Author Archives: Marco Sgalbazzini

New Device That May Help Cure Tinnitus Unveiled


Millions of people worldwide are suffering in various degrees of the medical condition known as tinnitus. Known popularly as “ringing in the ears” or “phantom sounds,” the American Tinnitus Association defines tinnitus as ” the perception of sound when no actual external noise is present.” While the condition may be either temporary or chronic, in worse cases, it is a debilitating condition that affect one’s day-to-day life.

Sadly, a number of those suffering from the disease are music artists. Due to the nature of this disease, it can affect their artistry and livelihood. And while there have been some success stories, other artists who are found suffering from it are forced to leave the industry altogether.

Despite the situation at the moment, there is possible hope on the horizon. Researchers from the University of Michigan and McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, have recently developed an experimental device that aims to at least alleviate tinnitus. What this device does is that it delivers 30 minutes of sensory stimulation, alternating between brief audio tones (transmitted via headphones) and light pulses to the patient’s neck or cheek.

The device, which patients can administer themselves at home, disrupts the synchronized firing of neuron networks in one part of the brain, an act that is believed to be the cause of tinnitus. About 20 people were tested with the device (after first achieving successful results on guinea pigs) who used it for half an hour each day for one month. The results show promise: two participants reported being completely cured, while 11 others reported a reduction in volume or pitch.

At the moment, there is no word yet as to when the device will be introduced to the general market but already, there is excitement generating around the device. Needless to say we continue to insist on the vital need and use of hi-fidelity ear protection in any kind of environment where loud noise and music can damage one’s hearing.

H/T: Newsweek

Hi-Fidelity Earplugs Are The Perfect Stocking Stuffer For Music Lovers

DownBeat Mountain

, especially as they usually “have everything” already and the idea of venturing into the uncharted waters of, say, buying them some collectable fragile vinyl records seems like a daunting task indeed!

Here is where our Holiday Sale for 2017 comes in, giving anyone 15% off any DownBeats earplugs purchased from the site with promo code ‘holidays17’ through December 24th! A pair of transparent hi-fidelity earplugs that make the perfect stocking stuffer for any music snob who still wants to be able to be able to hear after their favorite DJ and/or band has stopped playing! A pair of earplugs for the smart and health-conscious music lover.

People who wear earplugs to a show may find themselves the butt of a couple jokes now and then, but tinnitus — the ringing in your ears after a loud concert — is no joke. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders notes that ‘long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss.’ Considering most clubs and concerts expose you to levels of sound over 100 decibels, it’s reasonable to assume that just one show can permanently damage your hearing if you’re not careful. – Mashable

If you’ve gone to see music, you’ve almost certainly had a sonic hangover. You’re standing up front, loving every minute of the show. Maybe you don’t notice it at first, or maybe you begin to feel like your ears are hurting a little bit. It’s afterward when it really appears – you step out into the world and suddenly you can’t hear sounds the way you could when you entered the show. It’s like the volume of life has been turned down. Or, worse yet, you can only hear one thing – a constant ringing in your ears.

The sonic hangover is a medical phenomenon that occurs because of loud noise exposure. Inability to hear after a show is called Temporary Threshold Shift, while ringing in the ears can be an early sign of tinnitus, a type of hearing damage that is permanent and long term. DownBeats solve both of these problems, helping you to avoid concert hearing loss. DownBeats also improve audio quality by ensuring that your ears aren’t fatigued. Better sound, better health – what more could you ask for?


Calling DownBeats “ear plugs” isn’t really the best description. That’s because DownBeats don’t stop sound in its tracks like a traditional foam ear plug. Instead, DownBeats filter sound, ensuring that the highest quality sounds are reaching your ears while the harsh noises and feedback are left out with the crowd.

DownBeats take the sound, reduce it an overall 18 decibels, and channel it acoustically into your ears, making sure you have the optimal resonance in your ears at a sustainable level. Try them for yourself – you won’t be disappointed. That’s a guarantee.

To receive 15% off your DownBeats earplugs simply use promo code ‘holidays17’ at checkout when purchasing directly from our online store!

DownBeats & 6AM Launch Ultimate Ticket Giveaway for 2018


Hello DownBeats and 6AM followers! We have decided to give back to you this holiday season with a special Ticket Giveaway valid for anyone anywhere in the world.

