Author: Brittany Moreno & Maureen Duthie
Excited “happy forest” proclamations dance in the air. A dangling fan-fare of umbrellas draw Electric Forest attendees into the welcoming arms of the forest and the gigantic wooden mother nature statue herself. Everyone knows you’ve reached it folks, home. The long drive aches dissipate as you enter the psychedelic woodland and as one of the most unique music festivals in the world, the Forest inspired awe yet again. Live painting creations, surreal costumes, kinetic sand stations, the festival contained more gems than just the line up. The whimsy of the Forest was apparent by the childlike carefree attitudes and was enhanced by light shows and the common occurrence of bubbles. Friendships were made and strengthened and blissful memories filled the Foresters with experiences they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.
Electric Forest is as much about their amazing line-up as they are about their fanciful activities. There are the normal vendors with heavenly Moon Mats, trippy faceted glasses, petrified pinecones, and much more. However, the true gems are ladened throughout the Forest itself. Chances to watch professional artists work their craft on huge canvases, butterfly releases, body marbling, or blasting off in the sonic portal circles held by the body shaking Gong the Planet. There is a little bit of fantasy in every type of flavor.
If you needed to slow down and reconnect with yourself or other humans, afternoon yoga sessions were held at the large Tripolee stage. “One People. Under One Sky” was a uniting mantra as our bodies were filled with the light of the sun and the energies of our companions.
Adorned with their own Giving Tree, charitable Foresters leave little treasures for others to discover.
The variety of food attempts to satisfy every craving. Great selection from stuffed pita, spicy pies, lo mein, and donut nachos line Electric Forest’s open field food court.
Victim of the persistent sweet tooth? Donut nachos are a selection of 4 fresh wild donuts, two different frostings, and adorned with toppings like fruity pebbles and coco puffs. While in line the owner threw fresh strawberries for those in line to nibble on while we waited. You can also stumble upon a classic candy shop that rests in the middle of the forest. Similar to Hansel and Gretel’s candy house, the walls are adorned with lots of bulk goodies, gummies, and even dippin dots. You feel like you are Hansel and Gretel.
Oh man, there is no way I can’t talk about this performance. As I wrote in the EF preview, Tycho was one of the shows I was most excited for not only for the music but also for what I heard would be an amazing live show. Boy was I not disappointed. The stage starts out completely black with a minimalist visual playing on large, LED panels behind the band leaving only their shadowy figures to be seen. Then comes in the calming, beautiful strums of base and keyboard, quickly building into their first song of the set, Glider. The transitions between songs are seamless, each one flowing into next with new visuals playing each time. Some visuals tell stories, some with beautiful nature and others a bit creepy. However, both music and visuals combined pull you into a trance that is only broken up once with a short introduction to the audience. Scott Hansen, greets us and hopes we enjoy the “experience.” It truly was and I will be sure to see them again live at a venue near me.
A fantastic reappearance at Electric forest, the Aussie Tom Purcell, also known as Wave Racer shook the crowd into a disco gear. His upbeat tropical vibes caused a dancing storm. The flowing future bass with a happy bubbly vibe jolted the audience with pure energy. At the large Tripolee stage, Tom was surrounded by two giant stone maidens with painted faces: a full spectrum of lights and lasers also were blasted from the center of the stage. Wave Racers accompanying videos featured graphics akin to the N64 with colorful edits for a trippy twist.
Tom has come a long way from his dynamic duo “Pablo J and the Lobsterettes”. Originally releasing singles, in October, Wave Racer released more originals on his debut EP Flash Drive through the Australian label, Future Classic which he performed on stage. The EP is a collection of diverse styles compiled from his tours through Australia and the US.
I have watched his Electric Forest set the past year and this year’s performance was equally exciting and fun. This is a veteran that continues to grow and progress with his music. He states that he is “just going with the flow and seeing where it takes me,” a deceptively simple and beautifully stance, however as we may know, at time’s it can be difficult to be yourself and thoroughly unique. However, Wave Racer achieves the delicate balance of staying relevant and creating captivating originals. He continued to impress at Electric Forest with his genuine passion toward his music career. We are all hoping for another repeat at the forest!
One of the big names out of Colorado closed out the Sherwood stage on Saturday night. Our new friends and campmates from Colorado were very excited for this show not only because they’re from the same state but because of, of course the music, and because it had all the bells and whistles. Flamethrowers, shots of smoke into the air when the beat dropped, plus a guest appearance from Dominic of Big Gigantic. Illenium, a.k.a Nick Miller, mixed his set with his heart rising originals like Fortress, fantastic (sometimes better than the originals) remixes of popular songs from The Chainsmokers and Flume and headbanging dubstep. This DJ has truly made it big in the electronic world with only releasing his debut album about a year and a half ago.
This year’s Electric Forest is now one for the books, but is definitely an experience to be looked back on by both newcomers and veterans alike. Until next year Forest!
Be sure to also check out our interviews with Fakear and TheFatRat on our Soundcloud account!