Electric Forest ❤
My adventure to the forest was magical and like nothing else I have experienced in my life. Allow me to create an image in your head of this refreshing and liberating four days that I experienced and I hope it will change your beliefs or pre-judgments of this festival.
Sure, there are many misconceptions on how it’s full of “druggies” and bad news but in all reality, doesn’t every event in the U.S. have a diverse population that consists of these stereotypes? Of course there are always going to be those who do not handle drugs responsibly or create a bad time for themselves and the others around them. Not everything is “free” of that in life and we take that risk all of the time, even going to the grocery store.
Being a person that has never done psychedelic drugs before, I was considering trying something out in the forest. My boyfriend has always been an advocate for psychedelics due to the intense positive experiences he encountered each time. This was not my main focus though and not the reason I decided to give this festival a shot. I wanted to escape society for a moment and I felt like this was a place that I could do that.
Let me stop babbling and get to the good stuff. As I arrive to the festival of Electric Forest, it didn’t take long getting into the main gates with a long line that went rather quickly. The guards searched everyone’s cars before being able to enter the campsite at JJ’s Ranch in Rothbury, Michigan. Luckily, we got in safe and sound and we were rushing around to the campsite to get our tent put up before walking to the forest that was about a mile away from out campsite. We got luck with a campsite in General Admission that was fairly closer than others and I didn’t mind the walk that much. It would have been nice to get a ride from the bicyclists but 20$ a ride was not happening.
The first thing I noticed when we got in were a bunch of animal statues that signified each campsite so people could find where they are supposed to go. It was really easy to find our campsite and I never got lost. My boyfriend and his two friends were with me and we all got along really well the whole time which is a definite plus. As I started walking toward the forest decked out in glitter and my fresh dyed blue hair I started feeling free and my ego was slowly shutting down. I can wear glitter and have on crazy colors in public? I thought “this is great!”
Everyone looked like “dirty hippies” most would say and it was perfectly okay. People were dressed in anything they wanted to wear and more skin was showing on some but I was all for it. The body is a beautiful thing. I felt like I was in a different world because I could literally feel like love and acceptance from every stranger around me. The first thing I saw before entering the forest was food stands and a special wall with paint beside it that allowed people to paint on there what pulls them back in life or what they struggle with the most. As I was writing “anxiety” it was so eye opening and comforting to know I’m not the only one. The wall was already so flooded with words.
Right when you enter the gates of the actual forest where the many concerts and activities are, they check your items again for any drugs/alcohol/etc. They are pretty lenient about letting most items through. Once I got through security, I fell more in love as I look over and see a stage that is lit up with many colors and statues of Egyptian faces. It was SO cool to see. As you continue to walk about a half a mile, you find the giving tree. This is my favorite part of the whole experience. The giving tree is a beautiful big tree that is a place where everyone can give an object such as food, bracelets, and even band aids for whoever might need them. The motto is to “take what you want, give what you can.” It is like a trading post of giving and caring.
Keep on walking and you see another stage that is huge and a field where there are so many people watching the different venues which are mainly electronic musicians. The music is VERY loud to where you can hear the bass pretty clearly all the way back to the campsites. They usually start the loud music around 2 in the afternoon all the way until 2am. So if you think you’re going to get any sleep within that time, good luck unless you have ear plugs. After the stage, you finally see the forest that goes for miles and you are welcomes by upside down umbrellas above you that are in all kinds of colors. Every year there is a phenomenal large art piece that represents Electric Forest and this year it was two hands making a heart made up of hundreds of colored flowers.
Walking into the forest, there are so many people and everyone is giving each other high fives and smiles. You constantly hear “Happy Forest” and strangers exchanging hugs. The forest trees are tall and the sun was shining through. It is a glorious feeling to know there have been so many memories in this forest throughout the years and it holds so much magic and love. I felt like this forest had an effect on me to where there was no chance I could be mad or sad but just joyful and at peace. There were hammocks set up to relax on and artists stroking away at canvases. People meditating in the more quiet parts of the forest and others dancing to the sounds of their favorite musicians. I was intrigued by how some girls could hula hoop and the tricks that they did were astounding and mesmerizing. There were fairy doors all throughout the forest on the trees like mini giving trees but doors with trinkets you find from others. It makes it so much more special that people all over the nation come to this festival and you can find things that they leave behind and keep. There is food everywhere, and the food is good but it is expensive. Packing food to camp is a must or your bank account will bust. Games and missions are going on all around the forest, to solve clues and keep you busy between the raves. There is never a dull moment.
Night time in the forest is the best time. The lights are vibrant and beam above the trail through woods with art lit up all around you. It is like you are walking through a coloring book that has come alive but in nature and it gave me such a sense of peace and happiness. There is something about the beauty of this place that really makes you realize how beautiful life is. The stages are lit up and the audiences get packed at night to where everyone is close together and you feel love from everyone and not so much the craziness or hate you can feel from other concerts. As you walk out of the forest you can see the bright moon and all of the stars as there as wide fields all around and the sky is open. I was drawn to a calmer and prettier sounding set at night to really relax and take in nature.
I am a baby when it comes to trying new things such as psychedelics but I micro dosed shrooms and acid while I was in the forest and it didn’t do much to me but I did feel giggly and relieved of my daily stressors that are in the back of my mind. I plan to do more next time around but knowing you can be sober and still have the time of your life while connecting with nature is a blessing. If you get tired, there are options outside of the forest to rest in free hammocks, couches, and even a choice to watch television. These are especially nice if someone is having a “bad trip” on psychedelics or just having anxiety from all of the commotion because it is a lot to take in at first. This was my first festival I had ever been to and I am going to make sure I go every year. I have never felt so worthy being away from the toxicity of society and lost into nature with beautiful people and music. Please, enjoy the pictures I took while being there, not the best and some blurry due to walking. You will rarely see someone with a phone out and this was how everyone really connected. I love Electric Forest. Peace, Love, Unity, Respect.