The Magic Returns to Rothbury
Article and Photography By Breton Spiller
Thousands of music-loving individuals gathered in Rothbury, MI, for the long-awaited return of Electric Forest Music Festival from June 23-26. I was fortunate enough to be among this crowd and experience the magic that was Forest 2022.
The Good Music Collectiv team is no stranger to Electric Forest, as we covered the fest in 2019, and many of our members have attended multiple times. As many others likely felt, though, this time around was unlike any before.
Generally, we all dance around the forest once every year, but a global pandemic made us wait nearly three years to return. This was a blessing in disguise, as the time we spent waiting and yearning to return made the actual moment that much greater.
The vibes were immaculate, and the spirits were high for the entire week at Double JJ Ranch. Not only was the production value top-tier as always, but the energy also reached a new level.
Now, given that this is a music festival at the core, I must mention a few standout performances I had the pleasure of witnessing. I’ll begin with the incredible Jake Wesley Rogers.
Jake Wesley Rogers is comparable to David Bowie and modern-day sensation Harry Styles. With incredible tone, stage presence, and a fabulous sparkly red wardrobe, Jake commanded the stage and the audience’s attention with finesse. If you’d like to see this incredible performer for yourself, you can catch him on tour with Panic! At the Disco this fall!
Similarly, we must mention Wreckno, our favorite booty-shaking icon. Despite the early evening heat, they pulled in a massive crowd at the Tripolee stage and had all the people moving! It’s only up from here for this powerhouse of talent.
Finally, we have one final shoutout for the modern reggae sensation, Iya Terra. Oh man, did these guys bring the vibes! When the first note graced the forest, Sherwood Court became a field of love, acceptance, and positive energy. Those three things are precisely what the music of Iya Terra is all about, and I indeed felt it. After all, isn’t that what Electric Forest is all about, too?
Other stellar performances include Sylvan Esso, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, GRiZ, EarthGang, LSDREAM, and many more. It’s hard to list them all as incredible music flowed through the air all weekend.
Now, with any large-scale event, there are always a few imperfections. They were so few and far between this year and over-shadowed by what was done right that I won’t even get into much detail. All I hope is that the team over at Electric Forest listens to the fans’ voices and makes adjustments next year. If you have a suggestion, feel free to contact us, and we will help get your voice heard!
That said, Electric Forest did a lot right this year! From the food to the set-up and incredible art installations, the experience was out of this world. I’ve attended seven Electric Forest festivals and still have not seen it all. There are a handful of new activities and pieces each year, and it’s almost impossible to do and see everything.
An honorable mention for food vendors goes to Island Noodles. I can’t tell you how many times I grabbed a box of teriyaki noodles, nor do I want to know. All that matters is that it hit the spot every time. I did indulge in a few slices of pizza, too, but it doesn’t compare to the old forest favorite, Spicy Pie. Will they ever return? I sure hope so.
So, combine the tremendous energy, art, food, music, and community, and you have what was one of the best weeks imaginable. Electric Forest is our home away from home. I can’t wait to share space with you all again. Until next time!
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