What a time. Love, music, and freedom was the feeling I got while at Electric Forest in Rothbury, MI. I’ll go through the memorable moments from each day.
Day 1 – Wednesday (Early Arrival)
We had arrived around 3pm EST at the festival entrance. The lines were backed all the way to the highway exit ramp and every one was ready to get in! When coming to the campgrounds at the security check point there were probably 6+ lines of cars and people jumping all around ready to get their groove on. It took about an hour to get up to the front to have our car searched, the search goes pretty smoothly, they check a couple compartments for weapons and any illicit material per festival rules and send you on your way. From there the lines merge into only 3 lines. At this point I was having a hard time finding a in because everyone and their mother is trying to stick together. Eventually we merge after 30 minutes and roll up to the front of the camp ground entrance. There’s personnel there to control the flow of parking cars letting each line at a time go. Eventually we get the green light with our friends behind us and pull into the field where more personnel show us where to park our cars.
Now that our cars were parked we had begun to claim the lands. Everyone wants as much room as possible and to claim it you need to throw down your tarp(s) or put up a canopy. Our friends put up their canopy and we did as well side by side to claim our space. Amber and I were pretty much on our own at this point to setup our tent and get our home for the next 4 days all comfy. What an entrance!
After everything was setup we made our way around the campground where 30,000+ neighbors would be setting up as the night went on. We got to find porta-potties closet to us as well as water stations. We walked through telling neighbors “Happy Forest!” as everyone was setting up. Down the main stretch to the entrance of the festival is a bunch of vendors we got to check out and window shop. As the night came to a close our friends all packed around in our camping chairs under the canopies and talked the night away. Some put together “kandi” bracelets for trading inside the festival and others snickered at the failed attempts to keep the beads on the string.
Day 2 – Thursday (The Festival begins!)
This was an exciting day. Amber was so ready to show me every inch of the forest the moment we walked in the door. I kept trying to find ways to slow down and hang out, but got to see everything! Most stages were still prepping for the big night ahead while crowds grew around the ones with some jiving music going on. It was about 85f and we stood in line to get in for about 2 to 3 hours. We made our way to a food vendor after roaming around the forest a bit and had ourselves a comfort bowl. It was made up of BBQ Pulled Pork goodness and plenty of it. After our meal we had made our way back into the forest to once again hang out for a bit until Amber was ready to get her jam on. Honestly I don’t remember much from Thursday, the whole time was a blur. I remember going with friends to watch DJ Jazzy Jeff. He put on one heck of a show! We also saw Major Lazer later in the night. I remember seeing a couple police officers dancing around with some festival goers. Not a huge fan of the guy who kept shouting in the mic for everyone to get pumped up. He kept interrupting the music too much for my liking. That was as much as I remember from Day 2.
Day 3 – Friday Night (Lets get weird)
Friday was a fun day. We again made our way through the forest and camped out in our hammock for majority of the afternoon until Nghtmare came on! Thats when our squad of friends threw down to some really awesome beats! We stayed here for majority of the night and thats when the music cut out with 6 minutes left of his set! Huge power outage on the stage! After about 10 minutes a really amazing beat came on softly and then started jamming, Gangster’s Paradise. We also jammed to some Brillz and Adventure Club to close out the night! What an amazing time in the forest this day with some really awesome jamming music!
Day 4 – Saturday (Melt your face)
Saturday was my favorite day of the whole festival. We didn’t do a whole lot during the day that was much different from the other days. But once The String Cheese Incident came on, I knew this was going to be an awesome night. Amber had decided she was going to see Gorgond City with her friend while I stayed with the rest of our friends. I realized I made the right choice once they came back for their second set. Fireworks, Acrobats, Big balloons, and amazing music all together made for an amazing show. I wish I could take every feeling I had in that moment and every visual and frame it. But it will forever be embedded in my mind as a very special moment in my life. What an amazing show. Shortly Amber had arrived back and thats when Bassnectar came on. Just blew my mind and about half way we decided to leave the massive crowd to go relax in the night time forest until the festival came to a close. 3AM.
Day 5 – Sunday (The day Zach was no fun)
I was burned out and ready to go home straight from the moment I woke up. We were awoken by a really big storm that broke many canopies, luckily ours came out with just a little bend in its frame. But my phone didn’t survive and the festival grounds were mucky with water. The sun never got to stay out from the clouds for very long so nothing dried up in time for me to really enjoy the shows. I was pooped and wanted to just sit in one spot for a whole day, but the group was still in the lets see everything mood. I decided around 7pm I was calling it a night and headed back to camp to cleanup. I slept until midnight so we could leave once everyone else was finished with their music. 5 hours later (4am CST) we were back in our own air conditioned home and happy with our lives. I plan on doing it all again but this time bringing my great friends along!
Until next year forest 🙂
sorry if the last few paragraphs felt rushed. I lost my momentum from writing last night and picked up today. I don’t think my future posts will be as long. Hope you felt a little bit of the experience I had from the festival!