Any worries about a sophomore slump seemed to be misplaced for the eclectic Rothbury music festival, a four-day stew of tunes, camping and outdoors partying held on the Double JJ Ranch in the tiny town of Rothbury, about 30 miles north of Muskegon.
The event featured a diverse mix more than 70 acts, with a heavy emphasis on rootsy performers like Bob Dylan, the Dead, Willie Nelson and the String Cheese Incident, but dipping into music across the spectrum, from hip-hopper Nas to electronic artist Girl Talk. Fans and artists alike gave the fest swimming reviews, citing the pleasant weather, the crowd's laid-back vibe and the beauty of the grounds, particularly Sherwood Forest, a woodsy enclave where festival-goers could go to relax -- or soak up an ethereal evening light display.
Exact crowd counts were not available Sunday evening, but organizers said more than 35,000 people attended, slightly besting 2008.
The State Police reported 72 festival-related arrests through Sunday morning, the bulk involving drug sales. That was an increase from last year, but First Lt. David Roesler of the Michigan State Police attributed the jump to enforcement lessons learned, along with a greater emphasis on cracking down on sales.
Through late Sunday afternoon there was no major trouble with the crowds, which he described as "not unruly" and "well-behaved from that perspective."