After two years off, the heavily anticipated Electric Forest Music Festival made a renowned comeback in Rothbury, Michigan. Musicians in various genres gathered on this 4-day event from June 23 to June 26 alongside people from all around the world.
Electric Forest goes beyond so-called norms that other music festivals are known for. In the seemingly middle of nowhere a sense of community is built. This festival has countless activities, events, and secret rewards that feel endless. It’s impossible to experience every single thing Electric Forest has to offer. Every hour of the day has something going on. From DJs playing until 6am, meditation sessions during the day, and secret sets popping off if you’re lucky enough to find them. The Forest does not disappoint and that’s why we compiled a list of some of the top things it has to offer.
Top 10 Things at Electric Forest
1. Saturday Night The String Cheese Incident Signature Shebang
The String Cheese Incident are no strangers to the event as they have been major contributors since Electric Forest was first beginning. It is because of this epic reputation they have built that they continue to play multiple sets throughout the weekend. However, it is their Saturday Night set that always draws the biggest crowd due to their signature “Shebang.” For EF 2022 they brought out other artists on stage, had lasers, giant inflatables, confetti, and fireworks. As if that already wasn’t enough, this year the band had a massive disco ball be lifted over the stage with a crane. This group definitely lives up to their reputation!
2. The Brainery Events
All weekend a designated event center called the Brainery compiled a list throughout each day where numerous experiences were available to partake in. These included, crafts, yoga sessions, mediations, sound baths, CPR training, sharing circles and much more. This provided a great space to re-center and connect with others.
3. The Giving Tree
The Giving Tree is located inside the festival where people get the opportunity leave and take various gifts of your choosing. From jewelry, to lighters, to whatever treasure you can find surrounding the area is open to communal sharing. This tradition has been around for a while and seems to be a popular one as individuals are constantly gathered around the tree.
4. The Outfits
Walking around the forest feels as if you entered a new world! People are dressed in such cool outfits that it makes it feel like a constant party. Performers walk around in groups as well, some even on stilts. The funny coordinated group outfits are a great addition too.
5. Exploring the Forest at Night
Electric Forest lives up to their name but specifically at night. The lighting, buildings, lasers, and art installations are overflowing throughout the woods. Walking around during the day compared to the night is two different experiences. Night time brings a sense of magic into the air as the colors fill the skies and trees. Even laying down in your hammock is entertaining as you stare up into the fairy oasis of lights.
6. Carousel Club
Various musicians performed at Carousel Club which was a fun stage surrounded by entertaining stands. The walkway to Carousel Club was filled with a golf course, massage areas, a hairstyling room, and a tattoo shop. Seeing a set inside the Carousel Club made for even more fun due to the hot air balloons going up around it and sand filling half of the venue.
7. The Scavenger Hunt
Every year the forest has a secret scavenger hunt. People get to explore the performance stages, phone booths, secret fairy houses, and hush rumors to figure out the puzzles. Collaborative teams can go around trying to find the missing pieces which honestly is a lot harder than it sounds, but it makes for a fun time.
Each year of Electric Forest has a designated statue. These sculptures are massive and beautiful to look at. A new one comes every year but they still display the ones from past years throughout the woods you just have to find them.
9. DJ Sets at the Observatory
The observatory is a festival and environment stage located in the middle of the lit-up forest. This makes it a prime spot to catch new artists whether your dancing on top of the tall stairs beside it or swinging in your hammock next to it. The stage is built like a castle and is surrounded by art installations. The visuals in this area are a must see.
10. The Community
The forest brings so many people from different walks of life and perspectives together in one place. The way this environment is able to strip stresses from real life away and open the door for connection is unlike no other. Everyday presented new experiences and significantly those where you’re always interacting with strangers. Electric Forest is a place for love and connection to flourish. The community it is able to establish is incomparable to any other and really unexplainable. But it’s something that keeps drawing people back every year.
All Photos by Maddie McCafferty