It’s the first sold out Electric Forest in the short, yet illustrious run as one of the premiere US festivals to attend each summer. The writer of this article? Yes, it’s my first time. I’m a forest newbie, breaking my EF cherry for the first time, excited beyond belief to finally experience all the hype everyone heaps onto the 4-day camping fest.
With all the praise, you can bet there are plenty of must-see artists gracing the stages of Electric Forest. With plenty of renowned headliners performing this year, including Ms. Lauren Hill, STS9, Umphrey’s Mcgee, Steve Angello, and more, I thought it best to give you a playlist with some of the lesser known names so that you can really milk your time in the Forest.
What would the trees do if we didn’t have some great upbeat electronic music to groove to? After all, it is Electric Forest, and with plenty of options to choose from, ranging from the funk-injected set of The Floozies and Manic Menert to the more indie and dance side of the spectrum with Cherub and Penguin Prison, music lovers of every shape and size will find something to enjoy here.
And speaking of dance music, if that’s what you’re into, then let’s turn it up a notch and get into the disco and deep house waves present in the trees. Rounding out an already stacked lineup comes the groove-inducing sounds of Classixx, Soul Clap, and Moon Boots. Strap on your bell bottom jeans and put on your aviators, it’s time to dance.
Mixing in some of the rock-ier acts of the festival also brings some of my personal must-sees of the weekend. It’s a nice change of pace and a welcome addition to the lineup. Featuring the well-established party performers Matt & Kim, Electric Forest also boasts some of the best up and coming indie rock acts with Until The Ribbon Breaks, RAC, and St. Lucia. Make it a priority to catch at least one of these names over the weekend.
Before you expend all your energy raging to the final acts on our list, why not grab onto a chiller atmosphere and give your body a mellow sonic rubdown before the hype. For those looking for some electronic sounds on the chilled side of the spectrum, make sure to hit up Chrome Sparks, Trippy Turtle, Kygo, Cashmere Cat, and Tycho.
Once you feel like you’ve recharged the batteries and your body is in tip-top shape, then it’s time to jump headlong into the massive sounds of the harder electronic artists. With a wide variety of EDM sounds, from bass-heavy to summer electro-house, floating over the forest, there’s a bit of something for every ear. My personal tastes for the weekend will lean toward the deeper, heavier side of things with Glitch Mob, Zeds Dead, and Seven Lions.
A last minute addition to an already stacked Electric Forest lineup, Chicago-based DJ and producer Xonic will be closing out the Silent Disco (presented by Silent Frisco) at midnight on Sunday in the heart of the forest in Rothbury, Michigan. You can expect a set full of funky deep house tunes to wind down the fest with an afterhours party vibe. Playing concurrently on a separate silent disco channel is longtime fan favorite Motion Potion, who will be playing a special all-Radiohead remix set.
Enjoy all the sounds below in our hand-curated festival playlist, and we’ll see you in the Forest!