Everything You Need to Know About Electric Forest Festival

Ready to reunite with your #ForestFamily? Eager to check out Electric Forest for the first time? Here’s what you need to know about this beloved EDM fest in the Michigan woods.

When’s the next Electric Forest Festival?

Organizers are already planning Electric Forest 2021 for the summer. Dates for the event and for Electric Forest 2021 ticket sales haven’t been set yet, but you can check here for updates.

Electric Forest Festival History

Electric Forest’s location has always been Double JJ Ranch—now the Double JJ Resort--in Rothbury, Michigan. Before Electric Forest, the ranch hosted the 2008 Rothbury Festival with four days of jam and rock bands, headlined by the Dave Matthews Band. About 40,000 people attended that first fest, held over the July Fourth holiday.

After some uncertainty about whether Double JJ Ranch could hold an even bigger crowd, the 2009 event featured Bob Dylan, Ani DiFranco, STS9 and dozens of other acts—mostly folk and rock but some EDM and hip-hop, too.

In 2010, the festival took a hiatus and came back the next year as Electric Forest. After 2011, the fest moved from July 4 to late June and very early July to avoid scheduling conflicts—and to land on a weekend. There were still jam and rock bands on the lineup, like The String Cheese Incident and REO Speedwagon. But the trend toward EDM acts was already becoming clear with appearances by Bassnectar, Skrillex, Tiesto, Beats Antique and Emancipator, among others.

In 2017 and 2018, Electric Forest’s popularity led producers to expand it to two four-day weekends. By 2019 the event was back to a single four-day event, because of the organizers’ concerns about the impact that the two-weekend events were having on the land. The 2019 event sold out in hours and featured Odesza, Bassnectar, Honey Dijon, STS9 and dozens more acts. And yes, The String Cheese Incident was on the bill, too.

Electric Forest 2020 was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The event’s producers, Madison House Presents and Insomniac, allowed wristband and lodging package holders for the 2020 festival to hold on to them for 2021 or request a refund.

Electric Forest Festival Dates and Attendance

  • Rothbury Festival 2008, July 3—6: 30,000
  • Rothbury Festival 2009, July 2—5: 35,000
  • No festival in 2010.
  • Electric Forest 2011, June 30—July 3: 15,000
  • Electric Forest 2012, June 28—July 1: 25,000
  • Electric Forest 2013, June 27—30: 40,000
  • Electric Forest 2014, June 26—29: 45,000
  • Electric Forest 2015, June 25—28: 45,000
  • Electric Forest 2016, June 23—26: 45,000
  • Electric Forest 2017, June 22—25, June 29—2: 65,000
  • Electric Forest 2018, June 21—24, June 28—July 1: 70,000
  • Electric Forest 2019, June 27—30: 45,000
  • Electric Forest 2020 canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic

Electric Forest Festival Lineups

Every band, every year.

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Electric Forest Top Repeat Acts

How many times have your favorite acts played Electric Forest?

  • EOTO: 11 times
  • The String Cheese Incident: 9 times
  • Bassnectar and Dixon’s Violin: 8 times
  • Motion Potion and STS9: 7 times
  • 12th Planet, Break Science, Lotus: 6 times
  • Big Gigantic, Fury + MC Dino, Lettuce, Lynx, Papadosio, The Floozies: 5 times

How to prepare for Electric Forest

A fest this big requires some advance prep. Here’s what you need to know and how you can learn more.

Ticketing for Electric Forest

Tickets for Electric Forest often sell out quickly, so plan to be ready when the next festival’s wristbands go on sale. If you miss out or have extras to trade or sell, check the Official Ticket Exchange for Electric Forest.

Keep in mind that when you get your wristband, it includes your lodging options, so you’ll need to know in advance how you want to camp.

Camping at Electric Forest

You have so many options! Read them all, check the Electric Forest website and decide what you want before tickets go on sale.

GA and Camping wristbands include festival and general campground access. There are lots of add-ons and upgrades for general admission:

  • Upgrade to Camp Good Times for bigger campsites and air-conditioned restrooms.
  • Need a good night’s sleep to make the most of your festival time? The Camp Hush option gives you access to a quieter campground.
  • Maplewoods Camping gives you a shaded campsite near the Double JJ entrance.
  • EFfortless Camping saves you the hassle of packing a tent and sleeping pads – they’re included with your wristband package for 2.
  • Got an RV or plan to rent one? You can by general RV admission separately from your wristband.

