Of all the places to call home, I choose the forest. I am convinced that Electric Forest is a place of magic. At most festivals, you see the same things: kandy, neon, pasties, fluffies and annoying rave babies. But after you leave the forest, you understand why people come back every year. High fives, smiles, laughter, being able to connect with strangers you don’t even understand. It’s like wrapping up a present for yourself and putting a bow on it. It’s all right to let your heart fly of course. Get lost in every single moment… because we all become part of the lost and found.
I learned what love looks like at the forest — love between friends, love between strangers, and love between two people.
Here are 13 things that are only acceptable in this wonderful world of magic and creation:
1. Hanging out with strangers
We are taught our whole lives that talking to strangers is very bad, but no one seems to be a stranger in the forest. Listen closely to the compliments you receive from everyone. Even with so many different people, everyone is your friend. Actually, they are your family. Everyone belongs and no one gets left behind. A number of compliments you hear that people say to one another as you walk through the forest or stage to stage is incredible. Other times, it’s just a lending hand to your neighbors to set up tents. Festivals allow people step out of their comfort zone, but the forest has something in the air where interaction is more abundant.
2. Fitting as much glitter on your face as humanly possible
Bubbles, glitter, squirt guns and high fives. Why can’t the real world be like this? Electric Forest is about having dirt and glitter in all the wrong places. The dirt may be gone, but the glitter will stay with me forever. What could be more creative than using your own body as a canvas for incredible glitter art?
3. Eating a greasy cheeseburger at 8 a.m.
At music festivals in general, your regular eating habits go out the window. With all the good food Forest has to offer, who cares about having a balanced breakfast lunch and dinner? There isn’t any distinction between the three anyways. It seems most of the time a nice greasy burger helps fuel your body for a long day of drinking and dancing. Not only are the burgers satisfying and fueling, the donuts (oh yes, there are donuts) ARE AMAZIIIING. Pretty much any food you could think of is there, so you never have to worry about being malnourished in the middle of a forest because they folks feed ya pretty well and creativity is definitely embarked in the food.
4. Hammock City
This festival features an area of hammocks to hang on surrounded by random bookshelves and music. I have never seen so many hammocks in my life as I saw at the forest. It’s a beautiful sight to see. And After dancing your heart out, there isn’t a better way to relax. It’s a proven fact that hammocks improve sleep quality. And a family that naps together, stays together.
5. Different modes of transportation
This place is a treasure trove of surprises. Never have I attended a festival where the glorious backdrop view includes hot air balloons floating over you taking over the new days sky. Just when I thought the surprises were over, I see one getting fired up in the distance. There were also tons of bikers with backseats waiting for you outside the venue to take you back to your campsite. They all had themes too! Our favorite was the unicorn that had bubbles blowing 24/7. Don’t worry I tested out the theory myself, (the sacrifices I make, I know).
Because I am a silly girl, and appreciate a good tale, I decided it best to remember the legend of Carl. Is Carl a real person, or rather a spirit that lives within us all who comes out to play? There are tons of tales surrounding the EDM legend of how Carl got lost, and to this day people are still searching for him. He’s out there. Just call out, and he will return to you. The fact that I can’t find Carl isn’t helping because et least 10,000 other people at the forest are yelling his name. One does not simply find Carl. And the chant. As others joined, continued for quite some time. To find Carl is to find “it.”
7. The Trading Post
I met a wizard who told me fascinating stories and showed me beautiful stones he bartered for at the trading post. It’s a place for magical mysteries and awesome gadgets that you could trade. Inside the two-story shack were some exciting festival goers exchanging their trinkets for new treasure. Outside the trading post was the grand antique, a hidden stage that played host to a diverse array of performers like folk rockers to beat boxers. You’d call yourself lucky to even see one of the two in real life.
8. Pick a door any door
Doors that open by themselves — sliding doors and secret doors. I felt like this was the first year I was close to finding the secret passage way but I couldn’t figure the whole thing out. There was a hole in the wall of one of the old-fashioned buildings in Sherwood forest, and if you went through it, there was a little nook that people would be smoking in or just hanging out and there as a door at the end that wouldn’t open. I heard a few strangers talk about a secret password, but I couldn’t figure it out! If you got a flower from someone in the photo room at the hangar you got to go to back to a secret room where you lay on a bed, and they read you poetry, they even typed their own poems on a typewriter and let you keep it! Gnome home and secret fairies room has got to be my FAVORITE part of the enchanted forest. Key word, enchanted.
9. Peeing wherever you please
Guys are the worst for this, but girls do it too. My friend and I used tapestries for bathrooms and changing covers, because who wants to use the nasty portal potties after three days? Fortunately for guys, they have much easier access. My friend would simply open the car door and let it all out then and there. All of this seems completely normal there, but if the same thing were to happen outside of the festival ambiance, you be pretty grossed out.
10. Beer for breakfast
Obviously, this is so far stretch that this doesn’t happen in cities every day. At festivals, it’s acceptable to walk around a field at 8 a.m. chugging a water bottle full of beer. Sometimes you may end up filthy in the middle of a field and you crack can for breakfast to postpone your hangover, keeping the session alive. But you try this in everyday sunlight, and your booze will be confiscated.
11. Performance actors
From mythical creatures to centaurs, there are fairies lurking around every bend. We give these actors major props (no pun intended). Become friends with one and they might give you something special to show you their love and affection. In real life, we think fairies aren’t real, but this statement is challenged here in the magical forest! These creatures come in front of you, finishing each other’s sentences, I guess they may be guardians of the forest. They grabbed my hands and started running, we ran through the forest, way faster than we should have, and ended up in a “corner” under a tree, they told me to close my eyes and count to five. I did, and when I opened my eyes they were gone. Magic.
(The moment it begins to make sense is the moment it loses its magic, and it never makes sense, and it never loses magic )
Thank You, Forest Family! 💚 Through 8 days of beautiful madness, through sun and stars and even patches of rain, the #ForestFamily shone bigger and brighter than ever before. ⚡️🌲 Now there is a year to celebrate & dream these #8DaysOfForest! 💚 #EF2X17 #ElectricForest 🎶 Music: “Breath” by @theplutomusic & @pronouncedyea
12. Gong Station
If you’re going to Electric Forest, I suggest getting gonged. Magic gong rides to planet face melt. Relax and center yourself at the gong station in the forest. For some vibrational healing. Once your enter, the porter frequencies dance throughout your body and you feel mesmerizing vibrations. You learn how to access your higher self. It is truly an amazing experience. (There are stars that lead you home, and stars that get you lost and understanding how to read them is the secret of life.)
13. Lasers in the forest