The crisp summer air and the beauty of the Michigan landscape were a perfect fit for the sophomore outing of Rothbury. Beyond the greening initiatives and wonderful hospitality, some of its other charms include a local farmers market, a campground adjacent swimming hole and a towering forest amidst the grounds, which at night transforms into a glowing neon playground where burlesque and street performers seem to pour out of the shadows.

From bluegrass to hip-hop, indie rock to jam bands, the roster was also heavy on the legends. Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan gave back-to-back sets to close out the weekend and exceeded even the highest expectations.

But the real treasure was the Independence Day rager (with fireworks!) the Dead gave. For over four hours, all the smiling heads were blasted with their biggest and best tunes that washed over the field and sparkled like pure magic.

The Dead’s Phil Lesh bowed out the night with sincere thanks and a simple wish for the energy that music lovers and artists came together with to create the weekend: “Take this feeling home and do some good with it!”