It’s coming. July 4th weekend. Three days off of work, maybe four, if you play your cards right. Your friends are preparing to throw dice at the Borgata, BBQ at the Hamptons’ hideaway, swim at Rehab’s cloudy pool, but you, you’re packing an RV and heading to a lesser known destination: Rothbury, Michigan, home of the Sherwood Forest.
This is not your dad’s dream of a family trip cross country in an RV. This is not a hunt for Robin Hood. This is a journey to Electric Forest: The Return of Rothbury, where you will embrace good vibes and independence by wandering through an LED lit forest, stumbling on music stages, arts booths, or any other magical wonders: a life-size version of Mousetrap, glow-in-the-dark Disc Golf, horses, or even group yoga.
Boulder, Colorado production company Madison House began The Rothbury Music Festival in 2008, drawing over 30,000 party goers with mindsets only of fun and peace. Unfortunately, despite great success, Madison House could not organizationally pull off the event last year and so 2011 marks Rothbury’s big “return,” but with a name that better suits the glow-in-the-dark antics of today’s festival goer. Appropriately, Madison House has jumped on the electronic music bit, replacing bands with DJs; REO Speedwagon, The String Cheese Incident and Greensky Bluegrass are among the few remnants of 2009 headliners Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. Rothbury still boasts its fair share of jam bands, the foundation of music festivals, whose easy-listening quality is arguably similar the 4/4 electronic beat. According to James St. James’s Rule Number Three: “When all else fails, play techno! It’s nondescript…” and both make for a dance party.
And a fabulous dance party it will be with the likes of Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, Dieselboy, Bonobo, and Skrillex, whose music infuses darker detailed drum and bass, hip hop, soul, funk, with the recent dub step and electro craze. Then there are Kaskade, Tiesto, and Laidback Luke, electronic music chart toppers whose soaring sounds seek to attract the more commercial partyer. So if you’re the type who needs an electric (no pun intended) socket for your blow out, consider purchasing one of the many pricey VIP upgrades, which allow you to retreat from the rustic experience of a forest festival to the luxury of a shower and plasma TV.
But if you crave festival authenticity, the sweet smells and constant 24/7 party, and you have mastered the art of bathing with baby wipes for the weekend—or you just don’t care—crawl into your tent for rest. Just watch out for forest nymphs, men-in-tights, stilt-walkers, light-shows with seizure-inducing potential, and hey, maybe even your dad.
For more information regarding Electric Forest, click here.