I remember my first time. A little nervous, a bit of uncertainty and a natural high off of the excitement and anticipation. My mind was consumed with what I was about to experience and with questions about whether or not I was really prepared. Ready or not, we had arrived.
After a good 12 hours and two days on the road, we were finally creeping through the organized sea of cars entering the Double JJ Ranch in Rothbury, MI. The energy, the happiness and the pure bliss of everyone arriving at Electric Forest that day is nearly indescribable. Leading up to this weekend attending my first music festival – let alone my first Electric Forest – many friends found it hard to fully describe the Electric Forest experience. The most common depiction was always something along the lines of, “Just wait. You’ll see.”
During my initial walk-through of Sherwood Forest, it hit me. I remember turning to my best friend and with the biggest smile on my face just stating, “I get it. I finally understand.” In that moment, I understood why this festival is so special and why those who attend make the effort to return year after year.There’s something magical and freeing about being at Electric Forest that can only be fully appreciated after experiencing this festival first hand.
This year I’m returning to the forest and thought I’d share my own take on surviving Electric Forest for the first time.
AS A DISCLAIMER- This is in no way a complete or even necessary guide for all. I will be the first to admit I am a creature of comfort, and many of my suggestions will reflect that. I also encourage anyone to feel free to share their own suggestions.
GENERAL FESTIVAL TIPS
Expect Nothing and Be Surprised: Do not set expectations for yourself. Do not go in telling yourself this will be the best weekend of your life. Just let it happen, because it will naturally happen on its own. It’s good to keep a schedule in mind for what artists you want to see, but don’t follow it too strictly. You never know what you might experience or who you will meet by just going with the flow and not following a fully scheduled-out day.
Take Care of Each Other: Hopefully you are going with friends you can count on. Keep an eye on each other, know your own limits and know when to step in if you think someone is in need, whether it be friend or someone else at the festival. The med tent is your friend, and without sounding too mom-ish, it’s better to get help before it’s too late. Stay safe out there!
Water: Drink it. You do not realize how dehydrated you can become between all the walking you’ll be doing, all the sun you’ll be basking in and all the alcohol you probably will be consuming. My best advice: buy yourself a CamelBack or some other hydration pack. Having such a pack is easy to carry, and you’ll have water that’s easily accessible throughout the day. Electric Forest provides water refill stations throughout the campgrounds and within the festival venue.
Hammocks: Bring one or you’ll be disappointed you didn’t. ENO Hammocks are my preferred go-to, and if you forget, I’m sure reps will be on site and ever-willing to sell you one.
For the entire guide visit VINYL MAG