At the end of your weekend at Electric Forest you will be hungry, thirsty, covered in dirt and beyond tired. None of that matters though because you just had the best weekend of your life. At least that is what I have felt after my 3 visits to Electric Forest.
I still remember my first time going like it was yesterday. I was so overwhelmed going to my campsite, setting up my tent and having no idea what to expect. All that mattered was that I was surrounded by my friends, amazing artists and by far the coolest people. My first year going to Rothbury, MI was in 2011, which was the first year Electric Forest was introduced. Before it was Rothbury Festival.
I felt like I was in a dream. The lights, the music, the costumes, and the forest were like nothing I had ever seen before. It was like an enchanted world. Going to Electric Forest in 2011, 2012 and 2013 the Sherwood Forest, which is the forest that you walk through to get to the stages, never disappointed me. When you walk into the forest at night all you can see and think about are the lights, designs and patterns. Its insane. The vibes you get when you are in the forest are like nothing you have ever experienced. Everyone is having the times of their lives, people are laying in their hammocks looking up at the lights and the stars, drinking and hanging out with their friends, and most importantly jamming to the awesome tunes.
You enter the forest with your friends you came with and you leave with to many new friends to count. Everyone is so happy, chill and loving life. The thing about this festival is that of course people are there for the music, but more importantly they are there for the atmosphere. It didn’t matter if I was sitting at my campsite drinking and talking to my friends or if I was raging front row to Bassnectar because throughout the whole weekend I was having the time of my life.
Three times a charm.
My third time going to Electric Forest was my most memorable one. It is my most memorable one because it was the last time I was able to hang out with my friend, Leighton, who passed away a few months after the festival. I can still picture it so clearly. It was me and Leighton and a few other of our friends and we were sitting around our campfire around 4 am. We had came back from a few shows and were just talking about how epic Passion Pit and Above & Beyond were that night. It was such a great moment because we were all just sitting around the campfire, talking and laughing and just enjoying each others company. That was the last time I got to be with Leighton and to me it is a pretty great last memory with him. And that is what Electric Forest it is all about, bringing people together and making memories that you can talk about for the rest of your life.
Experiencing the Forest.
If you are going to experience the forest you have to do it right. First of all bring gallons and gallons of water. Drink it. Drink it. Drink it again. I can not repeat this more. During the day the sun would beat down on us and it would be brutal. Our main mission during the day was to find shade. No one wants to feel sick and tired during day. So my tip to anyone planning on going to Electric Forest is to bring loads of water. It may take up a lot of space in your car, but you are going to be so grateful that you brought that much water.
I would forget to eat sometimes because I was so busy going to shows, hanging out in the forest and trying to see as much as possible. That is why I would always have a little cash on my because there are a lot of food trucks in the forest and the pizza there is to die for. Honestly one of the best pizzas I have ever had.
Keep a map with you at all times. It was my lifesaver. The Electric Forest venue is huge and you can get lost pretty easy. For me I would always look for the huge ferris wheel that was lit up. That was my spot that I could see from everywhere. So if I was lost I would just make my way to the ferris wheels and then the campsites were not that far. That is the other thing you are not going to have any cell service so you and your friends need to make a plan before going to shows. My friends and I had a flag on a huge pole and everyday someone would carry it around so if someone would get lost they would look for our flag. It really did come in handy.
Don’t worry about showering. Yes there are some shower heads, but they are always so crowded. You are supposed to get dirty so embrace it! What we would do was go to the beach which was 10 minutes away and rinse off and relax there for a few hours during the day. It was great for us when we needed a break from the sun and from all the festivities like yoga and painting going on.
The best thing about Electric Forest is that there are all walks of life that come together for this festival. You are part of a community. It is more than just a festival. It is an experience. From all the good vibes to getting way out of your comfort zone to seeing and experiencing incredible art. You don’t have to be a hippie to enjoy all the perks of this music festival. If you love big name bands and discovering great bands you have never heard of Electric Forest is for you.
I love this music festival because you can tell that everyone truly loves music and art. Its not about the mainstream bands that people only know one song. It is about the love for artists. I have bought my tickets before the lineup has even come out before because Electric Forest always delivers. I find new music to love and I get to enjoy it with people who are there for the atmosphere and to really experience the festival.
As you know now, Electric Forest is more than just jam bands and the electronic music scene. It is a place full of good vibes, creativity and imagination. If you are ready to get lost in the forest, jam out to bands, make incredible memories with your friends, and have an experience of a lifetime go to Electric Forest. You will not regret it. I promise. It is one of my favorite places to escape to and I am so grateful I have gotten to experience Electric Forest three times now.