Thursday, June 27th
As previous attendees of Electric Forest, we were extremely excited to be providing media coverage for this year’s festival. The Western Michigan festival is recognized around the world as one of the best music festivals.
Are incredibly long journey began in Orlando Florida. The only exciting part about this drive was that we somehow found a White Castle in the middle of Michigan, a few hours before we arrived in Rothbury. We arrived at about 10:00 pm on Thursday evening. Driving through the campsites, you could immediately see, hear and feel the many personalities of Electric Forest. When we parked, we quickly packed up our stuff and wouldn’t return to the car for the rest of the festival…
As we made our way into the festival grounds, we found ourselves starting our night of with RL Grime, at the Tripolee stage. It was really impressive to see Henry (RL Grime and Clockwork) get booked under both of his aliases at Electric forest. RL Grime packed out the stage and had people going nuts to his trap infused heavy bass set. After about thirty minutes, we got anxious and decided that we needed to make moves towards the other magical stages.
We made our way over to the main stage, aka “Ranch Arena”, to catch the beginning of Benny Benassi’s set. Benny packed out the Ranch Arena to the point where moving up to the front seemed like an unpleasant idea. To our left, Rave princesses were dancing around kissing on each other, loving the house vibes that Benny was displaying. It’s really funny to be in the middle of a crowd completely sober after a 13-hour drive, when everyone else around you is completely out of they’re mind. The truth is though, if you’re going to lose your mind somewhere, “Forest” is the place to do it.
We stayed at Benny for about 25 minutes before we made moves to catch Lotus at the Sherwood Court… that thankfully requires you to pass through the legendary “Sherwood Forest” to get there. The Production that was put into this years “Forest” was incredible. Explaining such a magical place is difficult, but if you could picture a real life “Alice in Wonderland” it would come out to look something like the forest. From the amazing light projections, to the incredible in forest stages, the forest provided an out of body/mind experience that was felt by the soberest of the minds. Our Camera pooped for a second and took this picture that is a good visual representation of what the forest actually looks like in eyes of most people here.
After about thirty minutes of exploring and running around the forest, we made our way to the Sherwood court to catch Lotus. Lotus brought out a massive crowd and rocked the people of forest with a jam-rock infused set, playing both old and new material. You could see the emotion in the eyes of Jesse and the rest of the gang as they looked out upon the huge crowd they had drawn out. Closing out a stage at Electric Forest is a huge deal and you could really tell how much it meant to Lotus, by the amount of energy they put into the set.
As we were wandering around after Louts, we ran into a bunch of our friends (Kevin, Smitty, Pete, Tucker, Min, Julia, Cookie, Ted, Matt, Sky, Nate, Austin). We came up to Forest without a tent because our friends went all out this year and got a cabin. Let us just tell you how incredibly amazing it was to be ale to sleep in a cabin opposed to sleeping in a tent. The cabins were decked out, one bedroom had a Jacuzzi, and waking up to a hot shower every morning was literally like waking up Christmas every day. Here is a tip for future guests of Electric Forest; get together with your friends and buy a cabin for the weekend, it is SOOO worth it.
Friday, June 28th
Our Friday started a bit late, as we decided to sleep in a bit after a long road trip, followed by a long night. The first set we caught was Milkman. It was interesting to see Milkman on this lineup. The last time I had heard the name Milkman was back in high school, where he was famous for his Girltalk like mashups, which propelled him into the Music Industry. We were able to meet up and talk with him after his set and got to know a little more about Milkman. Milkman told us that he is focusing more on original productions rather than mash ups, so we are excited to see what’s next for the young producer.
After Milkman, we caught one of our most anticipated sets TPA, aka The Polish Ambassador. The Polish Ambassador has blossomed with popularity during 2013 and the music and stage attire is what has created the hype. TPA packed out the Tripolee stage, which was extremely impressive because he was going up against Break Science and Dispatch. TPA has a wide variety of musical styles that range from “mind altering glitch”, “sexified down tempo”, all the way to “psy-fi- funk”. TPA had the daytime crowd grooving and you could tell how much fun he was having, as he was dancing and laughing away as the crowd was going nuts.
After the Polish Ambassador, we made our way over to the Sherwood Court for our most anticipated show of the day “Grizmatik w/ special guests”. When we covered Hangout Festival Music Festival earlier this year, we did an interview with Big Gigantic. After the interview, we were 99% sure that Big Gigantic was going to be the special guests for “Grizmatik w/ special guests” show at Electric Forest. When we got to the stage, the security guards were giving us a hard time about getting backstage, but then we texted Big Gigantic’s manger and asked if we could have stage access, and thankfully, he responded quickly with “yes”. As we walked up the steps to the backstage we were immediately surrounded by some of our favorite artists including Paper Diamond and Michal Menart. Before they ran onto stage, Big Grizmatik huddled together for a short prayer or motivational speech. When they took the packed out Sherwood court erupted with cheers. The super group played all of each other’s tracks and mixed them together in a way that made the set sound original and awesome. Thanks again Big G for letting us rage with you, it was awesome.
