After selling out in five hours, Electric Forest 2019 was bound to be epic. I’ve only been going to music festivals for about a year, but after hearing so much about Electric Forest, I decided to dive in for the first time this year. The only thing I was going off of was what I saw on social media. And to say it went above my expectations is an incredible understatement.
Electric Forest has to be one of the most unbelievable places on this Earth. To think that all of what’s inside was set up by hand weeks in advanced is absolutely baffling. There are dozens of art installations and interactive sets. Workshops and discussions going on every minute in the campground. RV sets are put on completely independently from the festival. It's really a community of its own.
“Electric” comes into play with the neon lights illuminating almost tree to projections on the ground as you walk down the main walkways. Performers increase the magic with their whimsical personas and just add a little extra something that I can't describe.
Electric Forest is incredibly intricate, so there’s a lot to cover. This year, the festival went from two weekends to one, spanning over June 27th – 30th.
To begin, while the festival is predominantly electronic music acts, Electric Forest does provide options for everyone. The String Cheese Incident is definitely out of the electronic realm, but something you should catch at least once. Funky side acts like Super Tall Paul and Horseshoes & Handgrenades are just a couple I stumbled upon while roaming around the Forest but was not disappointed to see.
T-Pain takes the cake for being the most off-the-wall performer of the weekend, but nonetheless drew a crowd and brought an awesome set. Sets from Subtronics, Zeds Dead, BTSM and more filled the hearts of us bass lovers while Odesza, Kygo, and Hippie Sabotage brought a more chill atmosphere to their sets.
The sets I mentioned just barely skim the surface of all the artists there is to see at Electric Forest. Between the sets, the activities within the Forest and the Forest itself, there's a ton to do.
Words truly cannot describe the Forest, but I’m going to try my best to explain this magical place. Walking in, it feels like a real-life Alice in Wonderland right from the beginning. You're greeted with a giant wizard right as you walk in, a foliage peacock to your left and so much more. Get some misinformation at the Misinformation Booth or grab tea just a few yards away. I'm convinced you could walk around this Forest all four days and still not find everything there is.
From performers to interactive installations, a craft shop, a post office…there is so much packed into this space. During my explorations of the Forest I found a chapel, a barber shop, a tattoo parlor, and a craft station to name just a few. Not to mention, Foresters love to leave little gifts and trinkets around, so keep your eye out! You never know what you may find.
When they say to take time to explore the Forest, they really mean it. The amount of detail Electric Forest and Insomniac put into this place is incredible. I even had the chance to roam around by myself and know I missed things. The Forest and everything within it is something that has to be experienced.
The Brainery was located right in the middle of Main Street, which also hosted a slew of vendors and a plethora of food options. Workshops included Native American Beading, The Art of Seeking Adventure, Healing Sound Frequency and much, much more. I often caught these workshops during my morning breakfast run and would sit down and listen while enjoying my food. It was a great way to start the day and get into the perfect mindset for the rest of the day.
I personally camped in general admission camping, but Electric Forest has multiple options for camping depending on what you’re looking for. Rough it in a tent in GA camping or go all out in Back 40 in one of the cabins! The options are all there if you're fast enough. Within the campground, Main Street was right there with plenty of food options (see below for more on that) and showers and med tents were easily identifiable by inflatable lions, tigers and bears (oh my!).
I didn't know whether to put this under music or camping, but the RV camp/sets were an incredible part of Electric Forest and something you can’t miss. Electric Forest officially started on Wednesday, June 26th – also known as Day 0. Wednesday kicked off with a secret set from Wooli B2B Slander to set the tone of the entire weekend and made it a nonstop party. RV sets went every morning until 7 am, so if you wanted to bring in the sunrise to the heavy bass, you could.
To me, the food at Electric Forest was impressive. I came in with pretty low expectations because A) you’re in the middle of the woods and getting food there is very hard and B) it’s a festival, so I expected only things like pizza and chicken tenders. But, wow, was I wrong.
Out in the campground on Main Street, you could find the infamous Island Noodles, chicken biscuits, chicken and waffles, Bite Bowls (which were a delicious vegan option), pizza and more! Some vendors even had different menus every day so you could change it up. Grab a smoothie from the smoothie bar and a bowl of cereal from the famous cereal bar right behind it! The options were endless.
There was a section of food vendors right by VIP by The Ranch that took the trophy for the most diverse options. Vegan coconut curry, poke bowls, dumplings and cheese curds were just a few that stood out to me.
Electric Forest is certainly magical. I came out of the campground feeling tired but revived at the same time. Festivals always leave me feeling inspired, but this one had a specific kind of magic to it. Props to the people who work endlessly to make this festival happen, to set it up, and keep us safe during it. There was not one moment where I felt uncomfortable and the community of Electric Forest is the epitome of peace, love, unity, and respect. If someone saw something, they said something. With that in mind, the Forest is a place of escape, one where you can go and find (or lose) yourself – whatever you need. If you have the chance to get lost in the Forest one year, I highly recommend it. Happy Forest.