Immersing Oneself in the Magic of Electric Forest
People attend Electric Forest year after year. Not only is it one of the most sought after festivals in the country, it’s also one of the most beloved by previous attendees. Those who keep coming back to the Forest have established a family, a second home for their “other lives.” People can be themselves, but with a quirky forest twist, and join in on others doing the same. There is a reason why people keep coming back to Electric Forest; because to them, it feels like going home. They can set up their “residence,” meet up with their “forest fam,” and feel fully immersed in the magic of Sherwood Forest.
Those who attend Electric Forest view the festival as not just a party, but a holiday. An almost week-long span of time to truly escape from the troubles of the 9 to 5 and let go with everyone in attendance. Around every turn and after every interaction comes a resounding “Happy Forest!” lasting the entire weekend. This is used as a greeting, a goodbye, and a pleasantry in passing. Everyone suddenly falls onto the same page during this exchange — a reminder that we are all one and we are all here for one reason; to enjoy ourselves, be immersed in music, and really relax. It is a feeling and a verbal exchange that is rare among other festivals, but commonplace at Electric Forest.
Every year, people from all over North America come to Electric Forest. From California to Nova Scotia, some plan their entire year around their extended weekend in Rothbury, MI. Friends are made in abundance at the festival — and not just any kind of friendship — these people have seen you at your dirtiest, drunkest, and possibly watched your face melt off. These are your “Forest Family,” and they will always have your back. But not everyone can travel across the country outside of the festival to visit these great friends made in Sherwood Forest. Therefore, Electric Forest is the only place that your Forest Family can reunite. The coolest family reunion you’ll probably attend all year, there’s nothing like seeing some of your closest — yet farthest — friends at one of the biggest and best music festivals in the country.
Hidden Treasures/ Keepsakes
The devil is in the details, and Electric Forest is full of them. Take a closer look at a rock or a tree along the path from Tripolee to Sherwood Court and something unusual might come into view, like a telephone, a music box, or a tiny cabinet containing a mirror. The treasures inside these little extras help make the Forest worth exploring. Some find elaborate letters, some find keepsakes — pins, trinkets, candy, etc., sometimes there’s just a music box, ready to create a mini concert just for the one who stumbled upon its beauty. Electric Forest is far more than a music festival. In fact, music is only a fraction of what there is to experience. It’s important to take some time to explore and let the Forest speak for itself.
Finding oneself alone in Sherwood Forest doesn’t have to be the worst thing to happen. In fact, it can be an amazing opportunity. The characters that are found inside the Forest are ones that you’ll never forget, and sometimes it’s best to interact with them on your own. Yes, there are paid actors at Electric Forest and no, they do not break character as much as one would think. Their makeup and costumes are unmatched. From the doctor to the tradesman to the cigar/candy girls at the Hangar, these people are there to entertain and they succeed quite well. Each year, the characters running around the forest interacting with those in hammocks and on blankets have a theme. From mimes to fairies to forest dwellers, these people are always willing to take photos, give advice, and spread good cheer.
Sherwood Forest wouldn’t be the magical place it’s known to be without all the extremely talented artists and art collectives creating such intricate and memorable pieces throughout the festival. A trippy, metal running horse, 3D projected kittens on a wooden tower, a perfectly placed flower arrangement to sit near, the entirety of the Trading Post, the spinning orbs in the trees… the artwork truly made Sherwood Forest. There are few festivals out there that claim to take you to a magical land and actually achieve it. Electric Forest goes the extra mile to take art to the next level.
One of the coolest things about Electric Forest is that there are artists who love to attend just as much as normal folk. Any artist who has played at the festival and had enough time to wander through Sherwood Forest will try to return if their busy schedule allows. Several artists not even on the festival lineup will attend, if they can. Many artists know each other and have become friends over the years attending the same festivals or events. With the Forest’s 10 stages plus The Good Life, secret sets and impromptu collaborations are everywhere! It’s almost impossible to catch everything that happens “under the schedule.” This year, Grizmatik, Cherub, Golf Clap, Black Tiger Sex Machine, and a ton more artists popped up out of nowhere to bring the people a secret set they will never forget, all the while having a blast on stage themselves. What could be more rewarding than jumping on stage with a friend and jamming without any hassle and a crowd guaranteed to fall in love? Some of the best sets at Electric Forests are the ones that aren’t planned. The best way to catch these sets is by watching and wandering.
There are several reasons why people keep attending Electric Forest. Whether it be art, good vibes, forest family, or Bassnectar, it doesn’t really matter, as long as you allow yourself to come “home” to something at Rothbury, MI each year. We can’t wait to see what the magic of Sherwood Forest has to offer in 2017. Check out the rest of the photos on our Facebook page here.