After Big Grizmatik we made our way back to the Tripolee stage to catch Clockwork. After seeing RL Grime the previous night, we were excited to see what tricks he had up his sleeve for his Clockwork set. Once we got backstage, we were standing around chatting with artists like Baauer and Kill the Noise. Clockwork jumped on and took the crowd on a roller-coaster ride of elctro- house music. Its crazy to see someone DJ under two aliases’s and have so much success with both of them. Being able to produce EDM songs in multiple genres is something that is overlooked by some, but is something that takes an immense amount of musical talent.
After Clockwork jumped off the decks, Kill The Noise took his place and unleashed one of the more “filthy” dubstep performances of Electric Forest. Girls were literally becoming one with the fence that was separating the crowd from stage because of how packed it was and how much madness was going on. Rave princesses with bandanas over they’re faces were in full attendance as one of the bass prodigy’s of our decade ripped them a new one.
We stayed for about twenty minutes of Kill the Noises’ set before we made our way over to the Ranch Arena to catch the first String Cheese Incident show of the festival. For the past few years Electric Forest, the festival was centered around Cheese and for good reasons. SCI is one of the best jam bands of all time and has a reputation for having some of the most insane live performances of all time. SCI rocked out with a funky jam-electro-jazzy set that had people of all different ages skipping around with incredible excitement. People were also completely out of they’re minds by this point of the forest, but it was beautiful site to see the faces of spun out 55 year old people loving life. Cheese played everything from covers to full on jam outs that the band is famous for. As we were jamming out in the VIP section to the right of the stage, we looked to our right and Dom and Jeremy from Big Gigantic were rocking out with their manager right next to us. These guys probably thnk we stalk them from how many time we have run into them haha.
After SCI we made our way back to the Tripolee stage for Krewella. We knew that Krewella had blown up this year, but seeing the size of this crowd was unimaginable. It might be safe to say that the krew might have had the 3rd biggest crowd that we saw at the entire festival. The Krew played a very intense electro set that had fans going ape shit. This one girl was on this guys shoulder and was literally raging so hard that we found it necessary to write about. She might have been foaming from the mouth with excitement and she had a sign that read “ I want you Krewella” and she was shaking it around at 500 mph. For a good two seconds we thought she might have been turning into a zombie but the guy’s shoulders gave out and the crazy woman disappeared. This is a pretty good analysis of what the crowd of electric forest looked like at 1:30 am… Not a sober person in sight. After Krewella, we made our way back to the cabin and called it a night.
Saturday, June 29th
Our day started out with the grand opening of the “Fools Gold Clubhouse ”. We were extremely excited about the lineup on the Fools gold stage today because it featured so much talent from so many different genres of music.
The first act up on the Fools Gold Clubhouse stage was Party Supplies. For those of you who don’t know of them, party supplies are one of Fools Gold up and coming duos. The set was pretty empty but the talent was not. These guys are going to be on everyone’s playlists before the end of 2013. The duo performs live Nu-Disco/Indie/glitchy type tracks that are super groovy and catchy.
Up next was Treasure Fingers. The Fools Gold Clubhouse was starting to fill up with festivalgoers as they finally awoke from they’re deep slumber. Once treasure fingers hit the stage, the people of forest snapped right back into crazy mode and started to get funky. His set consisted of some chill Nu-Disco tracks infused with some electro house vibes.
We walked on over to the ranch arena to catch a daylight String Cheese Incident show. We ran into all of our friends and we got to socialize for about 10 minutes before we decided to try and use our media bands to gain access to the main stage. When we walked up and realized that we were able to have main stage access, we hated ourselves for not knowing this two days sooner… none the less, we were able to have side stage viewing for the rest of the evening. We got some amazing shots and were able to stand around some of the most talented musicians in the world and watch them do they’re thing.
After about thirty minutes of Cheesin, we made our way back to the Fools Gold Clubhouse to catch Just Blaze. At this point in the festival we were at an all time high of awesomeness because from here on out everything was so dope. When we got backstage we were standing next to Danny Brown, Floss, A-Trak and the rest of the Fools Gold artists. Just Blaze rocked the clubhouse with mass amounts of trap and hip-hop that had the people of Forest twerkin. As the sun began to set, are night grew ever more insane.
