Electric Forest 2018 Review – Always The Best FestPhoto Courtesy of Electric Forest Festival
Have you ever dreamed about being in a magical world where you can roam free with your friends and dance to your favorite music, while being surrounded by beautiful people? What if I told you this place is real and it will go beyond your imagination? This dream is called Electric Forest 2018.
Check out our reviews of Electric Forest 2017
People travel from hundreds of miles around to attend this music festival located in Rothbury, Michigan. Rothbury during this time of year has beautiful weather, which provides a perfect location for a camping music festival. And while there are many camping music festivals, there’s none quite like Electric Forest 2018.
It all started when I needed to find a ride from the airport to the festival. I went on the Electric Forest 2018 group page on Facebook and made a post asking if anybody was free to pick me up on the way. Within a day I made an online friend that agreed to pick me up. The adventure begins. As we pull up to the gates on Wednesday night, the night of early arrival, we spot an art car stage in the campgrounds with Golf Clap playing and tons of early arrivals celebrating the journey that is about to start. We pull in and set up camp and decide to call it an early night as I had been on two planes that day to get there and wanted to save my energy for this wondrous weekend ahead.
Thursday morning arrives and I have a special wristband that allows me to enter the Forest before it opens for general admission. When I start my walk through the campgrounds to get to the Forest and I can see the happiness on everyone’s faces. I can also feel the energy of excitement. The calm before the storm, waiting for the magic to be born. My soul is waiting to immerse itself in the Forest.
As I walk through the Forest I am left in awe with the spectacular stage setups and uniquely crafted one of a kind art installations. The venue is home to ten stages and the heart of the Forest that is called Reincarnation Village. This area is filled with art installations, interactive forest activities, fairy houses, two stages, a church, and many more enchanting surprises. During my walk through the Forest the gates open and I watch the smiling faces parade into the venue. The fantasy has just begun. Fairies, unicorns, wizards, gods and goddesses, all coexisting for a spectacular weekend of music and love. Everyone is so different, yet the same. So many different stories, plot twists, and journeys, all for one event. As I watch the faces, smiles, giggles, bubbles, and sparkles go by, I start to get butterflies as I try to imagine what this weekend has in store.
The feeling I got as I explored the forest with my friends is a feeling I will never forget. I was non-stop smiling and felt an immense amount of happiness and gratitude. I had escaped reality and was away from the real world of bills, school, and work, and surrounded by my best friends and some of the nicest people in the world. As I looked around the Forest I realized the amount of love, work, and care that goes into this festival. Every little thing is thought out and created to produce an experience between the festival goer and the Forest. An experience that will create memories that will last a life time. An incredible Forest experience that I stumbled upon later on that evening included being gifted a passport card that came with riddles and a puzzle. The passport card contained four puzzles that required you to roam the Forest in order to solve them. Once you solved all four puzzles you were able to try and solve the riddle. Then once you solved the riddle you would report to the flight attendant and tell her the answer, which then gave you access to a super secret party. To get to the super secret party you sit down in a cart and then the wall of the room rotates inward and the cart rides you in. The super secret party was electrifying, filled with lots of fun people, incredible music, and full stage production set up with LEDs and lasers.
The sun is setting and night fall is coming. The Forest truly comes alive at night. All of the art installations start to glow and illuminate beautiful shades of the rainbow. Towers of lasers are set up around the Forest to provide the ultimate LED experience. After playing in the lights and hanging out in the Dub Lounge I went to Jade Cicada’s set at the Forest stage. Watching everyone dance with no cares in the world brought me feelings of unity and love. After the set, I start to explore Reincarnation Village and am mesmerized when I spot live painters working on a mural together. I watch them paint this exquisite mural and interact with one another talking about what to do next. The passion that these artists are putting into their art is inspiring. I walk up and meet the artists and it’s a genuine interaction. The three artists together are Medicine Heart Murals and individually they are Annie Kyla Bee, Jack Henry, and Dillon Endico. My friends and I left impressed by the talent of these artists. We then walk back to camp to prepare for day two.
The sun rises for another extraordinary day in the Forest. What awaits today? I begin my day with a meditation and yoga workshop, which leaves me feeling refreshed and energized. I decide to go shopping in the vendors area and grab some lunch before the night begins. There were several food options and many vendors had vegan options, which left my belly and I extremely content. I indulged in a beet burger, my first one ever, from The Beet Box, and was very satisfied with my choice. After devouring my yummy better burger, I decide to go shopping. I find an awesome booth called Spectrum Geometry and am blown away by the art work. The tapestries and prints that were available were similar to images of a psychedelic dream brought to life. The apparel was all ethically sourced, made from plastic water bottles and each item purchased plants ten trees. I spent my money on beautiful prints and on a pair of hand painted leggings on organic cotton. I left happy knowing that my money went to an amazing company who strives to deliver positive messages to the world through their visionary art and apparel.