On Christmas Day we will be selecting one winner and gifting them the 6AM & DownBeats Ultimate Ticket Giveaway prize! Entering is simple and so is the concept: the winner will receive one ticket of choice per month in 2018 for any electronic music event in the world worth up to $40USD, ticket fees included.

To enter, simply follow the instructions in the widget below.

Please note: If you are having difficulty opening/entering this contest via cell phone, try the following:

  1. Open this link directly on Safari or another designated web browser (not through the FB or Twitter apps)
  2. If the above fails, try via desktop computer.


2018 Ultimate Ticket Giveaway by 6AM & DownBEats (Contest on

1) Must be 21+ to enter contest

2) One event of choice per calendar month anywhere in the world ($40USD per event max)

3) Winner may exchange 3 monthly event tickets for 1 festival ticket worth up to $120USD max (this can be a single-day festival ticket and/or ticket for the entire festival)

4) Winner must submit the event he/she wish to attend. Approval of each event is at the discretion of 6AM Group.

5) Tickets are NON-transferrable as it will be purchased under the winner’s name

6) 6AM and DownBeats are not liable for anything that occurs following the purchase of the event, it is merely a gift and once gifted the responsibility is solely on the winner of the giveaway.

6) The events are valid for the 2018 calendar year only



ADE Draws In A Record 395,00 Visitors for 2017 Edition [Photos]

In its 22nd edition, Amsterdam Dance event drew in a record of 395,000 attendees this year, once again proving to be the largest club festival and the most important business conference for the world of electronic music.
Overall, the event brought people together from over 90 different countries, as well as 7,200 representatives of the worldwide electronic music industry , all of whom traveled to atten the conference.
Marocco was under the spotlight of this year’s ADE Global Year, the region highlighted as one of the next up-and-coming hotbeds for electronic music thanks to its diverse local scene filled with musicians  crafting a mixture between local sounds and dance floor beats. Morocco lies in a central and unique cultural position between Africa, Europe and the wider Islamic world, incorporating ancient musical cultures with a deep and rich flow of dance and repetition. With its stunning international festivals and young Moroccan producers, its modern 21st century dance community is set to keep influencing electronic music in the years to come
Moreover, a special pavilion was hosted to showcase China this year. For the first time ever during ADE, this pavilion was constructed for a country with dedicated lectures, forums and debates for professionals working in the Chinese dance music industry. France and Belgium also took the opportunity to focus a bit more on themselves at this year’s event too, with dedicated events relating to both countries.
Known from Biënnale, the development of pavilions represented by countries will be the next logical step for ADE. Within the last 25 years electronic music has drastically grown internationally and with such unique sounds and mixed with many different genres, it is expected for more countries to host their own pavilions for the years to come.
More artists participated in the ADE Sound Lab this year too, sharing insights into their DJ and studio set ups. These included heavyweights in EDM, techno and house such as Martin Garrix, Richie Hawtin and KiNK, Soulwax and Tiga, Surgeon, Lady Starlight, Oliver Heldens and more.
The night program included cross overs with different genres and special productions at unique locations. Some examples include Underworld, who performed at the cycle passage of Rijksmuseum, Jameszoo and the Metropole Orchestra, as well as Colin Benders at Rembrandthuis.
Age boundaries were also pushed at this year’s ADE. Martin Garrix, 20, was voted again the most popular DJ of the world during ADE week and went on to host an all-ages concert, allowing teenagers to attend with parents. There was also a free festival called Hangover at NDSM, which took place across the river for the first time that was visited by many families. On the final night composer Philipp Glass, 80, performed at Melkweg, drawing attendance from people of all ages and walks of life.
As always ADE continued to go beyond the mere focus on the music and business side of things, by also showcasing the importance of health, underscoring why our minds and bodies are far more important than anything else. With a staggering 30% of electronic artists having experienced mental health issues at one time or another, the importance of caring for your mental and physical health in our often highly demanding industry, has never been so key! The ADE Pro Health Block focused on caring for your mental and physical health, enlisting the help of The Association For Electronic Music (AFEM) to bring together a panel of industry pros to share their views on subjects such as dealing with depression and anxiety.
Moreover, ADE continued to focus on the importance of caring for hearing safety and dealing with tinnitus. Wearing ear plugs has always been an important and crucial part of the music experience, and especially so within the electronic and dance scene. ADE continued to put needed emphasis on he subject by regularly reminding attendees to wear ear plugs to protect their hearing so as to be able to continue to enjoy the sound of the music we love so much. As always, DownBeats staff were happy to see the strong emphasis on hearing protection throughout the week, as well as the general importance given to the subject of body and mental health.

