The Magic of Electric Forest
Electric Forest is a highly coveted festival. With a tradition dating back before the festival was even called Electric Forest, fans have been coming back to Rothbury, Michigan year after year. Some plan their entire summer around it! The Electric Forest family is as tight knit as any cult following. The people are warm and welcoming, and one can hear “Happy Forest” at every turn, as if it was a favorite holiday. In a way it is a holiday, 4 days and nights of decorations and lights, gifting and exchanging, music and overall chillaxing…sounds like the Holidays to me, but with much less consumerism and pressure. Even with the hundreds of music festivals all over the country, some seasoned vets have dubbed Electric Forest their favorite. But, what really makes it so special?
Electric Forest is held in Rothbury, MI at the Double JJ Ranch, the site of the old Rothbury festival from years back, and a site for countless shows since its beginning. The campground is gigantic and holds around 40,000+ campers comfortably. But the true attraction is Sherwood Forest, an evergreen forest in the heart of the festival grounds. This is where the magic happens. Even though the forest is only a small part of the festival, it holds all the magic, energy, wonder, and mystery. Art installations are scattered throughout the forest, forcing you to explore from one wonder to the next until you’re almost lost. The amount of work it must take to set up all these beautiful and mysterious art pieces baffles the mind. The Sollun is a bar/stage in the heart of Sherwood with more personality than you can shake a book at. Unforgettable moments have been made in the Sollun. With a 1920’s feel, you enter into a time warp. The decor, the people working, even the characters interacting with festival attendees truly make you feel like you’ve traveled to another time and place. It’s very easy to get caught up and lose track of time, but the time warp is extremely welcomed.
It takes more than just a really cool setup to make you feel like you’ve traveled through time. The people that surround you are half of the experience of Electric Forest. There are characters running around Sherwood Forest and the rest of the festival to help you fully immerse yourself in another time and place. Donning 1920’s gear, fake phones, cigar and cigarette trays, crazy clothes and awesome hair, these hired actors never break character. You may find yourself playing along and answering a phone call that never truly comes, or tipping your hat (that doesn’t exist) to make a dame feel special. In the Forest, you are who you want to be, regardless of how wacky or weird that may be at the time. Being yourself, even being someone else, is fully encouraged so if you ever find yourself feeling like someone else, don’t be afraid to express yourself. You’ll be happy you did.
While Electric Forest is an immense festival, it never gets too big for comfort. This year, they oversold it and it got a little crowded, but it probably could never compare to festivals that hold over 100,000 people like TomorrowLand or a similar fest. The Forest can only hold so much, and this year reached capacity. Yet, it never felt like you couldn’t dance or truly enjoy yourself. The forest may be large, but even large families can be extremely close knit. “Happy Forest” was heard at every turn. People were helping each other find friends, find lost items, and find themselves. A hug is never turned down in the forest. Upon entering, you now have 50,000 people on your side. It’s called a family for a reason, and it feels like one at Electric Forest.
Now…A Shameless Plug
Sensible Reason would not have been able to send their team to Electric Forest without the help of AT&T and their new GoPhone. They truly hooked us up with the best prize package for a festival goer. Besides sending us a pair of tickets to the fest, they gave us tickets to give away to you guys! If you didn’t win this year, stick around because they’re helping us (AND you guys) out with more awesome gadgets to make your life easier. All giveaways will be held on Twitter so make sure and follow us for more info. This year’s prizes included Bluetooth speakers, Bluetooth headphones, phone camera lenses, a phone tripod, a poncho, a water bottle, some sunglasses and some sunscreen which all proved to be extremely convenient at the Forest. The AT&T GoPhone they sent us to use at the festival is pretty much the best thing ever. This phone never seems to die. It has all the bells and whistles of your iPhone, but it’s a fraction of the price! While everyone else was struggling to find an outlet, our team was in the crowd making the best of Electric Forest. Plus, the plans for these GoPhones is unbelievable. All plans have unlimited talk and text, so if you’re used to counting minutes on your other prepaid plans, that stops here. The most expensive monthly plan is $60/mo for 4GB of high speed data…yeah you read that right, $60! Some people pay hundreds of dollars for the same data plans with a two year contract. Plus, all GoPhones come with the AT&T signal, so messages were still received even in the heart of the Forest. We couldn’t have done it without them, but if you’re currently in between plans or phones, seriously consider snagging one of these GoPhones, it’ll make you a believer.
Shameless plugs aside, Electric Forest is one for the books. If you haven’t checked out all it has to offer, you’ve got 11 months until next year’s fest, so start planning. Grab a caravan of friends, snag group camping, relax and kick back in your hammock in Sherwood Forest. You’ll never be the same.
Note: This post was sponsored by AT&T. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.