closing Women’s Circle in Reincarnation Village for all who identify as women and their allies.BreakBot and Papadosio kept the Ranch Arena grooving before headliner Dillon Francis brought the final performance on the mainstage. A-Trak kept the party going on the Tripolee Stage while Big Gigantic closed out the Sherwood Court. Xenia Rubinos, Sepiatonic and Vourteque closed-down the Hangar stage, with Dixon’s Violin serenading the Observatory Stage to a poignant close for the First Weekend of Electric Forest 2017.
Electric Forest 2017 hosts its Second Weekend June 29 – July 2. Headliners for the second weekend include: The String Cheese Incident, Flume, DJ Snake, RL Grime, Bassnectar, Big Gigantic, Claude VonStroke, and Thievery Corporation, with over 150 additional performers. Tickets, including 2-day weekend passes, are available now at www.electricforestfestival.com.