It is nothing short of an understatement to say that Electric Forest is one of the most powerful and transformational life experiences one can endure. Every year, Double J Ranch transforms into the fantastical festival grounds. The natural beauty of towering trees and dense forest is mixed with an explosion of lights, lasers, and interactive elements. Five stages come together to create presence, beckoning fans with their whimsical production and mesmerizing light shows. The most renowned artists in the world flock to The Forest with eager anticipation to play the unique festival, and an entire community is created in the camp grounds by the festival goers. This may sound like a typical camping festival, but Electric Forest Experience is so much more, and Bass Feeds The Soul had the opportunity to speak with past festival goers about why:
“I think what Electric Forest experience means to me is that it's time of self reflection. You have to get lost in the forest in order to find yourself” -Chris U. Detroit, MI
“The Electric Forest experience is the essence of what everyday life should be, but is unfortunately only 4 days a year. It's one of the most magical places I've ever been to, and remains my favorite festival in the world. What sets it apart from everything else is that it's located in such a beautiful forest that showcases some of the most creative art installations and lighting. You feel a sense of enchantment when you walk into the forest, especially for the first time. (The Forest) is also a place where you meet some of the best people. This usually leads to great stimulating conversation and soul searching. It's one of the best communities to be a part of, in my opinion, and I cannot wait to be back this year” -Ryan Q. Minnesota
“The Electric Forest experience is something that can't even really be described because I'm afraid I'll cheapen it. It’s the one place on the planet from the moment I stepped out of the car to the moment I got back in it to leave, I truly felt like I was at home and I belonged there. You can taste the love and the good vibes in the air as soon as you cross the Michigan Border.
The 3 things that make a festival are the lineup, the venue, and most importantly, the crowd, and EF delivers so well on the first two, that a good crowd can't help but follow. It's more than a music festival. It's a place to meet new family, experience unfiltered happiness, and fall in love with the world. Electric Forest is home” -Josh G. Louisiana
“To me Electric Forest isn't just about the music and the amazing artists that come year after year. It's also about the community of music lovers that make the experience what it is. I have been to other festivals and none of them compare to the feeling I have visiting The Forest every summer. There is so much love and compassion between all of us, the energy is unbelievable. It's literally indescribable. It's my escape from reality every summer, it's 4 days of having no worries and meeting some of the greatest people I have ever met, and seeing some of the best artists I have ever see in the most magical place on earth.
I could literally talk for hours on how amazing EFF is. I'm sick of people bitching about the line up this year because it's more about coming together in this designated area every summer and feeding off of all the amazing energy we all have to offer” -Taeler A. Traverse City, MI
“My whole life my parents always told me that they didn't care what career path I chose as long as I was successful at it. I worked so hard towards achieving the things I thought meant happiness and personal success, I never once gave thought to what I would do once I had achieved those things. In the year 2011 I learned the hard truth that financial security does not mean personal happiness. Here I was a home owner with a solid job and absolutely no idea what to do next. The thought of settling down and starting a family was always something I absolutely could not see myself doing so the next phase in life that seems so easy to others had me at a total loss. This is where music festivals came into play.
It was while attending my first one (Electric Forest) in the fall of 2011 that I first felt like I had stumbled onto something much bigger than what it appears to be from the outside. At Wakarusa a few months later I left smiling and numb knowing that I had found the next phase in my life, but was still unsure if it was realistic to put so much of one's self into something so far removed from norm. (My Friend) Ernie had mentioned doing EF earlier in the year and after seeing how dedicated to these things I was becoming, purposed we make the cross country trip and check it out. It was a huge undertaking for my best friend Ernie and I to drive across the country (From Louisiana to Michigan) to a place that we knew absolutely no one. We made the trip in my Mustang with all of our gear crammed inside. I had never in my life put so much time and effort into making an idea come to fruit. It was a sort of internal coming of age for me. EF was tangible proof that I could do anything if I wanted it badly enough.
From then on I dove head first into the lifestyle. Electric Forest is the place where internally the final pieces came together and for the first time as an adult I truly felt at peace with my life and could say with confidence that I was living with real purpose. Festivals took the place of the family I never saw myself having. The people I see at these things over and over have become the close relationship that we all crave deep down inside. The faces I see over and over at these things have become my family. Where others will never forget their child's first steps, I have the first time walking through the Forest. These are the memories I hold dearest to me. I have deep emotional ties to friends spread all over the country now. These people I consider my true family. Even though I may only see them a handful of times a year, those days together are the reason life is worth living. I guess you could say that to me, Electric Forest is the tangible representation of an abstract feeling. Its the experience that made me believe that personal happiness is a real thing if you're brave enough to nut up and chase it.” - Cray L. Louisiana
To me, the Electric Forest experience is sheer magnificence. It’s a true liberator of the body, mind and spirit. It is a place where you can express yourself, whether that be through art, music, dance, fashion--- anything! Forest is a place where it doesn’t matter who you are in your daily life, you relinquish that to go back to the basics of human happiness. It’s where you lose yourself in the music, and find your place in the world. After seeing the power of so many people coming together and uniting at a gathering as large as Electric Forest, it changes your perspective on the world. It makes you realize that fundamentally, we’re not that different, and we have the power to unite and create something absolutely beautiful. Electric Forest changed my life, and I can say with confidence I will be going back every year until I die.
If this is your first year attending Electric Forest. Be prepared. Come with an open mind, an open heart, and a sense of adventure. You’re about to have the most fantastic weekend of your life. If you’re returning to Electric Forest this year, welcome home!
Tickets are still available for the festival, get more information here:
Written By Madi Lawton
All photos used in this article ARE NOT property of Bass Feeds The Soul and belong to their respective owners.