A Love Letter to Electric Forest

It’s only been a few short days since I’ve returned home from the magical world that is Electric Forest, and let me just say, words truly can’t even begin to describe all the beauty, happiness, love, and magic that this place holds- but I hope to try as I take you on this journey with me and recap my time at Electric Forest, in hopes that you too may feel even a glimpse of what it’s like to immerse yourself in this wonderful place.

This was my very first EF and I was feeling ALL the feelings. Mostly excitement, but there was definitely some nervousness and uncertainty that comes with going to a completely new festival in a state I’ve never been to- not to mention camping for 6 days. It all felt extremely new and slightly daunting. We were invited to do group camping, and going in to it we only knew one girl out of the 60 people in the group! We really had no idea what we were walking in to, but let me just say, that was the best decision we could’ve made because our group was some of the nicest, most inviting, and helpful people I’ve ever met. We arrived late Wednesday night after waiting in a long line to get to our group camp ground. Immediately when we got out of the car, people began coming up and introducing themselves to us and offering to help us set up our camp. I actually was a bit stressed because I was running late to a hair braiding appointment that I had to be at in the front of the festival entrance. I told my best friend Juliet that we could just set up when I got back, so I left thinking that’s what we were going to do. When I came back from my hair braiding appointment, I was in shock as I walked up to a fully set up campsite. I was completely in awe that these people we had just met helped Juliet set up all of our things, despite me not being there to help. From that moment on I knew the weekend was going to be filled with so much love and beauty and it was all going to work out.

Thursday morning rolled around and the vibes were at an ultimate high as we got ready to enter the festival for the first time. Me and Juliet planned our outfits together each day and today was our fruit themed fit! I was cherry and she was strawberry. People were so nice and complimented our outfits the whole day. It was so much fun getting to be frolicking little fruits in the forest.

Our walk from the group campsite into the festival grounds was only about 10 minutes, and we saw lots of fun things along the way. For example there was a giant wheel of fortune outside someones camp, and each time we walked by and spun it, we got to pick out a prize! There was even more excitement and activities to do as we walked through main street. Main street is the area right outside the festival grounds which had tons of food/clothes vendors, a salon, and other interactive things like The Brainery (which held different shows and classes), and Paulas Pancake Palace (which had music and DJs bumpin’ practically 24/7). As we entered the festival grounds, my heart was racing. After all these months of anticipation and waiting to be in the forest, we finally made it, and I can confidently say it 100% exceeded my expectations.

The first thing you see as you enter through the security gate is the Tripolee stage and a giant ferris wheel to the right of it. We passed this stage and began making our way through the forest where we stumbled upon the giving tree. The giving tree is a place where you can give just about anything away that you feel someone might need/want. In return you can take something that stood out and spoke to you. There were hundreds of things scattered on and around the tree such as notes, books, kandi, trinkets, stickers, sprouts, shoes, clothes, glitter, etc- it was a complete array of so many different items, it was truly amazing. I placed on the tree one of the very first kandis I ever received, and then took a kandi that said “bass fairy” on it with the cutest star lollipop charm. Bass fairy felt very fitting for me, so I’m beyond happy the giving tree gave me that, and in return I hope someone found my kandi on there and got to wear it their whole time at forest<3

We continued making our way deeper in to Electric Forest taking in all that it had to offer, because everywhere you turn in the forest, there’s something magical to see. At this time we were in an area right behind the Sherwood Forest sign and there were all these cute little umbrellas hung up around the trees. There were also signs nailed on the trees around us that had the sweetest little messages like “mother earth is calling”, “miracles happen all the time”, “mother earth is forever giving, let’s give back”, “you are magical”, and “lets keep our earth beautiful”. Being surrounded by all these beautiful messages and emerged in nature just felt so right. I felt an enormous sense of peace wash over me, and I knew I was exactly where I needed to be, and I was slowly allowing myself to become one with the forest.

