I have seen concerts all over the U.S. but the one thing I never miss is an annual trip to Rothbury, MI to attend a four day Music Festival in June.
The origins of this festival started back in 2008 and 2009 as Rothbury Music Festival. Back then it was composed of a wide variety of acts. Rock and Roll, Jamband, Bluegrass, Rap and a number of acts that I (for the sake of this post) will group as electronic music.
The festival took a break in 2010 but returned each year between 2011 and 2016 as the Electric Forest Music Festival. The festival still contained jambands, bluegrass and electronic music but as the years passed more and more electronic acts were added.
The main act at each of the festivals is a jamband called The String Cheese Incident. They usually play three separate shows during the festival. I had originally saw them here back in 2009 and from then on they have been my favorite band to see live.
The festival for me always felt like home. Not only is it located here in Michigan but it is also the place where I have made so many life long friends from all over the United States.
Each year I discover new music and meet new friends. It seems as our group grows by leaps and bounds each year. I think that our main camp had about 35 people this year.
The weather in Michigan during June is another great perk. Highs are usually around 70-80 degrees in the summer and lows are usually in the 60’s at night. Suprisingly in the 19 shows String Cheese has played here it has never rained during a show.
Another great thing that no other festival has is a forest (known as Sherwood Forest) that lies in the middle of all the stages. It is a great place to hide out from the sun, meet up with friends, listen to music, grab a refreshment or explore some of the great art installations that have been installed for the festival. It is quite a sight and once nighttime comes the forest comes alive with black lights, lasers and costumes. You really never know what you might find around each corner.
If you don’t miss one act all weekend it is the String Cheese show on Saturday. It always culminates in great music along with a mixture of lasers, confetti, balloons, fireworks, drones, hot air balloons and aerial dancers.
Most people camp behind their cars in the General Admission camping area. There are also VIP packages but they usually cost at least 2-3 times a regular ticket. A few words of advice are to bring shade tents, tapestries to block the sun and to lock up any valuables in your car when in the show. Though there are a lot of super great people there are always a few bad apples in every crowd.
There is now over 50,000 people that attend each year so if you are looking for a smaller festival then this might not be the right place for you.
One thing for sure though is that if you are into electronic music or String Cheese Incident than you will have the time of your life.