20,000 strong made the migration to the magical place that is Electric Forest. We came, we saw, we danced, we conquered. The 4.5 hour trip from Chicago began bright and early at 6 AM central standard time. The whole week leading up to Electric Forest, I could not sleep or think about any thing else besides the wonders of what I was told Electric Forest had to offer. We arrived at the entrance to Electric Forest at about noon local time. We had a crew of fifteen (five cars) that we were worried would get separated at the check point. Luckily that fear didn't materialize and all our cars some how were able to enter and park together. It was ungodly hot out, the first thing we did was all crack a celebratory beer and cheers that we all made it safely to the forest. We began to set up camp and within the hour we were ready for the madness that was about to occur for the next four days…
Pre Forest Festivities (Thursday)
We all sat around lubricating ourselves anxiously waiting for the clock to hit 5:30 to enter the premises.
Our first move as a crew was to wonder around and see what the Forest was all about, we had plenty of time to kill before our first show we wanted to see which was womping hard and throwing bows with Borgore at the Ranch Arena. The park was alot bigger than I anticipated it being, the forest was decorated beautifully but we all knew it was still day and we hadn't seen anything yet. Nightfall brings the life to this festival. We hit the Borgore set and like aforementioned, we came, we womped, we threw bows. We stayed at Ranch Arena and caught Wolgang Gartner followed by Ghostland Observatory which was one of the coolest light/laser shows I had ever seen. Check video below (pardon my Camera skills it was all done on my phone and I lose my shit in some videos)
Ghostland rocked all our socks off, but again per usual for our crew during the weekend we wanted dial up modems, heavy bass, womping and bow throwing. So we head off to the wagon wheel stage for R/D. wagon Wheel stage was super sick, it was an elevated cabin on a beach infront of a lake, I think max capacity was no more than 250. Within minutes the R/D set became packed and we were womping and wobbling the night away. The cool part about this stage though, was that if you weren't lucky enough to get inside you can hang on the beach outside of the cabin. There was a big screen with a live feed of what was happening inside the cabin.
After a crazy night one we were rudely awoken by a godforsaken heat in our tents. By 8 AM our whole crew was up under the protection of our canopy sharing stories of things we liked and saw in the forest. I was already in need of a shower from the abundance of sweating from sleeping in that sauna of a tent. I wondered around the grounds and got familiar with where to buy Ice along with other necessities. After about a 12 minute walk I arrived at what looked like general public showers. Luckily no one said anything to me but the showers I had found were for staff only… OOPS! Wasn't too sorry about it, but let me tell you ice cold water had never felt so good. On the way back from the showers I picked up three bags of ice which ran me $24.00. Yes it was a little steep but with out Ice our camps could not run properly. Next order of business was hit the Wagon Wheel beach area to rock out with Elm & Oak and a special guest appearance with Paper Diamond from 2 till about 4. At 4 we came back to base to hydrate and rest a little because the day/night ahead of us was going to be a lengthy one. At about 6:30pm Team Womp (consisted of O'co Gerz n Myself) headed in for Minnesota's set. This was my third time seeing him this summer and it was by far his best set yet. Per usual he was in his baseball cut sleeve blue shirt and his goofy weave waving as he gave us all what we wanted … more WOMP. His rendition of Lamborghini Mercy is probably my favorite song of the summer right now. He also mixed up a little california dreamin' and then he hit us with the next episode and shit got real ill… #StrangeClouds
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/51664418″ iframe=”true” /]
Team womp then proceeded to Alvin Risk which was full of energy. Alvin played an hour long set from 8 to 9PM, we then headed over to wagon wheel for a lil DJ SOLO. Which pardon my french, but it fuckin' blew. Unfortunately, he was also at summer camp and I was not a fan either. After that Atrocity, we hung around for GRIZ and he DID NOT disappoint. Full of energy, sexy saxophone, and heavy dubstep team womp was at it again. Griz then brought up Dominic from Big Gigantic and they both threw down so damn hard. That set was definitely my favorite of the evening up to that point… Enter Zed's Dead, if you have seen Zed's Dead you know damn well they put on an excellent live show. They came on promptly at 1145pm and went till about just before 1am. It seemed as if there were a sea of people at the stage getting down with Zed's. They played all the big tracks and they then closed it out with “Eyes on Fire” which was incredible. Check out the video, pardon me losing it though its one of my favorite tracks !
The only non fun part about the stage in this Zed's video (tripolee stage) was that it was not equipped with any lasers ! total bummer ! But the Electric Forest people did a great Job with the lights so props to them ! Overall Zed's was by far my favorite set of the night. Datsik came on right after Zed's and continued the heavy dubstep. It seemed like having guest appearances was the theme of this festival. After about fifteen minutes of playing solo Datsik brought out the spirit hooded Borgore. They threw down for about an hour and fifteen. By the time they were done my ears were ringing and my brain was hurting bad. By the time Datsik and Borgore ended we had about a hour an half to kill before the late night Crizzly set at the Wagon Wheel. Team Womp decided to seek refuge in the forest.
