Electric Forest B2B Weekend Adventure

WRITTEN BY AMBERLYNN ANDERSON | PHOTOS BY ZACH LIEBMANN

The smell of pine, the vibrant electricity of colors oozing through the gaps of trees, the epitome of Mother Nature at the palm of your finger tips…Electric Forest is unlike any other festival I have attended by far; the Forest vibes are very real and other-worldly at the same time. Nature and dance music lovers joined together for week one in Rothbury, Michigan for the annual event held this past June, this time they blessed attendees with not one but two weekends! 

In addition to the beautiful scenery, there was art not only in the branches and leaves but in the people setting up murals and intricate installation was something that made it very special. The time and passion it took to enhance the beauty of it all was something that would bring a tear to anyone’s eye, the love that is behind the tedious construction of the stages and art exhibitions is something to admire! Walking around the forest, you definitely see some things you normally wouldn’t at any regular festival. In the forest, there are creatures speaking in foreign made up languages, trying to convey a message you wouldn’t understand until you’ve experienced this festival. At some point, I found myself sitting in a drum circle as they banged on Djembes and felt connected to these complete strangers even if it was only for a little. I made my way further in and found myself around a large piano, smack in the middle of a sea of endless trees, where a festival attendee was playing fun and funky tunes! There are surprises at every bend and turn you take.

Here is my break down of both weekends of Electric Forest!


– Weekend One –

The best performance of the first weekend would have to be Big Gigantic with some old throwbacks of theirs! Not to mention Dom was a surprise guest in the Hangar. I had a lot of fun at Troyboi’s set too, you can tell how much energy he had brought to the table and absolutely threw down! How could I forget about ODESZA though? The live beating drums and intensity of it all was magnificent…they played all of the right songs at the right time. I always try and check out new and upcoming artists at festivals and I stumbled upon an artist named PLS&TY, his set was fast paced yet mellow and calming. It’s hard to describe the tone that was set but it felt right for the Forest, drawing in other dancers on a quest to discover new sounds. 

That calm, alluring effect the trees have on you starts changing as the sun dips lower…especially when Bassnectar is about to take over. When Lorin started his set, of course, a couple mellow tunes to start out with. This set was different, Lorin had messages that were being played that hit very close to home. A Carl Sagan speech named “This Is Just A Ride” was included, a lot of the lines are things brought to a lot of others attention about injustices in the world and to be honest it got me very socially aware for a minute. To all bassheads, if you have a Facebook account I suggest you go to a group named “You Know We Love It” and watch the video of Bassnectar’s performance. Listen. That was my twelfth time seeing him play but that was not only the filthiest set but very inspirational.  I definitely was looking forward to what he’d do the next weekend of Electric Forest.

Lucky for me I was able to catch up with an old friend of mine Justin Taylor Phillips aka “Crywolf” in the media area, and was able to catch his set. His set had electronic drops while his lyrics were indie. He reached his full potential and sung his heart out and it brought hope to my heart that music will always grow, not diminish. 


-Weekend Two –

Leaving Sherwood and venturing over to the  Tripolee Stage was the game plan for weekend two; I found myself at the Sub Focus set but kept myself at the back so I could grab a slice of “Spicy Pizza Pie” pizza. Seriously, how awesome is that? Next up was 12th Planet! His deep wobbles and heart pumping bass was definitely something that carried me away. Eventually, Allison Wonderland, one of my favorite artists since Ultra Miami 2016, finally jumped on stage. Honestly I’m surprised her set wasn’t a lot louder, and I felt like she had some hiccups with equipment too. I could just tell there were some technical difficulties that night but she powered through it gracefully with a power set list. Last but not least for the night I stumbled upon Flume’s set for the second time this year-and I’m so glad I did.  Flume put so much energy into his set, you can literally see the passion for what he does oozing out of his pores. He closed out that night and I’m beyond glad he did, Flume seems to never disappoint his fans! 

I made my way to a very lovely bassheads set named Rezz! I approached the set, getting as close to her as I possibly could without cutting people out or being disrespectful to anyone, to see these LED glasses and what looked like pigtails. Her set was moving, I mean seeing a girl taking charge and kicking ass, dropping heavy drops is something I can admire! That set was empowering to me, I suggest any fellow rave babes to check her out next time she’s around! Last but not least, actually, hands down the best performance of the two weekends…Bassnectar! I thought he had a really good show weekend one, but that wasn’t anything compared to the absolute mass destruction of human brains I have ever seen! Dropping not only Collie Buddz, but A$AP Rockys “LSD” had the crowd go insane! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people freak out over a remix before. I don’t know if it was the stage change from week one or just Lorin doing his thing in general but all I can say is WEEK TWO NECTAR OVER EVERYTHING!

To say the least I had the most amazing time, despite all of the crazy! I met a lot of amazing, good hearted strangers, became friends with security guards even, found a family, and I made it home safe and sound. In the end, I had the most eye opening experience, my vacation turned into a journey, and most importantly I had found family in total strangers. Electric Forest, thank you for everything! Can’t wait to see you all next year!

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