Imagine a place where you can immerse yourself in total freedom. A place where responsibilities of the daily grind are abandoned and your inner child is encouraged to come out a play. Inhibitions, judgements, and preconceptions dissolve away with every smile and hug exchanged with a stranger. And that worldly concept of “stranger” fades as old and new friends become a part of this forest family and community.
Envision a world where Mother Nature’s beauty is enhanced by the audible and visual delights of artistic wizards; an environment where all human senses are stimulated and the concept of time is nearly nonexistent. Whether a newcomer or Electric Forest veteran, this festival is something special to all of those touched by its magic.
Over the four days at the Double J Ranch, we were truly treated to the splendor of such a treasured venue and special event. It is a challenge to fully describe what is experienced at Electric Forest and although many times impressive, photographs do not do this festival justice. Days later we are still taking everything in and we have comprised a list of our top favorite moments from this year’s Electric Forest.
Sensational Covers: Some of our favorite covers of the weekend came from Umphrey’s McGee, The String Cheese Incident and from the ever surprising Ms. Lauryn Hill Incident. Umphrey’s orchestrated the party Thursday night at the Sherwood stage with their stellar two-set show that included their concoction of “Come As Your Kids”-Nirvana’s “Come as Your Are,” and MGMT’s “Kids”- and Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round” during the second set. The following day, and first night of three of Cheese’s Electric Forest performances, Cheese served up a funky danceable rendition of Chromeo’s “Bonafied Lovin.” Bob Dylan’s “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” The Police’s “Spirits in the Material World,” Fela Kuti’s “Zombie,” and Talking Heads’ “Crosseyed and Painless were also performed by Cheese over the weekend. When it came time for the Ms. Lauryn Hill Incident, we came with an open mind and we were impressed with the collaborative efforts that produced some of the best covers of the weekend including Stevie Wonder’s “For Once In My Life,” The Beatles’ “Something,” along with some Bob Marley and, of course, some Fugees throwbacks.
Totems/Rage Sticks: Love them or hate them, totems are here to stay. There seemed to be a lot more totems this year than previous years and the more the totems the more chance for creativity. Some of the top totems seen this year included one with Bubbles (from Trailer Park Boys) with some kitties which read “God, this place makes me frisky.” Another which spoke the honest truth read, “F**k Real Life,” and we cannot forget to mention the totems that read “CARL??” Props to everyone who got their creativity on with these, sometimes annoying, rage sticks and brought a smile to our faces.
Not All Who Wander Are Lost: Some of the best moments of the weekend were spent wandering in the Sherwood Forest both during the day and at night. A headliner in its own right, the forest is a pleasure for the senses. From getting lost in the art instillations, to the conversations with new friends, to (the occasional) losing track of time laying in our hammocks staring up at that blue Michigan sky peaking through the tree tops, to just sitting and watching the ever changing visuals make the forest come to life every night, and to even stumbling upon Super Tall Paul’s show after that second night of STS9 and hearing him break out in The Jungle Book’s “I Wanna Be Like You,” the forest is a magical universe all on its own. Differing worlds between day and night, taking time to explore and fall in love with Sherwood Forest alone is enough to make you never want to leave.
Wish Upon A Star: Now, this may be more of a personal favorite moment for us at Vinyl but one late night walking through the “secret” exit of the forest heading back to camp we happened to look up at the night’s sky and see a shooting star over head. If that doesn’t validate how enchanting this place is, we don’t know what else does.
READ THE ENTIRE LIST OF FAVORITE MOMENTS OVER AT VINYL MAG