By: Shayla Lee
Whether you’re a festival fanatic and attend multiple festivals every year or choose to splurge on one per year, Electric Forest is a definite contender for live music lovers. Consistently ranked among the best festivals in the world, Electric Forest is often described as life changing; these are two words that carry a lot of weight. Is it true? Is Electric Forest truly life changing? As someone who attended the festival for the second year in a row, I can definitely vouch for this festival and say it is magical and something that everyone deserves to experience.
So what exactly makes this festival so unique? Here is why we think Electric Forest is special.
When you’re surrounded by thousands of people for five days, the energy people emit can make or break your festival experience. Loving, caring, and safe are three words that come to mind when thinking of my experience with the crowds at the festival. If someone bumped into me they apologized immediately, I wasn’t pushed or shoved in a large crowd once, and everyone was looking out for each other.
Seeing the joyful interactions between the police and festival-goers throughout the weekend made me so happy. Most police officers had arms full of kandi which brought a smile to my face every time. The open communication between the police and crowds made the festival feel like a more safe and open environment. You could tell that every officer genuinely wanted to be there and cared about the safety of everyone.
To Write Love On Her Arms is a non-profit dedicated to supporting people struggling with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. This year TWLOHA had two interactive booths to raise awareness about what they do. The Barrier Project was set up at main street and was a collaborative wall. For this project, people were encouraged to write down something that they were hoping to let go of on the wall with the variety of paints provided. On the last day of the festival, everyone was invited to watch the breaking down of the wall. Pieces of the wall were chipped away one by one and people were encouraged to take a piece with them as a reminder of overcoming an issue they were dealing with.
The other TWLOHA project was located inside the festival. This booth invited people to write a note about something they’ve been meaning to say to themselves or to someone else. After leaving a note on the wall, people were encouraged to come back on another day and pick up a note written by someone else. TWLOHA’s projects were a reminder to everyone that although we may feel like it sometimes, we are never alone and help is always available.
If the forest wasn’t special, the festival wouldn’t be called Electric Forest. At the festival, you could go the entire four days without seeing a single musical act and not get bored of the forest. From fairy houses and scavenger hunts to secret sets and performers, the forest is indescribable and something that needs to be experienced in person.
Electric Forest strives to make everyone feel safe and comfortable, including at the campgrounds. Her Forest is a program which strives to create a safe environment and promote inclusivity for all female-identifying people. Plug-in programs were held throughout the week for Her Forest including meetups and multiple panel discussions. Sober camping, ADA camping, and solo camping were also offered at the festival, further showing that the festival strives to keep everyone safe.
From jam bands to hard-hitting electronic music, Electric Forest’s eclectic lineup has something for everyone. Some highlights from this year included Alison Wonderland, Odesza, Crooked Colours, Whipped Cream, and DAYA. We look forward to seeing who is on the lineup next year!