Electric Forest 2019: Highlights & Photos

By Tim McGuire Jul 2, 2019 1:09 pm PDT

Electric Forest is known as a festival that has a high standard for special moments of all types, be they musical, theatrical, visual or the unexpected moment that you’ll just never see coming. Step into the Forest and it’s no surprise to encounter troupes of costumed characters, intricate art installations, multi-step riddles with unknown prizes and secret sets featuring well-known musicians. Here’s a list of standout moments that took place at this year’s Electric Forest:

It’s A Lettuce ‘Trap’

Lettuce played Electric Forest on Thursday night hot off the release of their new album Elevate and delivered a heavy hitting “Trapezoid” that took the crowd on some deep deep dives and featured incredibly sweet highs. The festival itself is one that bridges musical genres of many types and Lettuce fits right in as musicians who link funk to hip-hop, jam and roots music.

Sherwood Forest’s Chapel

It seemed no matter what time you found yourself at the Chapel in Sherwood Forest shenanigans were abound. If it wasn’t a couple getting married in high festival fashion, it was a party dedicated to those attendees who donned animal costumes or even just an old fashioned pillow fight. You might even find yourself getting picked from the audience to play a game of musical chairs combined with a lap-dancing competition. The Chapel’s hosts dubbed the BuBBle GutteeRs, clearly knew their way around a striptease or two and were not to be reckoned with unless you brought your A Game.

Next Level Festival Totems

Electric Forest is the perfect environment for “Festival Totems.” Having hosted them for over a decade at the site, they have multiplied and evolved into a true form of artistic expression. As you dance your way through the festival you’re bound to encounter all types and shapes of objects hoisted high above the crowd to proclaim memes, showcase LED lights or entice lewd behavior. At one point, you will think you have seen them all. Then, if you’re lucky, the magic moment will occur when you gaze up and see something that simply speaks your language. At that point, you will realize you have been found by your “Spirit Totem.” For me, it was multi-colored dolphin with led lights that blew a stream of bubbles filled with smoke.

The Nth Power Honors Earth, Wind & Fire

On Friday night, The Nth Power brought their “Earth, Wind & Power” tribute to the Carousel Club to close the evening. The supergroup featured Joey Porter of The Motet on keys, Jennifer Hartswick of the Trey Anastasio Band on trumpet and vocals and Skerik on sax. They closed their set with a sweetly funky “That’s The Way Of The World” and sent the crowd back to their campsites with a warm disco afterglow.

John Craigie & Friends

John Craigie brought his wit and humor on Saturday afternoon to the theater in the round style Honeycomb Stage, which was a new addition to the festival this year. The shade of the forest and theater seating provided the perfect atmosphere for Craigie to enchant the attentive audience. John’s “folk singer at an EDM festival” attitude had the crowd chuckling and offered festival-goers a great change of pace to the day. A special moment was when John brought out friends Steve Poltz, Handmade Moments and Cello Joe for a whimsical rendition of Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry Be Happy.”

Horseshoes & Hand Grenades Cover Fleetwood Mac

On Sunday afternoon, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades came together on the Observatory Stage for some of their own “Acoustic Dance Music.” The Wisconsin-based band closed their performance with a passionate cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon” that kept the crowd on their feet regardless of it being day five for many attendees.

Paper Diamond Plays For Longtime Electric Forest Alumni

Paper Diamond & Friends played a set on Saturday afternoon at the Carousel Club exclusively for those who have attended at least six Electric Forest festivals. The group featured Big Yuki, Lane Shaw, Marc Brownstein, Aron Magner and Ilo Ilo. Paper Diamond and Lane Shaw, original members of The PNUMA Trio, performed at the original Rothbury Festival more than a decade ago. They dipped into both new material and classics, some of which were played at Rothbury in the late ’00s.

EOTO Fires The Lasers

Michael Travis and Jason Hann of The String Cheese Incident stepped on to the Sherwood Court on Thursday night for their traditional EOTO performance at the festival. After they got settled, Jason made the proclamation to “Fire the Lasers!” with the crowd eagerly cheering for just that very moment as lights blazed — a moment that just never goes out of style.

Twiddle Closes Out The Jubilee Tent

Attending Twiddle‘s Jubilee Tent closing performance on Sunday night was an easy choice for many jam fans. Once again, lasers abounded and the band delivered with an improv-heavy rendition of “Jamflowman” towards the end of the set that incorporated a bit of “Layla.” It was altogether a tremendously positive vibe to end the weekend with.

The String Cheese Incident’s Saturday Night Shebang

The one moment that defined the festival for many was The String Cheese Incident‘s “Saturday Night Shebang.” Keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth led the group through their first ever cover of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” to start before a fiddle and synth-fueled “Valley Of The Jig.” The “Shebang” climaxed with a rare cover of Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” that was accompanied by dancers, balloons, lasers, fireworks and aerialists in a jaw-dropping spectacle of the highest caliber.

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