Parking and early arrivals:

  • Will you have more than one person in your car? If not, you’ll need an add-on parking pass if you’re tent camping. GA RV passes let you bring one vehicle in addition to your home on wheels.
  • Want to load-in your stuff Tuesday or show up early Wednesday? There are passes for that.

Maybe all those options sound fine but you’re really looking to treat yourself. Check out Electric Forest’s Good Life camping packages. They all include 24-hour shuttles, private showers and restrooms, upgraded viewing options and concierge service.

  • Good Life Village and Sherwood Court Camping are the basic tent camping options at this tier.
  • Good Life Cherry Orchard Camping gives you shade and a little quieter camping area.
  • Good Life A/C Landing gets you a pre-set up tent with electricity and air conditioning. Just walk in!
  • Good Life Bungalow Tents are set up for up to 4 people, with cots, bedding and a charging outlet ready for you.
  • Good Life Electric Avenue tents sleep up to 4 in twin or queen beds and come with comforts like area rugs and a cooler.
  • Good Life Village Villas set up you and your companion in a tiny home with power, A/C, an in-unit bathroom, linens and a memory foam queen bed.

What about Back 40 camping and log cabins? Good Life Back 40 packages offer a range of tent, RV and log cabin lodging options with some special perks, including access to Double JJ’s

  • Old Western Town pool, 150-foot waterslide and hot tub
  • Frontier Water Park
  • Daily brunch
  • Special events

Camping not your thing? You can still have a great time at Electric Forest. The Double JJ’s on-site hotel offers Frontier VIP Suites for up to 8 guests, all with in-room Jacuzzi tubs, full kitchens and optional advance shopping to fully stock the suite before you arrive.

Getting to Electric Forest

Ready to head into the Forest? Here’s how to get to Double JJ Resort.

Drive times. Are we there yet?

  • 3 hours from Detroit/Ann Arbor and Chicago
  • 5 hours from Indianapolis
  • 5 hours from St. Louis

Have a GA wristband? You’ll go to Double JJ’s camping entrance at 7100 South Water Road, Rothbury, MI 49437 (off the Winston Road Exit from US 31). Guests with disabilities should use the camping or RV entrance off Winston Road.

Have a Good Life wristband? You’ll get navigation directions via email.

Air travel info. Flying to the Forest?

  • Muskegon (MKG) is a half-hour drive from the Electric Forest site.
  • United flights to MKG from Chicago O’Hare (ORD) take about an hour.
  • Car rentals are available at MKG – book yours in advance.

Packing for Electric Forest

What should you bring to the forest? Whatever you need to stay cool, have fun, look fantastic and enjoy your time with your friends. Here are a few pointers for first-time visitors.

Be cool: Michigan summers are hot. Dress cool, wear sunscreen and sunglasses, and take shade breaks.

Charge up: Bring a charger cable, adapter and charged-up external battery for your phone. Enable location tracking on your phone so you can find it if it gets lost.

Clean up: A dorm-style plastic tote and shower shoes will make treks to the showers more pleasant.

Create a totem: Use only lightweight poles like PVC for your totems. Avoid any threatening or sharp design elements (or messages).

Lock up your stuff: To store your valuables worry-free, rent a locker before you arrive.

Sleep well: Bring a sleeping pad or cot and a lightweight sleeping bag or sheets and pillows.

Stay hydrated: You can bring sealed water bottles to your campsite, along with empty reusable bottles and hydration backpacks. You can also bring a case of beer and a box of wine per person to your site.

Take your meds: Bring any prescriptions in their original, labeled containers and declare them to security.

Leave these at home:

  • Beer kegs
  • Drones
  • Flammables, including candles, fireworks, charcoal grills, gas cans, tiki torches, fuel-powered generators (small propane camp stoves are OK)
  • Glass (except small handheld mirrors)
  • Golf clubs
  • Hammers
  • Hard liquor
  • Helium tanks
  • Illegal substances
  • Laser pointers
  • Native American ceremonial headdresses
  • Pets (ADA service animals are welcome)
  • Weapons of any kind

Leave these at your campsite or cabin when you head to the venues:

  • Big backpacks
  • Big markers, spray paint and paint pens
  • Bikes, scooters, wagons or other wheeled vehicles other than ADA equipment
  • Chairs
  • Frisbees
  • Inflatables
  • Picnic baskets
  • Recording equipment

Learn more about Electric Forest

Keep up with the latest tunes and news from the Forest.

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