The sun started to set, and the transformation of Electric Forest from day to night time had begun. We thought the forest couldn’t get any better, but as everything began to light up, we couldn’t believe our eyes. The forest began to come even more alive with every color of the rainbow shining through the trees and lighting up the branches as the colors danced together to create pure magic. We stumbled upon beautiful art installations like a giant tesseract and saw people laying under it, in awe as we experienced this new world of beauty, color and shapes together. We kept making our way further and further into the forest, ready for whatever it had in store for us. The next thing we came across was this interactive art installation that had all different types of artwork to touch and feel. One square would be fuzzy and soft, while another would be smooth and squishy, then another would be scratchy and change colors as your hand brushed along it. Right next to these interactive squares we stumbled upon- what looked to be a fairy box- that had a notecard in it that said, “Wounds aren’t always visible. Show kindness to others”. I’m not sure if someone wrote that and placed it in there, or if it was originally a part of the box, but it was such a beautiful message and one I carried with me the whole weekend, and will continue to carry with me through life. This is just an example of how many amazing things there are in the forest that might not have always been there, but now play a part in its beauty and is something that you were meant to see.

electric forest

We came in to day 2 of Electric Forest riding an ultimate vibe from all we had seen and discovered during day 1, and we were completely ready for more! Day 2 was our matching fairy day, and forest fairy was 100% in full swing. We had sets we wanted to see, but quickly learned from night 1 that it was more about letting the forest guide and take you wherever vs. trying to see all the sets you wanted to. We started out at the Tripolee stage and saw Dimension. It was a great start to our Friday and seeing “Ready To Fly” in the forest was definitely a vibe for me. We saw some of ATLiens, but cut that set short to continue our journey into the forest.

This was the night we entered the Dream Emporium and it was definitely one of my favorite things from forest! In the Dream Emporium there were so many different doors and each door led to a different room. My favorite room we ended up in was one where you had to climb up a bunk bed, then suddenly you found yourself in a room full of dreamy, puffy blue clouds. We also stumbled upon a wrestling match room, an art museum, a carwash, a pawn shop that was all shrimp themed (a prawn shop), and even a room that had a mini lake with sand where you could ride on a boat! We explored so many different rooms, but apparently we didn’t even see half of them. I was absolutely blown away by the creativity in each of these rooms and it was definitely one of my favorite things I saw while being in the forest. After exploring that, we caught some of Seven Lions beautiful set, then ended our night dancing and boppin’ around to the beats of its murph. At the its murph set, I actually ran into one of my childhood best friends who I hadn’t seen in years! We ended up spending a lot of our time at forest together which was so unexpected yet so so beautiful and I’m thankful I got to experience my first forest with him. It was in that moment I understood what everyone meant when they say, “The Forest provides”.

We continued the high vibrations in to day 3 (Saturday), which was by far my favorite day for the lineup. We made it in to the fest and got to see some of Lucii, but sadly had to leave the venue early because of weather/ lightning. I will say this was actually a blessing in disguise because we finally got to hangout more with our group at our group camp (since each day in the forest we would always get separated from them). Even though it was super unfortunate we had to leave the venue, everyone’s energy and vibes were still at an ultimate high, and we all rallied together at camp and had such a fun time getting to know each other more. We all waited out the storm, anticipating when they were going to let us back in, and after a few hours of waiting, they finally did! It was just in time for LSZEE (LSDREAM and CloZee), which was one of my number one sets to see. Sadly with all the rain madness we missed Subtronics, but I’m so thankful we got to end night three riding a cosmic wave of beautiful wubz during LSZEE.

The rain theme continued in to the last day and we actually only made it inside the venue for about an hour before being told we had to leave. We still kept our spirits high in hopes they would bring us back in, but they never did, and it ended up being canceled. I do wish I was able to explore more in the forest and had a chance to say my goodbyes to it before leaving, but regardless, I’m so thankful for the memories and moments I made while in there- It was a very happy (rain) forest (as everyone was saying).

A few honorable mentions I have from the weekend that stand out include: meeting all the amazing souls who were at forest (specifically a woman named Ashley who we spent the entire weekend with and I’m so thankful to have met), reuniting with my childhood best friend, making the most of our time day 4 at camp after parties despite the rain, seeing Sherwood Forest come to life at night for the first time, and experiencing LSDREAM’s Lightcode.

All of this still doesn’t even begin to explain what the forest has in store for you and the true magic and beauty it holds. Even though there were some bumps in the road with the weather, we still managed to have the best time. I will 100% be returning to the forest in the future and I can’t wait to experience it over and over again. So thank you, Electric Forest. Thank you for the soul connections that were made, for the jaw dropping beauty that was displayed, and for allowing me to truly feel alive again. Until we meet again…. beautiful, magical, mystical, Electric Forest <3

The following photos were all captured by Alive Coverage/Electric Forest.