Take a deep breath and say it with me now, Electric Forest. Aaaah. Just saying the words aloud feels like cracking an egg over a sizzling pan of crispy thick cut bacon…and then proceeding to cover your self in black velvet smooth blended whiskey. For those of you who are already patrons of the Rothbury Jungle, you probably haven’t been able to sleep through the night in the past few days. In its second year incarnated as Electric Forest, Double JJ Ranch is back and open for business this Thursday June 28th through Sunday July 1st. The brain child of Madison House Productions and the beloved String Cheese Incident, the good ol’ Rothbury sight has morphed into something else altogether. Attracting fans old and new, the virtual smorgasbord of Blue Grass, Dubstep, and a slew of other eclectically placed acts, Electric Forest promises to be nothing short of paradise- again.
For those of you unfamiliar with the sight and festival’s history, it first opened as a 4 season resort called the Jack & Jill Ranch back in 1937. Since then, the site has expanded to include a 5 star golf course, massive 60,000 square foot indoor water park, hotel, restaurants, and a conference center. It first held the visionary Rothbury Music Festival in 2008 and 2009 respectively, and then was put on hold due to issues with noise ordinances and other anti-hippie beaurocratic bullshit. The perfectly manicured property was birthed to hold music festivals, and has truly become the final frontier. The site’s main feature is the Sherwood Forest- a place my dreams take me to quite frequently throughout the year. Said to be “the pulse” of Electric Forest, one stroll through the astonishingly symmetrical jungle makes the whole trip worthwhile. One of the other unique features of JJ Ranch is that it provides multiple tiers of on-site lodging options ranging from regular tent camping to upscale resort style cabins and hotel rooms boasting every conceivable amenity from shuttle service throughout the festival grounds to private shows and barbeques. Although most other festivals offer VIP ticket options, Electric Forest can truly be experienced in a completely different fashion more similar to a pampered vacation. For me personally, it feels like one in the camp grounds anyway.
For months leading up to this weekend, huge teams of artists and producers are busy packing the entire grounds to the gills with art installations, lights, illusions, games, and all types of cheap (maybe not so cheap) thrills for festival goers to enjoy. Sherwood Forest literally oozes entertainment. Packed with stages, wet bars, spontaneous performances, aliens, gardens, ravenous flesh eating glitter soaked bikini zombies, and every other imaginable form of aesthetic enjoyment you can think of- it’s a sign of sheer will power not to get caught up in the forest on your way to music each day.
This years jam packed lineup includes three nights of epic String Cheese sets, 2 nights of STS9, and performances by Bassnectar, The Infamous Stringdusters, Eoto, Thievery Corporation, Beats Antique, Datsik, MiM0Sa, Break Science featuring Chali 2na, and dozens of other bluegrass, electronic, and dubstep acts to tickle you into the wee hours of the night. For tickets or additional information on the festival, visit ElectricForestFestival.com, and to follow us through our weekend in the woods, follow @kadiddoew on Instagram. SEE YOU IN THE FOREST!!!
“Bust wide open the main stream in a Sherwood Forest of a dream.” –Lester 2011