Electric Forest Survivors Guide

By Bethany Weems

Enchantment, wonder, inspiration, enlightenment, face melting bass, and ELECTRIC Forest are upon us. Read this article for helpful information on who is who, where, what and a fantastic overview of the one and only sold out Electric Forest 2014. Electric Forest has been handled by Insomniac and Madison House Presents, and attendance has consistently been in the 30,000+ range for the past few years.

This year representing the ever exploding “jamtronica” genre including, but not limited to are: The String Cheese Incident with 3 shows, Umphrey’s McGee with 2 shows, STS9 with 2 shows, Papadosio, and Eoto. Chart toppers and electronic music legends alike such as Moby, Zedd, Zeds Dead, Excision, Dirtyphonics, Steve Angello, Bro Safari, Paper Diamond, Cherub, Art Department, The Glitch Mob, Manic Focus, and Muzzy to start will be there to entrance festival goers. Many of this year’s DJ’s Dantiez and Kevin Saunderson, J. Phlip, Justin Martin, and Dixon’s Violin recently showed love to Detroit with stellar performances at Movement and will also be performing in the Forest.

Accented by among countless other attractions, is the iconic light-bright style massive Ferris wheel in addition to five outdoor stages complete with the grandiose sound and lighting expected of an Insomniac Production. Aside from having one of the most eclectic and diverse musical lineups in the country, it’s no secret that the primary reason people come back here is for the experience that is Sherwood Forest.

The weather for this unprecedented sold out festival is predicted to be in the mid 70’s with a slight chance of rain so be prepared and get to know the best campout/shelter spots. Similar to last year the Forest offered luxurious VIP and Good Life accommodations in addition to traditional camping. This year organizers offered a group camping option which allowed groups to sign up and reserve space for their entourage complete with a group camping competition. Check out this year’s soon to be winners (:) Camp Dope Lightz which will be home to some of the most seasoned and creative camp participants including myself and representatives from Detroit’s electrifying HEAR Magazine. We will be hosting the renegade stage with DJ’s, turntables, and the dopest lights known to man. The winners of the group camping competition will win fabulous prizes so be sure to check out what each group has to offer.

There will be a bevy of activities that are sure to impress like daily yoga sessions and hammocks galore. The Forest will have the 3rd annual Dome of Dance Tournament, a dance competition that you can sign up for through the website. Electric Forest and TheUntz.com are thrilled to present the all-new Electric Glen, bringing you live interviews with artists from the EF lineup and gear from Reloop, Xone, Nord, and Studio Logic. Tech pros will be running product demonstrations with artists who use the Reloop, Xone, Nord, and Studio Logic hardware and software, and TheUntz.com will be hosting panels and interviews with artists from the lineup. This will be a riveting technology and interview session with a wide range of talent with a personal favorite of Zeds Dead on Thursday from 7-8 with a session appropriately named, Coffee Break. Another ground breaking addition will be DJ Times who will also be in attendance at this year’s forest represented by the magnificent duo Joy Phoenix and Zach Uno Dos.

In line with the spirit of the festival, you should also bring 20 non-perishable food items to donate to receive an absolutely stunning 3D poster from Conscious Alliance. Also be sure to reduce waste in the Forest and pack a reusable water bottle, buy an Electric Forest 2014 steel bottle, or bring your hydration pack and Eco Vessel. Empty camelbaks are allowed through the gate with a filling station just inside. Hydrate yourself, hydrate your friends, then do it again!

A quick look at some of the artists:

Grammy Award Winner Zedd or Anton Zaslavski is a 22 yrs old Russian-German primarily electro house Virgo DJ. He is best known for his hit Clarity, featuring Foxes. Both of his parents are musicians and he started playing piano and drums at 4.

His inspiration came from Justice and Daft Punk, rock, classical, and jazz. He used to play drums and says “it’s not about a beat there is a song and structure, chord progression, and melodies. I’m addicted to interesting chord progressions, and I love drops.” He describes music as “timeless based on the same rules similar to how people made music 500 years ago. People still like chord progressions. I try to make timeless music that catches hearts and emotion.”

Zedd’s words of wisdom: It is important for people to hear you. You can make club music; the problem is you don’t have a face, or your own sound. Be different and shock people, get their attention, with their attention you can do anything you want. Stay away from copying someone else’s sound. Try to have a sound that others want to copy.”

STS9 has been together for 15 years creating progressive music. Their sound is described as electronic rock, American dance music, rooted in rock jazz soul funk. They produce packaged free form, organic, pure light, cosmic funk, spacey, touch the soul, pure and true, authentic music.

Members include Aquarius David Phipps on the piano, who enjoys industrial design and anything Japanese. Zach Velmer is a drummer and likes anything on 2 wheels. Jeffree Lerner does percussion and is a family man. Hunter Brown plays guitar and is a bird watcher. David Murphy is the bassist and Saxton Waller is the lighting director.

STS9 does a lot of charity work. 1$ of every ticket goes to charity/nonprofit or anything they want to support.

Papadosio is an American “livetronic” group which formed in 2006 and now consists of five members Anthony Thogmartin, Billy Brouse, Mike Healy, Sam Brouse, and Rob McConnell.  The group originates from Athens, Ohio and recently moved to Asheville, North Carolina.  Papadosio is known for their melodic jam band electronic sound and for their meaningful annual music Earth Night events.

Chicago based Umphrey’s McGee presents a blend of progressive rock.

Steve Angello is a former Swedish House Mafia star who broke out as a solo artist shortly after the music trio parted ways and has been focusing on his first solo album — as well as making music under his second artist name, Mescal Kid.

Most of us know Zeds Dead, but for those of you who have been living under a rock, they are Dylan Mamid (aka DC) and Zack Rapp-Rovan (aka Hooks). Their name came from the 1994 Quentin Tarantino film, Pulp Fiction.

The Canadian duo has headlined festivals such as Camp Bisco, Coachella, and Shambhala, as well as played in Royal Oak, Pontiac, Electric Forest, and Detroit’s very own Movement. East Lansing was the 1st place Zeds Dead played in America. “Michigan is close to our heart so we are always happy to play there!” says Zeds Dead.

The pair has been busy destroying dance floors with their unique sound transcending various styles of EDM: from integrating electro house and even styles of trap and moombahton, to their slammin’ glitch-hop beats into their mostly dubstep platform. Zeds Dead is known for their remixes of songs such as: Blue Foundation’s hit “Eyes on Fire” and the Moody Blue’s classic “White Satin”.  Their reputation shows that they’re a dominant force among EDM enthusiasts, and are sure to throw a face-melter you won’t soon forget!

Ms Lauryn Hill shares words of wisdom. “Hardship shows me where I am, where I was, where I should be…I don’t have an American dream, I have an entire world dream, for the entire world to have salvation, joy, peace, rest, happiness, and God”