Bassnectar at Electric Forest in Rothbury. The band joins a high profile lineup for 2020. 

TRAVERSE CITY — Before there was Electric Forest, there was the Rothbury Festival — a star-studded affair that drew more than 30,000 music fans to the Double JJ Resort in 2008 for four days of frolicking in the Michigan woods and meadows.

Bassnectar, Lotus, The Disco Biscuits, Keller Williams, EOTO, Diplo and members of the String Cheese Incident were all part of that inaugural celebration — which remarkably enough, also featured the likes of Snoop Dogg, 311, Primus, Dave Matthews Band, The Black Keys, Gov’t Mule, John Mayer, Trey Anastasio and Widespread Panic.

The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, Lotus, EOTO and Keller Williams would also be part of the lineup for the first Electric Forest in 2011, along with acts such as Big Gigantic and 12th Planet.

So, for the 10th anniversary of Electric Forest in 2020, organizers are heading “back to the future”: A bevy of artists featured in the first Rothbury and Electric Forest festivals will also appear at next year’s much-buzzed-about event taking place June 25-28.

The String Cheese Incident (playing three nights), Bassnectar, Big Gigantic, Diplo, Keller Williams, Lotus, Disco Biscuits, 12th Planet and EOTO will be joined by the likes of Flume, Major Lazer, Lotus the Child, The Glitch Mob, Lindsey Stirling, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Big Boi, Big Wild, The Black Madonna and dozens more.

Michigan-based artists on the initial bill of the electronic music-leaning festival include indie-pop/rock’s Michigander (fronted by Kalamazoo’s Jason Singer), Grand Rapids DJ/producer SuperDre and Detroit tech house act Golf Clap.

“Decade One will feature many unique performances and sets, including Turkuaz with Jerry Harrison & Adrian Belew of Talking Heads who will perform ‘Remain in Light’ in honor of the album turning 40,” organizers announced in a press release.

It didn’t take long for Electric Forest devotees to embrace the lineup: Tickets sold out on Dec. 6, the first day they became available to the general public after advance sales to “Forest Family” members. There is, however, an official “wristband exchange” service for those wishing to sell their tickets or purchase them from ticketholders who decide not to attend. Information is available online at

More than 40,000 festivalgoers are expected to flock to the sprawling site next June.

Festival organizers — who have touted the 2020 event as “the biggest Forest celebration to date” — previously announced that they have a new agreement with the village of Rothbury to stage the festival there for another 10 years. The festival in 2020 will also offer one-way and round-trip shuttles to Rothbury from Chicago, Detroit, Grand Rapids and Muskegon County Airport.

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