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Electric Forest Music Festival returns after two-year pandemic hiatus

Drivers, beware: Michigan State Police say they expect a massive influx of traffic from the usual in the area.

ROTHBURY, Mich. — For the first time since 2019, music fans from around the country are traveling to West Michigan. The Electric Forest Music Festival begins Thursday, but some guests started showing up on Wednesday.

"It's the best festival of the year," says Butch Phenicie, who goes to music festivals around the country. "Even the ones twice as big, this is better."

He's been to Rothbury on many occasions.

"I've been to every one, starting with the Rothbury Festivals," he says.

From Maryland, he goes to nearly every music festival in the United States each year, selling last minute tickets at a discount.

"If I can make 20%, I'm happy," he says.

And he'll have a good opportunity to do so this weekend.

Michigan State Police say they expect a massive influx of traffic from the usual in the area.

"I would say at least four times the amount of vehicles," says Lt. Michelle Robinson. "They do expect, all tickets were sold."

MSP is planning for that traffic impact, encouraging travelers on 31 to stay in the left hand lane if they aren't coming to the festival.

They have also blocked off several roads in the area to keep traffic flowing.

"We ask that anybody that is coming to attend the festival, follow the map that is given to you by the festival," says Robinson. "Don't try to rely on your GPS, that may take you out of the way."

Police will also be inside the festival grounds to help with security if necessary.

"This is a very kind festival where people will look out for one another," she says.

A.K. Delladohr from Denver is looking for a ticket to what would be her first Electric Forest.

"I just found out about it a couple days ago," says Delladohr.

Like Phenicie, she also travels to festivals around the country, interested in seeing how they operate. And the people who told her to come to Rothbury had nothing but the best to say.

"It seems like it's just going to be an epic event," says Delladohr.

The festival begins Thursday and ends Sunday.

MSP also advises that traffic will be high again on Monday when festival goers leave.


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