There are two types of music festivals in this world. One is a place where people go to be seen. The other is a place where people go to forget who they are. Electric Forest is one of the latter. It’s a place of wonder and weirdness, where you cease to be yourself and become one with the community around you. Shrouded in the shade of the beautiful Rothbury woods, it is a time of transformation and transcendence. It’s a festival built on experience, and the music is the rhythm that fuels the fire. You already know to see headlining acts like Porter Robinson and Bassnectar, but there are lots of exciting names hidden within the lineup that will aid your quest toward spiritual renewal.
Whether you want bass, house, or synthy disco vibes, make sure to catch these 10 must-see acts at Electric Forest 2016.
Thursday, June 23, 6:15–7:30 pm, Ranch Arena
Friday, June 24, 1:30–3:30 am, Jubilee
Alexander Botwin comes from the Colorado crew of genre-blending musicians seemingly born to play festivals like Electric Forest. There’s something about his blend of R&B, pop, electro, funk, hip-hop, and future that speaks to a place like Electric Forest’s fantasyland. It’s a dramatic sound with decidedly fun-loving flair. If you’re looking for a little romance, find it at sunset the first night while Paper Diamond serenades you with cuts from last year’s lustrous Rain Drops EP.
Thursday, June 23, 10–11:15 pm, Tripolee
Get caught in a web of lush instrumentation and mesmerizing rhythms as this Anjunadeep star creates his own universe of deep, soulful house. A Lane 8 set is like gliding through the thickest part of the Milky Way. It’s shiny and ethereal, exactly what you need to greet the dark of night among your fellow woodland friends. Prepare yourself by checking out his stellar Rise LP, a fanciful, otherworldly collection of sounds just right for getting lost in your head or finding yourself in a forest.
Fury + MC Dino
Friday, June 24, 1:30–3:30 pm, Tripolee
Wake your ass up with a big cup of dub and a smack in the face from a motivational MC. Fury + MC Dino know how to get your blood pumping with a wild mix of rapid-fire beats, air-bending bass, and face-crunching attitude. This set is equivalent to doing 500 jumping jacks and a few hundred laps in an Olympic-size swimming pool. Seize the day by the balls, and crown yourself Forest Master. The rest of your schedule doesn’t stand a chance.
Friday, June 24, 5:30–6:30 pm, Tripolee
An hour of drum & bass a day keeps the crazies away. It’s true: Dancing to these frenetic rhythms is therapeutic. Teddy Killerz have a hardcore name true to the nature of their raucous style. Your teeth will grit, your fists will punch the air, and your feet won’t know how to slow down. Get your playful sneer on, and take it to the limit.
Friday, June 24, 6:30–7:30 pm, Jubilee
Saturday, June 25, 6:30–7:30 pm, Tripolee
b2b Anna Lunoe, Saturday, June 25, 7:30–8pm, Tripolee
She’s the Skrillex protégé with the infamous blue bob who came to the Forest to cast a magic spell. It’s a love incantation, and you’re the victim, although “victim” is a strong word. You won’t be complaining when you fall head over heels with her dreamy house waves. You’ll cry out for more as she turns up the funk and leaves your cares to bite the dust. By the time her set reaches its peak, you’ll be streaming tears of watery bliss, and it would be sad when it’s over if not for the fact that the night has just begun.
Friday, June 24, 8:30–9:45 pm, Tripolee
Head-knockin’, body-rockin’, show-stoppin’ bass. That’s what NGHTMRE dreams of, and that’s what he’ll deliver when he takes the decks at the Tripolee stage when the Bassrush crew takes over. He serves it up in every flavor, from trap to dubstep to electro and more. He’s worked with massive acts from Dillon Francis to Krewella, and he recently remixed bass master Kill the Noise for your ear-bleeding pleasure. His evening set is your cue to commence the turn-up. Let his energetic performance be the wind beneath your night-ready wings.
Friday, June 25, 9:30–10:30 pm, Jubilee
This up-and-comer is about to blow up your radar with her silky bedroom vocals and straight-up lovemaking music. The L.A.-based singer-songwriter will take you on a trip through everything that is soft and sexy. Her work with like-minded producer Galimatias is nothing short of magical on their Urban Flora EP. Let her croon her way into your heart Friday night, and pick a partner to go with who can slow dance.
The Soul Rebels ft. Talib Kweli & GZA
Friday, June 24, 11:15 pm–12:45 am, Jubilee
Legend alert! All hands on deck for what will easily be the funkiest, wokest, un-fuckwitable performance of the weekend. The Soul Rebels is an eight-piece brass band from New Orleans with Cajun spices running through their veins and hearts that beat at a steady, parade-marching BPM. They’ll lay the backbone for some funky rhymes from two monstrous New York MCs who really don’t need any introduction. Talib Kweli is on a mission to save humanity, and GZA is representing the Wu-Tang Clan. If you miss this, well, we just don’t know what to tell you.
b2b Mija, Saturday, June 25, 7:30–8pm, Tripolee
Saturday, June 25, 8–9pm, Tripolee
Who’s ready for a bit of dirty, funky, dark-tinged house music? Anna Lunoe is ‘bout to kill you softly with her song as her cool vocals play perfect match to her bossy brand of beats. There’s something sly about her voice on top of the hard-hitting rhythms and moody synths. It’s a sonic stickup, and you’ll have no choice but to throw your hands up and let the music take control. You know she’ll be extra wiled-up coming out of a special b2b set with fellow must-see Mija. Revel in madness as her futuristic edge meets ‘90s warehouse energy. Walk away covered in sweat and changed forever.
Saturday, June 25, 10–11:15 pm, Jubilee
Make room on the dancefloor for the funky synths. This New York–based indie heartthrob makes music to freak out to. In the past, Neon Indian showed off his love for faded psychedelia and filtered glitter-pop. His latest album, VEGA INTL. Night School, turns up the bright lights and puts some heavy disco feels into the multicolor mix. This set will be fun with a capital “F,” as he and his live band move you to new heights of groove.
The sold-out Electric Forest 2016 takes place June 23–26 at Double JJ Resort in Rothbury, MI. For more information, visit the official website.
Electric Forest is produced by Insomniac and Madison House Presents.