Music Festival Roundup (part two of a series)

In part two of my Music Festival Roundup, we’ll keep the focus on Midwestern events. Within this blog post you will find:

  • the complete Electric Forest lineup
  • the Midwest’s most affordable, large-scale electronic music festival
  • something for the hard rockers
  • the second round of Summer Camp artist announcements (hint: it’s very electric)
  • Forecastle’s headlining act


While I thought their date announcement video was pretty dumb and irrelevant, I am happy to be able to squash the rumor that the Electric Forest will be moving to another venue. Rest assured, the lovely Double JJ Ranch (isn’t it fun to say?) will once again play host to your wildest dreams and fantasies inside of The Sherwood Forest in Rothbury, Michigan.

The Electric Forest will continue the tradition it started last year by presenting psychedelic bluegrass jam band String Cheese Incident three times over the course of the weekend. Extending this same indulgence to the electronic community around which The Forest is built, STS9 will perform twice during the festival.

Though no official details are available yet, The Electric Forest has also announced special collaborations with esteemed record labels ESL Music (Thievery Corporation), Dim Mak (Steve Aoki, Datsik, Dada Life, Alvin Risk, AutoErotique, Felix Cartal, Zeds Dead), Check Yo Ponytail (Das Racist, Big Freedia) and Detroit electronic music webstation Paxahau are in the works.

With 75 acts included in yesterday’s announcement, I’d wager that there will be few, if any, additional artists to be added to this stellar list. Get your weekend passes soon; early bird tickets have already sold out.

Electric Forest’s list of confirmed 2012 performers is as follows: The String Cheese Incident (3 Shows), Bassnectar, STS9 (2 Shows), Thievery Corporation, Girl Talk, Santigold, Steve Aoki, Ghostland Observatory, Richie Hawtin, Wolfgang Gartner, Major Lazer, The Travelin’ McCourys feat. Keller Williams, Dada Life, Big Gigantic, Datsik, Zeds Dead, Rob Garza (Of Thievery Corporation), 12th Planet, Borgore, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Midnite, MiMoSA, EOTO, Das Racist, Reggie Watts, Paper Diamond, Felix Cartal, Gary Clark Jr., Balkan Beat Box, Big Freedia, Nit GriT, The Infamous Stringdusters, Nickodemus, Chali 2na & the House of Vibe, Alvin Risk, The Soul Rebels, See-I, Glass Candy, Battles, Gramatik, Elephant Revival, Ursula 1000, Minnesota, Nobody Beats The Drum, Congo Sanchez, Fruit Bats, The M Machine, Chromatics, Pictureplane, AutoErotique, Nathaniel Rateliff, Adventure Club, Afrolicious, Virtual Boy, The Funk Ark, Franki Chan, Brothers Past, Crizzly, HOTTUB, Zoogma, Cherub, Frank Mitchell Jr., The Knocks, Vau de Vire Society, Morning Teleportation, DrFameus, Robert Rich, Quixotic, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp, DJ SOLO, Ataxia, The Crane Wives, Secrets, WALA, and Human Agency.

Photos by Phil Ejercito

The Electric Forest

June 28- July 1

Drive time from Indianapolis: 5.5 hours


Movement, Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival (a.k.a Movement; a.k.a. DEMF), has a long withstanding history of patronage from Indy’s electronic dance music fans- especially the veterans who’ve been in the scene for years. The event falls the same weekend as Summer Camp- effectively battling for the Midwest’s Memorial Day weekend festival attendance.

While Summer Camp continues to move toward a modern lineup of EDM superstars, DEMF remains true to its roots by leveraging Detroit’s rich history in the underground electronic music culture. The urban event features all eleventy-billion sub-genres of dance music, offering everything from house and techno to dubstep and drum-n-bass.

DEMF is also known for its notoriously low ticket price; general admission weekend passes are currently on sale for a cool $70.

No artist announcements have yet been made.