Amsterdam Dance Event and ACS Custom Team Up for 15% Off All Custom ACS Products During ADE

ACS Customs

The summer is ending, that means the Amsterdam Dance Event is nearly upon us. We are excited and looking forward to this special gathering of the dance music industry with people from across the planet!

ACS Custom – the world’s leading brand in custom made hearing protection and in-ear monitors (IEMs) will also be at ADE. While DownBeats provide an important and inexpensive hi-fidelity hearing protection solution for those attentive to the needs of their hearing protection, we cannot but underscore how important custom ear plugs are. We always advise anyone who asks us to adopt an ideal two-pronged solution to protecting their hearing: have customs, but always carry back-up DownBeats with them just in case!

ACS hearing protectors and IEMs are custom made with comfortable soft silicone, bespoke for your ears only. The ACS Pro Series hearing protection earplugs have a range of 6 different interchangeable high fidelity attenuation filters, to give you the choice of the safest protection for any musical environment.

For over 23 years ACS Custom products have being used by professional orchestras, DJs, rock bands and music lovers alike. Check the ACS website for more details on their product range

And… the best thing about going to ADE is DISCOUNT!

All the delegates and attendees have the opportunity for an exclusive 15% discount on all custom ACS products during ADE! This is further proof to the attention to detail from the team at ADE, as well as the importance they place on hearing protection.

Head here to purchase a pair of $9.99 hi-fidelity DownBeats ear plugs for ADE.

DGTL Announces ADE 2017 Programme


DGTL has released its long awaited three day program for this years ADE, consisting three consecutive parties at the Scheepsbouwloods NDSM Docklands from October 19-21.

DGTL will host its own event Thursday night and will team up with returning partners Paradise and Kompakt for Friday and Saturday night.

Thursday’s headline duties will feature Russian techno goddess and acid Queen Nina Kraviz + mad musicians Modeselektor. Along with Âme, Jon Hopkins and De School’s Oceanic in the first area. The second area with Ryan Elliot, De Sluwe Vos and Fort Romeau.

After two successful editions, Jamie Jones Paradise is back for round three. Expect to set sail to paradise with familiar faces Hot creations heartthrob Richy Ahmed, Patrick Topping, Andrea Oliva, Detlef and the man himself Jamie Jones. Accompanied by Paradise first timers Dubfire, Appolonia, live set from Matador, Peggy Gou and Lauren Lane.

Followed by previous four sold-out edition of DGTL x Kompakt, the label from Cologne is back for their lustrum. Michael Mayer will play b2b with Patrice Bäumel. Along with a live set by Weval and on the decks with Pachanga Boys, Danny Daze & headliners Locked Groove and Tobias Thomas. They will be joined by two special guests, Apparat and Roman Flügel. Both don’t have any current releases on the label, but their quality will elevate the night to a whole new level.


Day one: DGTL X DGTL will feauture: Nina Kraviz, Âme [dj] – Modeselektor [dj], Jon Hopkins [dj], Ryan Elliot, De Sluwe Vos, Fort Romeau, Oceanic.

Day two: DGTL X Paradise will feature: Dubfire, Apollonia, Matador [live] , Patrick Topping, Richy Ahmed b2b Andrea Oliva, Peggy Gou, Detlef, Lauren Lane.

Day three: DGTL X Kompakt will feature: Michael Mayer b2b Patrice Bäumel, Gui Boratto [live], Wevel [live], Pachanga Boys, Danny Daze, Locked Groove, Tobias Thomas + SPECIAL GUESTS: Apparat [dj] and Roman Flugel

General info DGTL ADE 2017 
Location: Scheepsbouwloods / NDSM Docklands
Address: TT Neveritaweg 15, 1033 WB Amsterdam


Win 2 GA Tickets to North Coast Music Festival 2017



North Coast Music Festival (Summer’s Last Stand) returns to Union Park in Chicago this Labor Day Weekend September 1st-3rd, 2017.