Sherwood Forest boasted a plethora of sights to marvel at. You had the Clock tower right smack dab in the middle of the forest. That thing was key a few times for me, getting lost in the forest was not unheard of. (refer to Karl story on wikipedia page on electric forest)
The Sollun was an interesting part of the decor in Sherwood. Couches, coffee tables and hammocks adorned the inside of the Sollun. All the way towards the back was a DJ stage where they had smaller acts just keeping the party going for those who hung in the Sollun. I ventured in for a few moments and took it all in. It wasn't my cup of tea but I could see those who did hang in the Sollun were having a very nice time…. #timothylearystroops
After curious speculation of the Forest we headed to the Wagon Wheel stage to check out the 315AM Crizzly set. Unfortunately, Team Womp didn't make it in time to get into the actual Wagon Wheel cabin/stage, so we kicked it on the beach with at least 500 other people. Crizzly, known for being heavy dubstep, viciously shook the cabin. The live feed video screen showcased the rambunctious crowd jumping around having a blast. The windows to the cabin began to fog up. There were few inside the cabin taking on the roll of MC directing the crowd on the beach to jump or move side to side. Long story short, Crizzly killed it ! After Crizzly we headed back to camp and called it an evening.
Saturday ( my final day)
Same thing as the last two mornings waking up, 7:30 AM sun is beating on your tent, your drenched in sweat and you feel like you need an oxygen tank. Did I mention it was hot as hell ? Anyways, Saturday our crew was starting to get fatigued so we lounged around base camp until about 430 PM. We headed into the forest to just chill. One of the kids in our crew had heard about this mellow dubstep duo called Prymativ. They played in the forest stage, and yes as the name suggests it it legit in the forest. People in the front of the stage were jumping around getting down, while others sought to hang in the hammocks that covered the forest. I really enjoyed Prymativ, it seemed like it was one of their first real big gigs as they were super giddy after the set was over and the crowd roared in approval. After hanging in the forest with Prymativ our crew headed out to the ranch arena to catch a little Santigold. Santigold was a nice mellow very chill set, we took it as a time to conserve our energies for the Wompfest that was upon us that evening. I anxiously sat around waiting for 1030PM to come around for my dude 12th Planet. Best part about 12th was that Dada Life was scheduled right after him so we all knew what kinda raging was about to take place. Around 7PM thanks to twitter (#Ontopofshitalways) we found out that 12th had a flight issue and switched slots with Dada Life.
AS you can see Dada Life had a massive ” DADA LIFE” sign that looked like it was the same material as a moon jump. That set was incredible, it was my first time seeing Dada and I was loving every second of it. Super High energy as expected with their set, by the time their set was over I was completely drenched in sweat. I needed out of the pits for a second to catch my breath, 12th was moments away and team womp and my self couldn't be more pumped for it. My first time seeing 12th planet was at summercamp in Chilicothe, IL (Shoutout SCAMP !) and that set was off the hook ! The only problem was it was during the day, we all know music is a different beast at night with a sick light show. All I wanted to hear from 12th was ” Burst, Burst, Burst …. SWAG! and BAM there it was ! All up in your face just dropping some of the filthiest wobbles, and dub known to mankind. He shouted out to Alvin Risk as well as Bassnectar referring to him as “The Godfather””. I almost pooped a little from excitement thinking he was gonna bring on Nectar himself. But like I said earlier it was the weekend of special guest performers ! Datsik comes on stage with 12th and the crowd went into an even bigger frenzy than we were already in. 12th threw down super hard, team womp went hard in the paint and we needed a breather afterwards. Steve Aoki was scheduled to come after 12th, and it seemed as though the massive crowd that gathered for 12th had dispersed into the forest (i dont blame them). We had an hour to kill before my last set of the weekend which was Major Lazer. About fifteen minutes before Major Lazer was to go on, team womp grabbed some ferris wheel tickets and got in line. The set began and it was nothing special(in my opinion) but as soon as we got on the ferris wheel everything changed. The view from the top was breathtaking !
And with that set, it was the end of my electric forest experience. One which I will never ever forget, and one which I hope to enjoy again come next summer. Long story short, you would be a fool to not make the migration to Rothbury, Michigan for a incredible weekend of art and music. I want to thank Megan and Madison House Publicity for allowing me to document this festival. Shout out one last time to my
electric forest crew as well as team womp. Electric Forest, I cant wait to see you next year…