Movement, Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival

May 25-27

Drive time from Indianapolis: 5 hours


Running strong in its sixth year, Rock On The Range continues to be a popular Midwestern destination for those with a taste for something a little harder. At Rock On The Range, there will be no noodling guitar players, psychedelic jams, or beat-serving DJ’s. The two-day festival (held at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, OH) prides itself on head banging hard rock, nu metal, alternative rock, thrash, and industrial offerings.

Presale tickets go on sale February 7 with standard two-day passes starting at $99.50.

Rock On The Range’s list of confirmed 2012 performers is as follows: Incubus, Rob Zombie, Shinedown, Marilyn Manson, Five Finger Death Punch, Slash, Megadeth, Chevelle, Cypress Hill, Mastodon, Theory of a Deadman, Volbeat, Down, The Darkness, Halestorm, Escape The Fate, P.O.D., Lacuna Coil, Adelitas Way, Black Stone Cherry, Cavo, Attack Attack!, Trivium, Bobaflex, Falling In Reverse, Redlight King, Aranda, Emphatic, Otherwise, James Durbin, Black Tide, Kyng, 12 Stones, SOiL, Rival Sons, Eve To Adam, and Ghosts of August.

Photos from ROTR Facebook

Note: Rock On The Range is an “urban” festival with no on-site camping.

Rock On The Range

May 19-20

Drive time from Indianapolis: 3 hours


Photo by Greg Molitor

A surprisingly EDM-heavy batch of confirmed artists was released about a week ago. It’s hard to say whether this shift in the jam:electronic ratio at Summer Camp (who boasts three performances every year from rockers Umphrey’s McGee and moe.)will negatively affect veteran S-Campers or not.

Though it will be a long while before I personally consider going back to Chillicothe (here’s why), there are certainly many enticing acts at Summer Camp for a dance music enthusiast like myself- including recent obsession Zed’s Dead and a presumably new show from Shpongle titled “The Masquerade”.

Gigantic Underground Conspiracy is perhaps the most curious addition- a super-group formed as a result of overlapping New Years Eve shows in Chicago from several high profile jamtronica bands. Gigantic Underground Conspiracy debuted on January 1st at Bottom Lounge in Chicago featuring Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner (The Disco Biscuits / Conspirator), Dominic Lalli and Jeremy Salken (Big Gigantic) Chris Michetti (Conspirator / RAQ) and Ben Baruch (Underground Orchestra). I hope Illinois isn’t their only stop this summer.

Most recent additions include: Pretty Lights, Gov’t Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band, G. Love & Special Sauce, Gigantic Underground Conspiracy, Keller Williams, Zeds Dead, Shpongle, EOTO, Leftover Salmon, 12th Planet, FIGURE, Minnesota, araabMUZIK, Fareed Haque & MathGames, 16bit, Flinch, Chester Brown, and The Car Thief.

Photo by Ted Nelson

Summer Camp Music Festival

May 25-27

Drive time from Indianapolis: 4 hours


Forecastle recently announced that Louisville natives My Morning Jacket will not only headline the three-day event on Saturday night, but that the band will also play an active role in curating festival sights, sounds and experiences.

Aside from MMJ, the festival has released no artist announcements. More than 75 acts are expected to be featured on the bill.

Specially-priced early bird tickets ($100 for a three-day weekend pass) went on sale 1/27 and are already completely sold out. Three additional price tiers remain- ranging from $124.50 – $159.50. Single day passes will be released later in the year.

Forecastle is family friendly and an all-ages event. The event is also “urban” and offers no on-site camping.

Photo from Forecastle website

Forecastle Music Festival

July 13-15

Drive time from Indianapolis: 2 hours


Wondering if Wuhnurth and Knollfest will return this year after going on hiatus in 2011? Me too.

I contacted the organizers of both events for statements regarding their plans for the 2012 festival season. Unfortunately, neither was able to provide any comments at this time.

Stay tuned to my Music Festival Roundup Series for more updates as Midwestern festival news and announcements continue to develop.

Missed the first one? Check it out here: Music Festival Roundup (Part One of a Series)

Continue reading: Music Festival Roundup (Part Three of a Series).