Featuring incredible tree-dotted views of the city skyline, and 80 unbeatable performances from all corners of the creative pool, “Summer’s Last Stand” is music lovers’ chance to end the season on a high note. This year’s lineup highlights include a back-to-back set by Progressive House giants Eric Prydz and Deadmau5, performances by Bonobo and Bob Moses, hip-hop and rap by Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Lil Dicky and Gucci Mane, and appearances y the likes of STS9, Lettuce and Tipper − an eclectic lineup no doubt!

While tickets are available at, we teamed up with promoters React Presents to give YOU the chance to win a pair of tickets to the festival. To enter, simply follow the instructions in the widget below. The winner will be selected at 12pm PST on August 18th!

Please note: If you are having difficulty opening/entering this contest via cell phone, try the following:

  1. Open this link directly on Safari or another designated web browser (not through the FB or Twitter apps)
  2. If the above fails, try via desktop computer.


Win Tickets to North Coast Music Festival 2017 (Contest on

Dockyard Festival Announces ADE 2017 Lineup Feat. Cocoon, Mindshake, Terminal One and PoleGroup

Dockyard 3

Dockyard festival returns to Amsterdam this fall during ADE 2017 on Saturday October 21st. This well established techno festival is promised to bring its best edition yet, all set at a their new location of N1-Park in Westpoort and featuring Sven Väth, Âme, Eats Everything, Ben Sims, Oscar Mulero, Octave One and many more!

Being the only techno festival during ADE, Dockyard is a great way to spend the day on Saturday: given its great production, light, sound and stage design, it is a day party unlike any other in Amsterdam during the busy ADE week. The festival will include four different areas over the course of the 12 hour party, including Dockyard Presents Cocoon with Sven Väth, Âme (LIVE), Ilario Alicante, Mano Le Tough, Markus Fix, Nakadia and Tim Green, as well as Mystic Garden Presents Mindshake featuring Paco Osuna, Cuartero, Eats Everything, Egbert live, Jairo, Luca Agnelli and Technasia.

PoleGroup returns once again to Dockyard hosting its own stage with Oscar Mulero, Exit, Kwartz b2b Lewis Fautzi, Peal and more, plus Terminal One Present Machine makes an appearance with a star-studded techno lineup that includes Ben Sims, Kirk DiGiorgio, Octave One live, Planetary Assault Systems live, Rod, Shifted and Truncate.

Tickets are available here.

Dockyard 2





Win 2 GA Tickets to 400 Fest ft. The Chainsmokers, Pretty Lights, Major Lazer & More

Major Lazer pose for a portrait during the Notting Hill Carnival in London, United Kingdom on August 27th 2012 // Dan Wilton/Red Bull Content Pool

Major Lazer pose for a portrait during the Notting Hill Carnival in London, United Kingdom on August 27th 2012 // Dan Wilton/Red Bull Content Pool

The Chainsmokers and Major Lazer will lead a superstar lineup of performers at the brand-new 400 Fest, a two-night concert event during NASCAR’s Brickyard 400 event on Friday, July 21 and Saturday, July 22 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

General Admission and VIP tickets are on sale HERE. Tent and RV camping is also available.

Joining Major Lazer on Friday, July 21 will be Mac Miller and Cheat Codes. On Saturday, July 22, The Chainsmokers will be accompanied by Pretty Lights and DNCE. Gates open at 5 p.m. both nights, with music starting at 7 p.m.

“400 Fest will help introduce a new generation of fans to Brickyard 400 weekend,”  IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “This impressive array of superstars will add even more appeal to what is already one of the most exciting weekends of the year at IMS.”

400 Fest tickets do not include admission to the Brickyard 400 or Lilly Diabetes 250, but 400 Fest ticket holders can purchase discounted General Admission tickets to any of the three days of on-track action for those races Friday, July 21, Saturday, July 22 or Sunday, July 23, including full-weekend General Admission tickets.

We have teamed up with React Presents to give away 2 GA tickets to the fest! The two-night concert takes place during NASCAR’s Brickyard 400 event on Friday, July 21 and Saturday, July 22 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Please note: If you are having difficulty opening/entering this contest via cell phone, try the following:

  1. Open this link directly on Safari or another designated web browser (not through the FB or Twitter apps)
  2. If the above fails, try via desktop computer.


