6 Things You Need to Bring to Electric Forest

Music festivals are extremely fun but no walk in the park. Sleep is hard to come by, partying harder-than-hard is the norm, and a dead phone is a universal issue. For city folks, a camp out festival can be more difficult than it seems. Once camp is set up, the hardships of festival life start to come from the woodwork. But roughing it festival style can be easier than pie, if you have the right equipment and know-how. Electric Forest is a huge event. 40,000 people all camping by their cars in a seemingly endless field can be more difficult than you think. So, we’ve put together a short list of things you should bring to make your Electric Forest a seamless and amazing experience.


The Electric Forest campground is HUGE. Once 40,000 campers get settled, the campground turns into a sea of tents, isles, and cars that all seem to look identical.  At night, the sea of tents can turn into a maze from Hell. Bring a flag, weather balloon, or some kind of sign to help you find your campground. People come and go throughout the weekend, and some have to leave before the fest is over, so relying on a neighbor’s beacon can be troublesome on the last day. Plus, your own beacon will help your friends find your campground. Try explaining to a half drunk friend that you’re the campground 3 spots back and one over from that truck with the blowup doll on top of it…not so easy.


Fact: The Sun is hot. Fact: The Sun moves throughout the day. Fact: There are virtually NO trees in the Electric Forest campground. With the fest falling at the end of June, even Michigan can be extremely hot, and escaping the Sun is a constant struggle. Make sure and take a canopy tent and a few tapestries or sheets to protect your campground from the heat. One or two might be enough, but try and bring a tapestry for all directions, because the Sun’s movement is inevitable. Some caravans create massive forts to keep out the heat, and those are the places to be.


Yes, there will be food available at Electric Forest, and some of it is really amazing. Organic food carts are abundant at the festival, but long lines and specific hours of operation can put a damper on your music schedule. Bring a cooler with snacks that won’t perish in the heat. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bagels, Cliff bars (or an equivalent) are clutch when you’re on the go and on a budget. Ice will be provided (for a high price) at the festival, but with the Sun beating down on everything, cold cuts aren’t your best bet. Nothing is worse than a waterlogged loaf of white bread, so be smart when packing your snacks. Upon returning to your camp after a whole day of dancing, that granola bar will be your best friend.

Car A/C Adapter

Without a battery charger, phones seem to die a lot quicker than expected. At a large event like Electric Forest, phone service will also be sparse. Putting so many phones in one place with a limited amount of towers is a recipe for battery sucking. Snag an A/C adapter for the car and never worry about battery life again. While the phone might take a little longer to charge versus going to a charging station in the festival, at least its by your own belongings so taking the time to get ready for the day can be combined with phone charging. A good couple hours of charge time before heading into the festival can mean getting that one last photo during the headliner’s fireworks display at night.

Baby Wipes/Wet Ones

It’s never pleasant eating with dirty hands. As with any camp out festival, campsites sit on the ground, in the grass, in the dirt. Most festivals wet their walkways to minimize dust from flying everywhere (and I mean everywhere), but nature can’t be beat. Dust and dirt will be in abundance and sometimes the feeling of filth can put a damper on a good time. Having some wet wipes or baby wipes can be a refreshing solution to the dust problem. And if the weather turns the dust problem to a mud problem, those wet wipes will be a great companion.


Electric Forest got its name from the evergreen forest smack dab in the middle of the festival grounds. They named it Sherwood Forest and it is a place where magic truly thrives. The best part about Electric Forest is the ability to set up a hammock and just chill.The entire forest becomes a maze of hammocks stacked 5 high or even more, and when you’re ready to relax in between sets, you might feel a little left out if you don’t have a hammock. Cheap ones are available at the festival (both in price and quality) so bring one you can personalize and make your own. While a hammock isn’t an essential part of your Electric Forest experience, it will definitely be worth it when you’re laying down looking up at the beautiful sky.

These items may be simple and seem like a no brainer, but the moment you’re without one of these 6 essential must-haves, you’ll be kicking yourself for not having one. Have fun and stay safe. See you in the Forest!

View from a hammock in Sherwood Forest, circa 2013. Photo by Ashley Cizek


Ashley Cizek

Went to school at UW-Madison, graduating with a BA in psychology. I hula-hoop, I write, I enjoy sunlight.

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