It’s day one (or the day before if you know what’s good), you finally got through that security line and have set up your camp and chill spot. Now the question is: How are you going to spend the next four days at Electric Forest?
This isn’t a list of camping tips like “be prepared for the weather” that you may already know you should bring a slip n’ slide for the heat or perhaps a friend with a full gas tank for that AC. The real way to thrive at Electric Forest is to take advantage of everything. To act upon your instincts.
Most importantly, we’re here for the music. The worst thing you can do is burn up all day at your campsite waiting for the headliners. Go see the sets during the day even if you haven’t heard of them! This year, Electric Forest blessed us with artists like CharlesTheFirst, who creates dreamy beats you can move too. Another must see is CHEE, who delivers bass like you’ve never seen before. One performance that I’m particularly looking forward to is Digital Ethos. He’s made bangers with Space Jesus and Bassnectar, and his own songs are just as impressive. And these are merely a handful of some names that a lot of Foresters already know of. The diverse lineup has so much more to offer if you dive in ready to embrace new sounds.
Another thing, stick around after the set because we all know the ‘Prize Cart’ song slaps the hardest. It’ll only haunt you for the next six months. The original song was created by Kyle Hollingsworth of The String Cheese Incident. But last year they let fans remix it. If it’s your first year in the Forest you should know you can pick up trash at the end of every set, turn it into the prize cart with instant gratification including anything from an Electric Forest merch to an Electric Forest ticket for next year. Sounds like a pretty solid prize to me.
Each year they take art submissions. Check out all the exhibits. Seriously. Electric forest is known for having more than a couple creative worlds collide. Artists put a lot of heart into tailoring these pieces specifically for your experience.
Keep an eye out for all the art fixtures this year. Some of my favorites on the lineup include Jana Johnson. She’s creating the “Cymatic Sandbox” for the festival. It’s an interactive exhibit that connects light, sound, and touch. The Forest Family can create their own art in the sand with the changing light and vibrating plates in the sandbox. Daniel Popper is bringing sculptures to the GA campground so every inch of the Forest is covered with visual and interactive stimulation. Dark Moon Designs will be planting a drum circle amongst the trees along with lights that change and move with the music. Once again the Forest combines art and music. Not only that but the drum circle is one of many ways the fest brings people together.
Hit up all they have to offer at The Hangar. There’s a stage there, but don’t miss out on everything else within it. Each room is a trip through time, and so are the hilarious characters you’ll encounter. I’ve seen poetry brothels, burlesque shows, an antique shop. Last year, I found myself in a scavenger hunt with a group of strangers trying to rack our two brain cells together to crack the puzzles you have to finish to get to the end. It was child-like and euphoric, and it took you to all the trippiest spots in the Forest.
Beyond that, elements hidden in the forest are endless, physical and abstract. Go look for them, even if your friends don’t want too. Everyone comes to Forest with their own agenda or lack of one. But this is your adventure and your experience so it’s important to be independent. Go on your own, see what creative chambers the forest will open up for you, and act on impulse. Act on your impulses, be spontaneous, go with the flow of others and expect that energy to be reciprocated, some of the best memories you will ever make here will happen in the moment.