Posted Jul 9th, 2015 (7:16 pm) by Staff
Electric Forest Festival - Day One
Image by Zak Littrell

You could feel the sparks in the air. Everyone's brain on the same wave, ready for the best weekend of their life. Electric Forest welcomed back many veterans and many newcomers as well for the fifth year of the festival held in Rothbury, Michigan. A beautiful first day without rain began around 4 pm, heavy techno sounds booming near the festival entrance. Saeed Younan was spinning at the Tripolee stage as thousands waited in line, some issue preventing many from entering at a normal speed.

A newly installed Electric Forest marquee greeted many at the back of the Ranch Arena as we headed into Sherwood Forest. The forest is full of massive art installations, three bigger stages and some smaller stages for music including the Illuminarium and the Saloon, where Foresters could grab beers and speciality cocktails while they danced to the DJ above them. The forest itself was expanded in size this year allowing for more installations and designated hammock spaces. Returning once again this year was the awesome Gong massage. Be one of the lucky ones who get to experience this amazing test of your senses.

The addition of two stages meant more music and more dancing space. You could find yourself dancing in the new Jubilee stage, a circus tent we've seen at many festivals before that had amazing sound. The new Hangar stage, an actual airplane hangar, featured little storefronts and a bar and of course a roster of unique non mainstream artists.

Sherwood Court, the festivals second main stage, hosted a curated event by the independent Australian record label Future Classic on Thursday. A diverse group of artists including Nadus & Mr. Carmack graced the stage earlier in the evening. Over at the main stage Ranch Arena, psy-trance musician Simon Posford took the stage to perform a Shpongle DJ set to a very excited yet confused crowd as there was no 'Shpongletron,' Posford's trippy visual mega structure he usually performs with. Nonetheless, he amazed the crowd with a slew of hits from Shpongle's long career. ODESZA took the main stage shortly thereafter to perform their tracks so perfectly, almost mimicking their albums. If you know the albums by heart, seeing them live up close is such a trip.

After ODESZA ended on a beautiful note, we made the trek back through the forest, admiring the beauty of it all. Pit stopping at the Forest stage to check out jackLNDN, his deep house remixes had everyone in awe of the beat. Back at Sherwood Court, Four Tet had many people laying on the ground listening to his exotic melodies. The court began to fill in as foresters claimed their spots for Flume, who took the stage shortly after 1 am. The Australian heavy hitter performed hits from his self-titled debut album, many of his remixes and songs from his past days with What So Not. To close out the festival in a proper way, we hiked it back to the Tripolee Stage where house legend Carl Cox was closing out his curated stage.

Words and Photos by Zak Littrell

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