Spending a weekend at Electric Forest is an incomparable experience — there is no doubt about this.
For the first summer since 2016, the four-day music festival is returning to a single weekend and will take place from June 27 to June 30. As festival-goers from all across the country — and beyond — travel to Rothbury, MI, here are nine songs for the ride that serve as a reminder for what Electric Forest is all about.
1. “Come Home” by BAYNK and Shallou
Entering the festival grounds is often accompanied by a “Happy Forest” greeting and a high five from each person you pass in line on your way inside.
Whether this is your first time or your fifth time at the festival, what has come to be known as the Forest Family is open to all. The place provides people with a sense of community and solidarity to “come home” to and feel free from the chaos outside the festival world.
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2. “Every Soul” by Twiddle
It’s hard sometimes deciding what to wear, but the process should never be overwhelming. Don’t worry so much about spending extra money on outfits that seem like traditional rave wear. At Electric Forest, people wear whatever makes them feel comfortable in their own skin.
So dress in whatever makes you feel the most like yourself and brings out the best parts of you, whether that means putting on a costume or a plain white shirt. “There’s so much more to every soul,” making the collective culture that exists so special.
3. “Imagination” by Gorgon City and Katy Menditta
Tens of thousands of people from attendees to staff to volunteers will be brought together with a chance to connect. “Use your imagination” and break off from your group for time to explore the forest on your own terms while you make some new friends along the way.
Have conversations where you walk away knowing something new, or go on a scavenger hunt that may lead you to free merchandise or a secret party. Everyone should have the opportunity to see the festival through their own eyes at least once. Then when you feel you’ve seen enough, return back to your group and share those different adventures with each other.
4. “Gimme That Hope” by Random Rab
There are a number of plug-in programs which give participants the opportunity to engage with others and find inspiration. Trading kandi and handmade pieces of art from jewelry to canvases to clothing are a way for attendees to spread love and positive energy.
Or visit the giving tree and see what surprises you may find, but remember to give something to get something. In general, bring and be the good vibes you want to see and you are bound to receive the same in return.
5. “Electric Body” by Defunk
If you want to be able to maintain the same energy on the fourth day that you feel on the first day, make sure to take care of yourself physically and mentally. Invest in a pair of earplugs to prevent noise-induced hearing loss and the ringing in your ears each night once the music stops.
Check in with yourself every now and then by journaling, or join the yoga class offered in the early afternoon. Most importantly, stay hydrated and do not forget to eat.
6. “Lost in the Crowd” by Bassnectar and Jantsen feat. Fashawn and Zion I
Set times are going to conflict. There will be moments when two or more artists you want to see are playing on opposite ends of the festival grounds, but instead of worrying about seeing both, pick one and dance like no one is watching. As long as you are having a good time, it is okay to go off schedule and enjoy “getting lost in the crowd.”
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7. “Good Nights” by Whethan feat. Mascolo
Electric Forest is never asleep because someone or something is always going on. When the sun goes down and the lights come out, the forest becomes a completely different place worth exploring all over again. Wander around to some of the parties hosted at the RV camps where campers turn their vehicles into stages of their own after hours.
But don’t forget to sleep in the process of all this excitement. Some people may claim to never close their eyes, but be cautious of sleep-deprivation and do your best to rest up for a few hours even if that means heading straight back into the forest after the gates reopen and laying in a hammock among the trees.
8. “Remind Me to Forget” by Kygo and Miguel
Leave all the items you think you might want — but will not actually need — at home. You are responsible for packing in your car or disposing of appropriately what you bring to Rothbury.
Be mindful of how you are treating the grounds and “leave your mark” in the moments you create rather than the trash you leave behind.
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9. “Never Stop” by DC Breaks
By the time it is Monday morning and everyone has said goodbye, the feelings of leaving may seem bittersweet. Electric Forest may only last about four days, but the memories you gain along the way will last you a lifetime. Take the lessons you learn throughout this experience and “don’t stop loving you.”
Though tickets sold out in a record four hours after going on sale to the public last December, there is still time to secure a wristband before the festival begins.
Verified tickets are available for purchase on their website at the Official Wristband Exchange until Friday, June 28 at midnight. Even if it does not work out this year, it is never too early to start preparing for Electric Forest 2020.