After Just Blaze was our most anticipated act of the entire festival Oliver. Oliver exploded earlier this year releasing a 4 song EP called “Mechanical” that became very popular within the DJ world. Oliver also had a wonderful billing here at Electric Forest so it was apparent that they are really trying to push this act and for good reasons, Oliver is unbelievably talented. The group consists of 2 guys and only one was present for Forest. Oliver took the crowd and turned them upside-down by unleashing music that they had probably never heard in they’re life. The best part about it is that they loved it.
At the end of Oliver's set the Fools Gold Clubhouse was absolutely packed to the brim because Flosstradamus was on next. When the trap duo took the stage, people went absolutely insane. It is so crazy to see how far electro-trap has come in the past 2 years. Just this past spring at Ultra, they had a smaller stage for the trap artists that drew huge crowds. Electric Forest figured it out and knew that the demand for this type of music was high, and Flosstradamus are the kings in that department. Girls were losing they’re tops and the crowd was turning into a massive cluster F#$% of people going “Ham”.
When Floss ended, we made our way to the Ranch Arena to catch a little bit of Empire of the Sun. The stage production that was brought on for Empire of the Sun was ridiculous. I couldn’t imagine how much time was spent into the costume design and overall productions that these guys bring to they’re live show. It was cool to see these guys for about 10 minutes but this was also a booking that we were a bit depressed with. Most of the people of forest were expecting STS9 to get a Main stage slot this year but they were left off of the lineup.
After a few minutes of empire of the Sun, we walked down the stair’s and somehow landed ourselves in a golf cart that was taking us to the Sherwood Court, where Knife Party was just getting ready to go on.. This is the part of the night that we would probably consider are most ridiculous moment at Electric Forest. When we arrived backstage of the Sherwood Court we were a bit confused because of the lack of people. A few minutes went by before we saw anyone and then out of the blue Knife Party’s manager walks out of the artist green room and says” hey what are you guys doing back here ?” we responded by telling him they we were with EDM Sauce and we just wanted to take some photos of Knife Party. It turned out that nobody was allowed behind stage for Knife Party but his manager agreed to let us take some pictures…. if we were able to drink a bottle of champagne before we went on stage. So incredibly caught off guard, the two of us downed a bottle and proceeded to being the only photographers on stage for Knife Party.. long story short, the view from on stage looked like an ocean of lights, flags and people exploding for the second most popular EDM artist on the lineup.
After a few songs, they’re manager made us leave and we made are way back to the Fools Gold stage to catch A-Trak. The founder and biggest artist of Fools gold had a relatively small crowd at first, but as minutes went by, A-traks set began to fill up and when Knife party ended, A-trak had the biggest crowd that we had seen all weekend. A-Trak was getting up on the table and mixing in all crazy positions like the world class DJ is famous for, and it had the crowd going nuts.
After A-Trak, we made our way back to the cabin for one final night of partying with our buddies before we left in the morning. We were unable to stay for Sunday because we had class to attend on Tuesday afternoon and had a 25 hours drive ahead of us. After we spoke with all of our friends we were able to gain some knowledge on the final day of Forest. A lot of people are curious to know if this will be the last year that SCI performs at forest. Over the past few years, Electric Forest has become more and more EDM influenced. Some of our friends came to the conclusion that Electric Forest is now “Pretty Lights” festival, meaning that he has found an audience that is absolutely in love with his music.
Electric Forest is one of the best festivals out there today. The amount of time that is spent on the little things, like decorations and scenery, add to the experience that is Forest. From the immaculate stage productions to the beautiful Sherwood Forest, Electric Forest is easily one of the most creative and well mapped out festivals in the world. The thing that really makes Electric Forest so special is the people that attend it. No matter what is going on in your life, Forest is a place to forget about all the problems that you are dealing with and just let go for one action packed weekend. This was the first year that Insomniac took over, and their presence was absolutely noticed. The amount of extra production that was put into this year’s festival made it extra special.
Fest Raiders Ratings
Location: 10 of 10
Partying within a forest lets the mind wonder
Woman: 7 of 10
Beautiful hippie girls
VIP + All Access abilities: 9 of 10
Cabin life, golf cart taxi service, happy hours, and on stage viewing areas
Lineup: 8 of 10
Great mix of jam and EDM. Loved the additions of new talent but really wanted to see STS9 over Empire of the Sun
Amenities: 9 of 10
Sherwood Forest= Woah
Total score: 8.6 of 10
Photo Credit: Braedon Belosky
Written By: Myles Shear & Braedon Belosky