I’m leaving for Camp Bisco tonight but I had to get in my final Electric Forest post before I left. I already talked about the music and the magic of the Forest experience, but now it’s time to recap the logistics.
I heard that the line to get your car searched was insane, with people waiting up to 5 hours before they were allowed to enter the campgrounds. Since my crew took a bus we got to bypass a lot of that wait, which was awesome. I will say though that on the first day, we waited in line for 2 hours to enter the festival from the campgrounds. TWO HOURS. People were cranky, and I heard about multiple people who passed out from standing there in the hot sun waiting to go in. I yelled loudly to no one, “WHY DO PEOPLE COME TO THIS FESTIVAL?!?”
Eventually we got inside and I realized why people come to this festival (see: aforementioned magic). And thankfully they figured out the line situation after that so the wait was never that bad again, but man did that suck.
Forest people are wonderful. When I recapped Mysteryland I talked about how everyone at electronic festivals is either the best or the worst, and Forest, just like Mysteryland, had the best of the bunch. So many nice, friendly people, and even the fact that it was an all-ages festival didn’t bother me. Everyone is so down to earth and you could strike up a conversation with anyone.
The Fun Stuff
I don’t even know how to address this because Electric Forest is ALL fun stuff (again, see the “magic” post). I am still in complete awe at the amount of thought that was put into curating a forest (meaning the actual forest part of the grounds, not Forest as in the festival itself) full of music, art and activities. I mean, there was a library. In the forest. A LIBRARY. Why? Or rather, why not?
When I saw the water situation I was a little concerned. There were a few areas with sinks that had multiple faucets and you could just walk up and fill your bottle or Camelbak, and it didn’t seem like there were enough of them or that it would be a particularly quick process. Yet somehow it all worked out and filling my bottle was always easy and fast.
Best festival layout ever? Probably. If there’s a better way to make walking from one end of the grounds to the other more palatable than by adding a forest fulla fun in the middle, I don’t know what it is. But that’s what happened. You enter the festival and have a number of stages, food, attractions, whatever. And then you have additional stages and things at the other end of the grounds. And in the middle is the forest, whose only downfall is that if you were determined to get to the opposite end of the festival in order to catch some music, you could easily get distracted on your way there. But really, that’s not a negative at all. And despite the sheer amount of stuff at this festival, it didn’t seem overwhelmingly large. I’d wager that it took less time to walk from one end to the other than it does at Lollapalooza, but there’s a ton more packed in that space. Amazing.
Rothbury, MI is not exactly a cosmopolitan area. Your options are to drive, or…to drive. Or I guess fly, but you’d still need to arrange a way of getting there from the airport. Or you can take a bus, like I did. The pros of the bus were that a) we didn’t have to drive all the way from NY to MI, b) we met cool people on the bus, c) we got an amazing camping spot because they put the tent-only camping really close to the entrance. The cons are that a) bus rides are SO LONG AND UNCOMFORTABLE, and b) we didn’t get to camp with cars, which allows you to bring extra stuff and not have to lug things around. But overall, it was worth it.
This festival is dirt cheap for everything you get with a ticket. I paid probably around $325 or so for 4 days of music. Compare that to Mysteryland, which was $360 for 2 days of music and why I ultimately decided not to camp there and just go for one day.
The bottom line here is, Electric Forest is the best. You should go next year. I’ll see you there.