Win 2 GA Tickets to 400 Fest ft. The Chainsmokers, Pretty Lights, Major Lazer & More (Contest on

More Information on 400 Fest: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Electric Forest 2017 Festival Review

EF 2017

Mother Nature tried her best to spoil the party this year at Electric Forest. Despite sporadic lightning storms causing stages to shut down, heavy rain gathering into large mud pits, and entry delays due to venue cleanup/reconstruction, the first weekend of the Forest Family’s annual gathering in Rothbury, MI went off in full force.

The grounds crews worked throughout the night each night adding mulch to high traffic paths, and blocking off muddy areas. Both the venue condition and the weather got better each day of the event leading to a fantastic Saturday and Sunday. Even as we were leaving on Monday, crews were working hard on the campgrounds preparing to do it all again on Wednesday for EF’s inaugural second weekend.

The addition of a second weekend was an ambitious step for Madison House and Insomniac. Based on the official app’s user schedules, attendance should be significantly smaller weekend two. Regardless, they managed to sell at least 65,000 tickets making 2017 their biggest event yet. It will be interesting to follow along in the offseason to see if Rothbury citizens can handle a two-week invasion of crazy people every year.



Location, Accessibility and Set-Up

As usual, Double JJ Ranch played host to Electric Forest. Double JJ’s immense fields, neatly aligned trees, and permanent facilities make it the perfect home for the festival. Occupying most of the fields, the General Admission (GA) campground was massive. It was divided by a central avenue with shops and food vendors. Group, RV, and tent camping were all nearest to the venue entrance, with the rest of GA stretching nearly a mile farther.

On Wednesday, we set up camp just behind main street in the Maplewoods campground. Though it came at a premium, we had lots of space, privacy, amenities, and protection from the storms. Additionally, we got a little glimpse of Sherwood Forest each night with the lights in the Maplewoods trees. After getting situated, we went out to explore the campgrounds. We hopped around the many pre-parties in the RV campground until the weather started to pick up.

Other than the hour-long entry line on Thursday, EF was very organized and waits weren’t too bad the entire weekend. Water was readily available thanks to the many stations set up by VIBEDRATION. They had a variety of food vendors and bars, some even hidden, scattered throughout the venue.

With a ferris wheel looming, the GA venue entrance spilled into the back of the Tripolee stage. The stage kept its usual look featuring large carved faces flanking a massive LED board. A few umbrella-like structures were placed around the field to provide shade in the daytime, and additional lights during the evening performances. Tripolee had the entire campground booming each night with late night performances by Claude VonStroke, Oliver Heldens, and Nero.

Venturing further into the venue, Ranch Arena was the next stage. It was a massive, steampunk looking structure that acted as the main stage for the weekend. It housed a crowd of 20,000+ people for Bassnectar’s Saturday night performance. Equipped with dozens of lasers, tons of confetti, and impressive pyrotechnics, Ranch Arena was quite a spectacle.

The Sherwood Forest was located right in the middle of the venue. The forest was home to numerous art installations, permanent structures, hammock areas, two stages (The Observatory and the Forest Stage), the silent disco, and even a psychedelic wedding chapel. To top it all off, the whole place was rigged up with a ridiculous amount of lights, projections, and lasers. Pictures don’t do it justice.

On the other side of the forest, there were three more stages: The Hangar, Jubilee, and Sherwood Court. The Hangar and Jubilee were both big tent stages, with the field of Sherwood Court nearby. The 1950’s themed Hangar had a central bar and building facades along the sides including a tattoo parlor, pie shop, bowling alley, and even a hidden speakeasy. Sherwood Court kept it’s familiar elephant decor and stage design.

Silent Disco


The layout remained the same as years past with three large stages, four smaller stages, and a silent disco. The sound booths of Ranch Arena and Tripolee received a little more production love this year, and Tripolee also changed its head sculptures on the side of the stage. Jubilee seemed a little less flashy this year as well. They removed the section of The Observatory stage that nearly collapsed last year, reverting it back to 2015’s setup.


The first two nights of the festival had brief thunderstorms and light to heavy showers rolling through. The weather was mostly pleasant during the daytime, but got pretty cold at night. Rain created lots of mud, flooded some of the restrooms, and destroyed the paths each day. Again, props to the grounds crews for working around the clock to fix the damage.

