Anyone who has been to Electric Forest will tell you that it is so much more than your average music festival. EF is just as much about the experience as the music, which leads to an epic four days of magic, music, and wonder; and that’s how it sets itself apart from the rest. Guest writer Katie Doyle shares pieces of her experiences at Electric Forest for EF virgins. Here are some of her favorite things from her experience at Electric Forest combined with some tips for EF'14 attendees:
1. The Forest: This festival truly lives up to its name. Sherwood Forest in itself is a magical place. You feel the beauty and power of nature as soon as you step foot inside this woodland oasis. The natural magnificence of the forest is then enhanced with awesomely curated interactive art installations. It is encouraged to walk off the path and explore the forest and its wonders, from a giant glowing jellyfish art installation to live music hidden within the trees. And by nightfall, everything is transformed with light and color. You will feel like you have fallen down the rabbit hole and landed in wonderland. My best piece of advice to future EF goers is to make this forest your home for the next four days. The magic within the forest is almost impossible to put into words but once you will feel it, you won't ever want to leave. While you are at EF, make time to embrace and explore the forest!
2. The Music: During Electric Forest, I encourage attendees to step outside your comfort zone and keep an open mind so that you can fully absorb every experience and learn new things. Specifically, I found that one of my favorite experiences at EF was discovering new music. I went into the festival excited to see a few specific acts and left with a whole new definition of electronic music as well as some new favorite artists! At EF, you never know what you will stumble upon that will open your mind and heart to new things. Last year, I happened upon an electric violinist that truly changed the way I think about life and music. (He goes by 'Dixon's Violin' and he will be there this year!)
3. The Vibe: There is a spirit of pure happiness, excitement and generosity that runs throughout the festival. You can tell that EF goers have been excited for this weekend all year, and that positive vibe is contagious. By day four, everyone feels like one giant group of friends. This is a festival that lends itself to friendliness and generosity. Last year there was a 'take something, leave something' station within the forest called The Giving Tree with a sign stating, "give sacred, find sacred." That spirit carried throughout the entire festival. I encourage future EF attendees to continue this spirit of friendliness and generosity. Make friends with your neighbors, share what you can with others, bring a few treasures to leave at the giving tree, and if you need something don't be afraid to ask! There's always someone willing to help out a new friend.
A few random tips:
1. Festivals are marathons, not sprints, so make sure to keep a good balance of chilling and raging. EF does a great job to help you relax by scattering hundreds of hammocks throughout the forest-so make sure to take advantage of them!
2. The weather in Rothbury, MI can go from hot days to chilly nights so make sure you pack for all sorts of weather, including rain gear just in case.
3. Throughout the weekend, you will hear people yelling about Carl. It's basically a Rothbury Festival inside joke that lives on every EF. So when you hear someone yelling for Carl, join in!
4. Let go. Let the forest change you into the person you're supposed to be. You're not in control, the universe is. And the universe will return all of the kindness, good vibes, and favors you give others.
Overall, Electric Forest was my favorite festival I've ever attended. The forest, the art, the crowd, and the music come together to create the perfect weekend of fun and fantasy. To those going this year, have fun and make lots of memories! -Katie Doyle