The opening hours of a festival are usually an experience marked by radiating positivity, excitement, and anticipation tinged with a touch of exhaustion for those who drove through the night to wait in a line of crazy kids for six hours, before deliriously trying to set up something resembling a campsite. Thursday, the first day of Electric Forest (June 25-28), was no different with one notable exception.
An hour before the gates to the Forest in Rothbury, Michigan officially opened for the thousands of feverish festie campers, there was one young man who didn't seem to understand the positive vibe of this storied event. Apparently without a ounce of dignity, he proudly waved a Confederate flag totem amid a crowd of peace-loving Foresters.
While it's hard to imagine no one reacted brashly to his choice of festival gear before he left the house, it didn't take long before a fellow camper confronted him. Moments before posing for this photo, the flag-holder took a punch to the face from another festivalgoer, leaving him bloodied, though undeterred, grinning and muttering the words "was born trill." (Note that the man's shirt says "Wookarusa," a reference to festival wookies.)
A fistfight doesn't solve much but it's safe to say that a flag that has been determined to be a hateful symbol of racism has no place at Electric Forest or at any music festival.
David Garber is on-site at the Forest an on Twitter.
Photo credit: Harrison Williams.