The Hangar and Jubilee at Sunset

Crowd and Atmosphere

The crowd was incredible as always. The positive energy that the Forest Family is known for radiated throughout the grounds the entire weekend. Rather than complain, attendees joked that this year was the “year of the rainforest”, and embraced the special moments as the rain ac-companied the light displays for String Cheese Incident, Bob Moses, Above & Beyond, and Claude VonStroke. The mud acted as a bit of crowd control, as everyone had to pay close attention to where they were walking, but overall it was a very chill and positive atmosphere.

Music Highlights

Day 0 – Wednesday

All who purchased early arrival passes got to enjoy a free evening to wander the campgrounds, and catch pop up sets from EF artists. Unfortunately, as things were starting to ramp up after midnight, we got a surprise set of Rain b2b Lightning.

Sherwood Court

Day 1 – Thursday

Brasstracks got us off to a nice, funky start at Sherwood Court, followed by a high energy set from The Revivalists. After hearing hits, such as “Wish I Knew You”, “Stand Up”, and “All In The Family”, we headed towards Tripolee to see what Claude VonStroke had cooking at the Birdhouse event. There we were greeted with a proper dance party courtesy of Sonny Fodera and Jimmy Edgar.

As the sun started to set, it was time to get cheesy. In an unusual Thursday night appearance, The String Cheese Incident gave Electric Forest a proper welcome as the rain started to sprinkle. We caught a good portion of their set taking in the display of improvisation and instrumentation. At that point, we went towards Sherwood Court only to be told that the venue was shut down. Officially bummed out, we headed back towards camp.

When passing back by Ranch Arena, The String Cheese Incident were still rocking hard through the storm. Closing with an incredible jam combining their hit “Colliding” with “Moves Like Jagger”, lightning accompanied the stage production. We took this as a message from the forest gods that the show would go on! To our pleasant surprise, we returned to Sherwood Court to find Bob Moses playing as expected. The live set featured their crowd pleasers “All I Want”, “Tearing Me Up”, and many selections off of their Days Gone By album.

Next, we had a little group therapy in the rain with the uplifting tunes of Above & Beyond. Between the pouring rain, smiling faces, and positive messages from the Anjuna frontmen, this would go down as one of the most special sets of the weekend. To end the night, we returned back to the campsite and danced to the selections of Claude VonStroke as his Dirtybird beats echoed throughout the campground.

Ranch Arena

Day 2 – Friday

After a nice breakfast, we headed into the venue for a soggy Friday. We started with a cold brew at Sherwood Court accompanied by the relaxing sounds of Chet Porter. After a while, it was time to head to Ranch Arena for the one and only, Matisyahu. His eclectic set featured rock, hip hop, beat boxing, and of course some top-notch reggae. As the afternoon turned into the eve-ing, we returned to Foreign Family Collective event at Sherwood Court for Big Wild. At this point, he had the crowd going crazy. He had them singing along to “Aftergold”, “Empty Room”, and “When I Get There” to name a few.

Our next set was a special treat for weekend 1 attendees. Dubbed their “Sound Lab” set, The String Cheese Incident came out with a star-studded crew. For a couple songs each, they welcomed fellow artists from the lineup like Eric Krasno, Kamasi Washington, The Floozies, Liquid Stranger, Matisyahu, Break Science, and The Brazilian Girls. I’ll never forget this set going down in real time, as we were gifted with surprise after surprise.

When it came to an end, we moved onward towards the relaxing vibes of Tycho. Closing out Sherwood Court for the evening, they performed to a pretty packed field. Due to schedule conflicts, we couldn’t stay for the whole set. We made a brief pit stop by Jubilee to catch Ott throwing down some psychedelic dub jams before moving on to Ranch Arena for Odesza. The Foreign Family Collective bosses had quite a performance up their sleeves for Electric Forest. They included hits such as “Line of Sight”, “Sun Models”, “iplayyoulisten”, and even brought out an entire drum line at one point. After being in one of the biggest crowds of the weekend, we ended Friday at The Observatory with Barclay Crenshaw (aka Claude VonStroke) getting real weird with his new space hip hop sounds.

