The main attraction of most music festivals is the actual music, but at Electric Forest there’s more than just music to enchant festival goers.
Sure, Electric Forest always has an amazing line-up with killer headliners and undercard artists and bands, but the Forest would be nothing without the extraordinary art installations, live artists and other entertainment which add so much magic to the event and truly make it a festival above any other.
This year is no different, with more than a dozen installation artists including returning Electric Forest veterans Grand Artique Productions and SuperTallPaul and The Jive Joint.
Ben Stonberg and Derek Landacre
Ben Stonberg is a metalworker and artist from Boston and Derek Landacre is a metal worker from Michigan. Together, the two teamed up to create and install the iconic Sherwood Forest archway, which can be seen on the trail from Sherwood Court into Sherwood Forest.
Carey Thompson & Galactivation
Carey Thompson is known for his works of art that range from projection and laser mapping of stages to his full spectrum Electric Forest Archway, which is the gateway to Sherwood Forest from the Ranch Arena. The portal was introduced to Electric Forest in 2015 and has been a staple piece in welcoming festival goers into the magic of Sherwood.
When you’re wandering through the Forest, looking above you in awe at the nine beautiful, golden lanterns strung along, you can thank the husband-wife duo of Curious Customs for these mesmerizing pieces. These complex pieces are adorned with leaf shapes and the most complex of the lanterns has 72 faces carved into it.
dalabil & the Department of Visual Consciousness
If you’ve ever found yourself in need of a place to rest your weary feet for a few minutes while wandering the Forest, you’ve no doubt found yourself in the Reincarnation Village that is the creation of dalabil & the Department of Visual Consciousness. This group of artists and educators created the Reincarnation Village and believe in employing recyclable and natural materials in order to educate people on the benefits of reusability and the effects of consumerism. Reincarnation Village is always a favorite amongst Forest-goers.
If you’ve ever stared in awe at the 22-foot tall Lady Vine statue in the Forest, you’re not alone. Created by artist Daniel Popper out of vines, wood, and steel, the statue is the centerpiece of the festival. There is something magnificent about Lady Vine, who welcomes all to the Forest.
Dark Moon Designs
Dark Moon Designs, a group of three friends based out of Chicago, who is responsible for The Ocular Organ installation, an interactive lighting installation. The organ lies deep in the heart of Sherwood Forest and lights up for those who are lucky enough to stumble upon it.
Darren Minke is the creator of BeijaFlor, the gorgeous hummingbird statue also located in Sherwood Forest. BeijaFlor is made out of recycled and found materials, including plastic water bottles, flowers, fallen branches, leaves, and moss. The wings of the hummingbird are also designed to simulate flight and the water bottles will be filled with water and lit from inside to cast a display of light through the Forest at night.
Grand Artique Productions
One of my favorite elements of Electric Forest is the Grand Artique Production’s Trading Post. The Trading Post includes a small stage where you can catch secret sets, an actual trading post where you can barter your belongings for trinkets, and a telephone for connecting with other foresters wandering about in Sherwood.
Hobby Gypsy Creations
In 2016, there were more than two dozen fairy doors scattered throughout Sherwood Forest and many foresters made a game of trying to find all of them throughout the weekend. If you didn’t manage to find all of these mystical little homes, don’t worry, you’ll have your chance to try again this year! Hobby Gypsy Creations is a group of friends based out of Michigan who created the unique installation and will be back again for 2017.
Jive Joint w/ SuperTallPaul
You either love SuperTallPaul and the Jive Joint or you don’t, in my opinion. As an improv/vaudeville group, their performances can range from hilarious to inappropriate, but regardless, their shows are always entertaining. Nothing like stumbling into a spontaneously psychedelic performance in the middle of the Forest. My tip, go after the music has ended for the night and catch the wackiest show you might see all weekend.
Kelsey Brietung started out as a volunteer at Electric Forest many years ago and has since become a staple in creating the art and structures seen around the Forest. Some of her most noticeable works of art include the Sherwood Forest Bar and the Sherwood Forest art bar, where you can create pins and other small pieces of art to take home with you.
Monos Menos Manos
A Chicago-based collective that creates multidisciplinary experiences that blur the lines between art and science. The collective uses many different forms of art including film, programming, biology, engineering and more to create an immersive and sensory experience for foresters.
Shrine is an artist who wears many hats, including painter, art installer, and performance artist. Shrine has created art installations for many other festivals, most notably Coachella, and his pieces are gigantic, towering structures built entirely out of trash and reclaimed materials. His piece for Electric Forest, literally called The Shrine, was created by Shrine and his family and commemorates an artistic family journey.
From the Electric Forest page, “Standing Now is a Southeast Michigan-based art collective that specializes in creating interactive experiences that foster play and introspection.” We’re excited to see what Standing Now brings to the Forest!
The Electric Dream Machine
The Electric Dream Machine is another collaboration of artists that work together to bring sculptures and artwork to life using projection mapping techniques. This group is likely the one which will help make the giant hummingbird, among other pieces of artwork in the Forest, to life by using lasers and lights to simulate movement.
Tigre Bailando is the creator of the Fuenta Alma installation. Tigre Bailando is a multi-disciplinary artist based out of Oakland, California and has created transformative art for multiple festivals. Tigre’s art is deeply complex, often incorporating ancient motifs of myth and ritual, and he seeks to awaken humanity and represent human connectedness.
Twelve Limbs Art Studio
Another Chicago-based artist, Twelve Limbs Art Studio specializes in sculpture, painting, portraits, murals, woodworking and metal work.
Wake The Giant
Wake The Giant is a design and fabrication company and the creators of the giant white and gold spiral structure on the path from Sherwood Court into the Forest. If you’ve never seen the giant, spaceship-like statue, be prepared to have your mind blown. The 35-foot tall statue is hard to miss, but make sure you stand underneath it and peer upwards at the intricate designs within for a new perspective on the piece.