Later that night my friends and I are preparing for the wildest set of the weekend, Bassnectar at the Ranch stage. I admire the community of bassheads that this producer attracts because of their loyalty and dedication to his music. Before the set begins I get to know a group of bassheads next to me, as we all hold down our spots on the rail. Once the set begins, everyone goes insane. Thousands and thousands of fans head banging and raging together. At one point I look over at my new friends and we all come together for a giant group hug. Directly after the group hug one of the guys in the group looks at me and smiles. In this moment I feel absolute euphoria knowing that I am witnessing one of my favorite producers front row with wonderful people and the happiness overwhelms me and I lean in to kiss my new friend. A quick kiss that meant nothing, yet meant everything. The kiss represented the pure happiness that both of us felt in that moment, not an attraction towards each other, but a feeling of absolute bliss. The set ends and I am left speechless. I say goodbye to my new friends and proceed back to camp to get ready for another day of Forest paradise.
Bassnectar at the Ranch stage
It is a new day, a new day to create memories that will last a lifetime. That morning my friends and I collected trash off the floor to turn into Electricology to receive Eco Points for our Good Green deeds. Electricology is the eco-friendly branch of the Forest that rewards people for being sustainable and respectful of the Forest and it’s land. At the end of big sets they bring out the Prize Cart. This cart goes around with prizes for anyone who turns in trash. Such a smart way to get everyone to help clean up! Later that day I am walking around the Forest and find The Hangar. The Hangar is filled with lots of cool shops and treasures. There is a barber shop, a tattoo shop, a hair salon, candy girls, and a Carousel Club in the back. The adventure continues.
Reuse. Refuse. Rethink. Photo by: Sasha Sol
Night time comes and I am left yet again in awe of the beauty of the Forest. It is a completely different vibe from daytime. My friends and I see this art installation surrounded by lots of people and we walk up with excitement. It is the Frick Frack Black Jack located in the Grand Artique of the Trading Post. This installation brings real life black jack to the Forest by allowing people to bet any personal item in exchange for an item of the same value. I bet a pair of sunglasses and ended up winning and in return I then had two pairs of sunglasses. It was so much fun watching everyone betting and witnessing people win unique one a kind of items. Over all it was a marvelous experience and now I can say I gambled in the Forest.
On my way back to camp that night I heard loud music coming from the RV campgrounds, so I walked over to check it out. I am captivated by what I see! There are three stages set up in the field of the campgrounds with art cars and hundreds of people getting down! Two of the stages are created from school buses with DJ equipment set up on top. There are people partying on top of the bus, inside the bus, and outside the bus. The third stage is even sicker than the other two and it’s created out of a semi truck. The semi truck has speakers and equipment in the back of it and everyone is dancing around the truck. I felt like I was on another planet partying with people under the moon and stars until the sun came up. Even after the sun came up people continued to party. As the sun rises I start to admire the peachy shades of the sky.
Photo by: Sasha Sol
The last day is among us and I feel bittersweet going into the day. Knowing it is the last day makes me sad, but knowing that I was able to experience this fairy-tale makes me grateful. We start roaming through the Forest when we find a little fairy house. My friends point out the sign on the door that says open me, so I open the door and find a note inside the house. The note instructs me that there are twenty four other fairy houses scattered around the Forest and challenged me to find all twenty four. I started the hunt with my friends and found nine of the twenty four. What a remarkable fairy hunt!
We finish the night with Louis the Child and are so fulfilled with the phenomenal set. We proceed back to the campgrounds and make a stop in the chill zone. The chill zone is an area where they have televisions set up with couches and chairs for people to hangout and watch shows like Rick and Morty. This area is open twenty four seven and provides a perfect place for anyone who cannot sleep. As I watch an episode of Rick and Morty I start to doze off and then wander back to my camp to get some sleep before my journey back home.
The final morning has arrived and there is a nostalgic feeling in the air. Everyone is packing up and people are hugging, smiling, crying (tears of happiness), and the time to say goodbye is here. I squeeze my friends as tight as I can and kiss the tops of their heads, wishing them all safe travels home. As I am on my way to the airport I reflect back on the weekend. I remember the feelings I felt through out the weekend, feelings that I will cherish forever and hold close to my heart. I admire the community of people Electric Forest 2018 attracts, people who are kind, compassionate, and mindful of others. I admire the beauty of the Forest and the fairy-tale setting it portrays. The thing I admire the most that makes Electric Forest different than any other festival is the amount of love, thought, time, work, care, passion, and magic that goes into making this festival not just a festival, but an experience of a life time. The Forest will always be my home and I cannot wait to be reunited with my Forest Fam in 2019!