Forest Stage

Day 3 – Saturday

Following a groovy, talk box heavy set by TAUK, we spent a good part of Saturday afternoon exploring the Sherwood Forest. It was a nice change of pace from constantly being on the move the previous couple days. Stumbling upon performances by The Bluegrass Generals, Win & Woo, Dixon’s Violin, and others, we took in everything the forest had to offer. There seemed to be new areas and art installations to check out in every direction.

Before heading to Ranch Arena for The Floozies, we took a brief detour by Jubilee for the THISSONGISSICK secret sets. Their surprises included b2b sets with Autograf, Louis the Child, Whethan, Ganja White Night, Big Gigantic, and others. Last year, this set took place on the Observatory, and was the ultimate cause to the near collapse of that stage. It was a good move by HQ this year to put this set on a stage that could handle a bigger, more raucous crowd.

As nighttime rolled around, it was time for ever-talented singer, Jim James, to lead a three-hour performance of My Morning Jacket. The psychedelic rock band took Ranch Arena on an audio-visual excursion, as they improvised their way through their discography. Though we were missing Cheese’s normal Saturday night shebang, MMJ was an excellent replacement.

We moved on to Tripolee to catch a bit of Rezz who had the crowd going mental. Her crazy, space bass sounds with high energy releases were just what her fans were wanting. She included selections such as “Selector”, “Edge”, and her remix of Porter Robinson’s “Shelter”. To beat the crowd that would surely be migrating soon to Bassnectar, we headed back to the forest. While nearly half of the festival gathered at Ranch Arena for the bass king, we took the opportunity to end our day with some late-night forest exploration.

Sherwood Forest

Day 4 – Sunday

Our final day in the forest started in very relaxed fashion. Between the bluegrass sounds of The Infamous Stringdusters, the percussion-heavy reggae jams of The Hip Abduction, and the feel-good vibes of Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers, we were full of positivity heading into the evening. After a fantastic conclusion of Autograf at Sherwood Court, we caught the opening of pop artist, Matoma. In the rare times that he wasn’t screaming over the microphone, his set featured mashups and tropical house tunes with popular hip hop verses laid over the house beats.

Our next stop was Ranch Arena for Papadosio, as we entered our final evening of performances. Their vibrant visuals paired perfectly with their psychadelic jams as the sun set. We made a quick trip out to Tripolee to see a bit of Haywyre. His live performance was impressive featuring an overhead camera that allowed us to closely watch him work his magic. We also took our final opportunity of the weekend to ride the ferris wheel.

To close out Ranch Arena for the weekend, Dillon Francis threw a party for the ages. With a variety of trap, moombahton, hip hop, and house (courtesy of his deep house snob alter ego: DJ Hanzel), he had the crowd raging into the night. His visuals were hilarious, referencing many hilarious inside jokes with his fans. Before we could call it quits for the weekend, we had to venture back into the forest one more time. Giving us a near storybook ending, self-proclaimed musical shaman, Dixon’s Violin, serenaded The Observatory with his whimsical improvisations.

Sherwood Forest 2


The Verdict

Music – 4.5 out of 5

With a little something for everybody, the lineup was incredibly diverse. At any given time, you could find performers ranging from the grimiest of bass music, to meditative, peaceful instrumentalists. Since we encountered such great music nearly the entire weekend, it gets a 4.5 out of 5.

Experience – 4.5 out of 5

Though the rain tried to ruin the weekend, crews worked hard to make things better each day. Given that weather was out of our control, the experience was great! We still found the togetherness and positivity that we’d grown accustomed to the past couple years. This year also had many unforgettable performances and art installations.

Value – 4.5 out of 5

Even though the restrooms flooded one day due to rain, our Maplewoods tickets were still worth the $500 price tag. Between the free showers, shade, and proximity to the venue, the amenities definitely delivered. They also had sections of air conditioned restrooms near each large stage. On top of that, they had water stations and food vendors all over the venue and campgrounds. With nearly every inch of the venue accounted for, the attention to detail of this festival was in-credible.

Overall – 4.5 out of 5

With 4.5’s across the board, Electric Forest gets a 4.5 overall this year. The “year of the rainforest” went down in classic fashion. A weekend of mud, rain, and killer music is sure to bring great stories for years to come from those that got to attend. Despite the weather, we had a blast, and look forward to the next time we get to explore the Sherwood Forest!