Written by Arooj Mustansir
Year after year thousands of Electric Forest veterans and newcomers alike make the pilgrimage to Sherwood Forest. Since its inception in 2011, Electric Forest has amassed an enormous and devoted following who make attending this festival a priority over any other. Most people will attend a festival a few times before they decide to move on to other events but this is certainly not the case for Electric Forest. Anyone that has experienced this festival knows that there is something innately special about it which is why the magic never seems to fade. But what exactly is it that gives the Forest such a magnetic quality? We dug deep into our hearts to find the answer and here is what we found:
The Surreal Beauty of the Forest
From the moment I stepped into the Forest for the first time, I was captivated by its stunning beauty and seemingly mystic aura. It’s present in every part of the grounds, from the sprawling forest itself to the ornate stages. Organizers pour endless creativity and hours of work to showcase and enhance its natural splendor with elaborate decorations and art installations. The further you explore it, the more you are drawn to all the intricate details that come together and make it so unique. The best part is that even when you think you’ve seen everything it has to offer there is always something new to discover. I can honestly say that this is the only festival where I look forward to wandering around the grounds just as much as seeing music because of how incredible the atmosphere is. Electric Forest is without a doubt one of the most gorgeous festivals on earth and it somehow gets better every year.
Forest Family – A Community Unlike Any Other
There are countless aspects of the festival that keep people coming back, but the inspiring community that has formed around it is what makes it all worthwhile. The Forest has a way of attracting the most compassionate and judgement free people on the planet which is evident in every smiling face you come across there. Everyone is constantly caring for one another and spreading their positivity as much as possible. Gatherings like this where vast amounts of people find happiness through music demonstrate how interconnected we all really are and you cannot help but feel like you are a part of a family. Although this mentality is present at many festivals, people recognize just how extraordinary this event is so they cherish it and everyone who is a part of it. The forest family extends far beyond the event and has grown into a strong community filled with supportive and loving individuals. Just look at any Electric Forest Facebook group and you’ll see members encouraging and uplifting one another on a daily basis. When I first started going to festivals I was always searching for a deeper meaning behind it all and an authentic sense of community and that is exactly what I found when I became a part of the forest family.
The Plug In Programs
There is no shortage of ways to bring the passion you have for the forest to the next level by getting involved. Organizers created a variety of activities attendees can partake in to help contribute to the festival. Whatever your niche is, there is something available for any creative mind that is up to the challenge. The Brainery Workshop program is an opportunity for you to host you very own educational workshop at Electric Forest! Unmediated photographer and videographer programs give you a chance to showcase your unhindered creativity with a media assignment of your choice. The winner’s work will be shared on the festival’s social media outlets. The Wish Machine is a program where attendees can request to have their wishes ‘granted’ by the festival, whether they are ideas they would like to have integrated into the event or charitable endeavors. There have 9 wishes granted so far for 2018, including an initiative that provides water filters to Cambodia and a Glitch Mob loyalty party set! If you have any wish ideas you can still apply and they just may come true. These are just a few of the many amazing plug in programs offered at the forest so check out the full list here if you are interested.
Emphasis on Sustainability
Now more than ever it is important to have widespread environmentally friendly practices implemented globally and Electric Forest has made this one of their priorities. Electricology is a series of programs that reward attendees for partaking in sustainable practices at the festival. You can collect EcoPoints that you can use at Electricology stores by carpooling, collecting trash, and recycling at designated zones. You can also win EcoPoints and prizes with Prize Cart activities such as clean ups that will be taking place all around the Forest. As an added incentive, the winner that collects the most EcoPoints over the weekend will win Good Life passes for Electric Forest 2019! If you have additional ideas for environmental initiatives at the festival, you can participate in the Green Monarch program and if you win your idea will become a part of Electricology. This is a great way to help expand this ever-growing program and make a lasting impact on the festival’s practices. There are endless rewards if you choose to participate in this program and the it will all contribute to minimizing the waste impact the festival makes.
Imaginative Art Installations
One of the most magical parts about Electric Forest hands down is the art installations. Some of the most innovative minds collaborate to capture the essence of the Forest and make it even more mesmerizing than it already is. Many structures are made from fully recycled material such as CD’s which aligns with the festival’s conservation oriented values. Each installation teleports you into a different world which makes getting lost in the Forest an adventure in and of itself. The Trading Post is a building with rustic saloon vibes where you can exchange trinkets with other attendees. My personal favorite is Reincarnation Village which is a tranquil location in the center of the forest featuring workshops, interactive installations, performances, and much more. Any time I step in I feel completely at peace in awe of its perfection. A trip to Sherwood Forest does not feel complete without spending some time in there so be sure to stop by. The festival even offers an art installation sponsorship that you can apply for a chance to watch your ideas come to life in the Forest!
From underground artists to industry superstars, Electric Forest has it all when it comes to music. It is one of the largest electronic festivals in the country and features hundreds of game changing musicians. Organizers have an impeccable eye for quality and consistently bring out artists that are gaining momentum and creating distinctive sounds. It is a huge honor to play at Electric Forest so everyone brings their A game and the remarkable performances that have taken place there reflect that. There is a wide variety of jam bands and electronic acts on this year’s lineups so will be exposed to an array of different sounds. The festival also has curated stages such as Bassrush and Desert Hearts Takeover which always have top notch vibes. An added bonus for all you bassheads out there is that Bassnectar is a resident artist along with the String Cheese Incident so you can witness two forest sets from him every year now!
Photos Courtesy of Electric Forest Website