Electric Forest expands to 2 festivals.

September 2, 2016

EF 3#OceanaCountyNews #ElectricForest2017

By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

ROTHBURY — Electric Forest organizers have announced that the hugely-popular music and arts festival at the Double JJ Resort that attracts over 40,000 attendees each year will take place during back-to-back weekends in 2017.

The first fest is set for June 22-25, and the second one will take place June 29 through July 2. The annual festival, which spanned four days during previous years, will now double with eight total days. With early-entry passes, the total length of time increases to 10 days in 2017.

EF 2015 - 4The mass gathering permit for the 2017 festivals was approved by the Rothbury Village Council during a special session last month with a 6-1 vote, according to a village official who did not want to be named. Councilman Robert Fulljames cast the lone “no” vote, according to the village official.

The 1,250-acre Double JJ Resort, located in Grant Township, recently annexed into the village. The mass gathering permit to have the festival requires approval by the local governing board each year. The five-member township board, which has approved the permit with split 3-2 votes over the years, specified in its permit language that festival attendance cannot exceed 40,000. The permit approved by the village contains no maximum capacity language, the village official said. Although, the festival will be constantly monitored to maintain proper “health, safety and welfare.”

EFFThe EF site states that capacity will be reduced by 10 percent with the new two-weekend schedule. “While Electric Forest will expand in many ways in 2017, its intimacy will stay intact. In fact, the capacity for each weekend will be reduced by approximately 10 percent from 2016. Raising the capacity and expanding the site layout for a single weekend was an idea that was considered. However, rapid growth of the venue has the potential to undermine the values of The Forest. Instead of moving toward one larger weekend, the most thoughtful choice was the creation of two smaller capacity weekends.”

Passes can be purchased for both weekends, but festival goers will have to exit the grounds in between EF 2015 - 7festivals. “Please know you will need to exit the site between weekends so that proper cleaning and maintenance can take place. Maybe enjoy a few days on the beaches of Lake Michigan?” the EF site states.

Early entry parking passes will be available June 21 and June 28, the site states.

Double JJ Resort owner Norm Halbower said the annexation into the village “gives us more reason to invest in infrastructure.” Halbower said resort management is “more comfortable being a part of the village.” He said he appreciates the “open-minded” attitude of the village. “The township has been wonderful to us,” he said. “We are thankful to the township for providing fire and medical services, which are vital to putting on these events.” However, he said he was worried about the resort’s future when it was a part of the township. “We will have more ways to improve and grow and employ a lot of local people at a good wage,” he said.

ef-6-224x300Halbower said the township board, the village council and the Oceana County Board of Commissioners all voted unanimously for the annexation.

“The Village of Rothbury and Grant Township have been amazing hosts for Electric Forest,” the EF site states. “HQ is excited to announce that we will be expanding all existing programs that give back to our hosts, which will strengthen and deepen our collective ties to the community around us. This expansion includes: a larger road improvement fund; growth in our efforts to support the annual Roy Price Memorial Food Drive; expansion of the Electric Forest Music in Schools program. More community programs will be announced in coming months.”

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