Electric Forest is more than your average womped out EDM festival. Sure the line-up includes many household names in the electronic scene, groups like Pretty Lights, Knife Party, Lotus, Eoto, Orchard Lounge and Emancipator are standards in their genre and represent an eclectic mix of the various DJ and Jamtronic styles, but this annual festival, which has The String Cheeses Incident as headliners, comprises as many different musical elements as the hosting band itself.
Long before dance music became synonymous with the JamBand scene, SCI was (and still is) considered to be at the forefront of the progressive Bluegrass scene. It is only fitting then, that their annual festival reflects their many influences.
Jeff Austin of Yonder Mountain String Band represents the pinnacle of upbeat, energy driven bluegrass. Similarly Greensky Bluegrass has popped up as a heavy hitter over the last few years, delivering delightful music and a positive message.
Dave Murphy will present “Pigs on the Wing,” an item for any Pink Floyd heads old and new to get excited about. Timi Conely of Kite to the Moon joins him and their tribute promises to be an interesting mix of bass heavy, Roger Waters style jams and astral-projecting wanderings circa Live at Pompei.
The Umphreys-Disco Biscuits-New Deal family will also be well represented. SuckerPunch features Marc and Aaron the foundations of Conspirator, with Jamie “Guitar” Shields and Mike Greenfield of Lotus. For this performance fans can be promised a heavy womp, meandering jams and absolute silliness. In addition Digital Tape Machine, the latest side-project from Joel Cummins and Kris Myers, has been earning admiration from musicians all over social media, this show shouldn’t be missed.
In the funk department, the Pimps of Joytime manage to mix upbeat dance, smooth vocals and an eclectic mix of international sounds. Their performances are always high energy and command massive interactions with the crowd. Similarly Trombone Shorty & The Orleans Avenue demonstrate the absolute best in Louisiana styled fusion of jazz, funk, hip-hop and rock.
These are all things that can be found at any average music festival right? Not quite. In addition to the amazing line-up, Electric Forest is known for its peaceful, interactive atmosphere. Originally known as the Rothbury Festival, the change in name stems largely from the impressive artistic modification of Sherwood Forrest (but it also produced by different people). Have you ever seen pictures of lit up trees, brilliant art installations and artists gathered in the woods for impromptu jam sessions? Chances are those photos are from Electric Forest.
In addition to surprise sets, unannounced sit-ins and phenomenal artist interaction, this year Beats Antique is teaming up with the Mayhem Marching Band for a parade around the park. The SCI community has long been known for its hoopers, dancers, fire-spinners and the like. Well this parade invites such artists to participate in their New Orleans style performance and guarantees to be quite the extravaganza.
With so much to see, Electric Forest is a must on any festival-goers list.