A collection of photos from Electric Forest 2018. See my blog post about it here.
Jess and I spent the weekend in a tent. This is a picture of the camping area in general. It was an endless sea of tightly packed tents, easy-ups, and cars. It was a total slum, but it had a strange charm to it. It seemed like a place with absolutely no rules, yet everyone seemed to be so nice to each other.
In the front of the camping area was ‘Main Street’, which had a lot of food, beverage, and merchandise vendors. There was also a general store, which sold various essentials for camping/living. Main Street hilariously had a tent selling bowls of cereal alongside seating areas with cartoons playing on TVs. Jess and I enjoyed drinking coffee on Main Street in the mornings while things were still quiet and cool.
This is Main Street during sunset. The dog topiaries were neat; but they were just a few of the many many unique art installations throughout the venue.
When leaving the camping area, the first stage was called Tripolee. Tripolee became a complete desert during the daytime heat. There were a few mushroom-like structures to provide a little shade, which was better than nothing.
This wooden statue lady could be seen near the entrance to the forest. The forest was a large wooded region within the venue.
These neat umbrellas were hanging above the pathway into the forest.
There were several stages within the forest. These stages had a great atmosphere and tended to be more intimate than the larger stages.
Group photo of Abby, Jessica, and myself. The bandannas were a lifesaver; we would soak them in water to help us cool down. They were also useful to cover up our face when there’s a lot of dust in the air (which occasionally happened at high traffic areas). I stole most of my bandannas from Violet (my dog).
This is the group of friends we camped with. From left to right: Jessica, Phil, Abby, me (Ryan), Carley, and John.
There were a lot of actors in the venue. This was a group of gardener actresses wearing fancy dresses. Two of them were on stilts. If you look really closely, you’ll see that one is pouring water onto Jess’s head.
There was a seemingly endless number of things to do in the forest. There were a few phones scattered about which connected you to actors and other festival goers.
Another art installation. By virtue of being a forest, it’s impossible to get a picture that captures how big it is. It felt very large, but you were never more than 30 ft away from some sort of structure.
This was a creepy looking piece of art. The creepy factor on this one went up 10X at night.
There was an area with a few circular mirrors attached to the ground. During the daytime, they made for a good photo op. At night, they transformed into infinity mirrors, which looked like endless holes extending into the ground.
Jess looking pretty in the forest.
This is The Observatory stage, which was in a clearing in the forest. It had a raised platform area that you could watch music from. During the day, this stage had a lot of folk, rock, and Americana music. This stage got packed at night when bigger names were performing.
As you can tell, it was very hot during the day. Jess’s shirt does indeed have pictures of Reptar on it. Many people complimented her on it. Outfits at electric forest were generally very crazy. Many of them lit up or glowed at night.
Abby lookin’ cool at the Tripolee stage, aka the desert. We don’t know who the construction worker guy is, he just sorta jumped into the picture.
A group photo at the Sherwood stage. Jess and I were the newcomers this year, so it was nice to have some friends to show us the ropes.
This is the Carousel Club stage, which was inside a big circus tent. This stage had a variety of music genres, but it seemed to have a bit more live instrumental music than the other stages. There was also a few performances at this stage - for instance, Jess and I happened on a drag show there during the day.
At night, the entire festival transforms into an insane light show. The forest lights up and takes on an incredible energy. It’s inexplicable. One of the coolest places I’ve ever been.
You can hear music playing from pretty much anywhere in the forest, due to the stages setup throughout.
The silent disco opens in the forest at night. Here, no music is playing through speakers. You can only listen to music through headphones, which they hand to you on the way in. The headphones have different channels, which connect to different DJs playing within the silent disco. The headphones have lights that glow based on which channel you’re listening to. This was a fun place to go.
Many people brought totems into the festival. Totems are essentially unique signs that people carry with them. They use them to help find each other in crowds, but I think they are mostly just for fun. One of our favorite totems was this Joe Viben’ totem. This guy brought Joe Viben' to Electric Forest last year too.
Jess liked this neon owl totem, which - like most totems - was hand-made.
Michigan is on the west edge of the Eastern time zone, so it only got dark around 10 PM. But the scheduled music went until around 3AM every night, so there was plenty of time to enjoy the nighttime ambiance. Still, this is super late compared to festivals like Boston Calling, where music ends before 11 PM.
We happened on this creepy piece of art at night in a darker corner of the forest.
This is the Ranch stage at night while one of the headline bands, Rufus Du Sol, was playing. The Ranch stage was probably the 'main stage' of the festival (although I don't think any stage was official labeled as such). It’s probably no surprise that the lights at the stages were over-the-top. The totems popping up from the crowd add to the fun.
This is the Tripolee stage beaming with energy at night. While most stages played a variety of music genres, the Tripolee stage played only EDM music (and its various sub-genres). Jess and I had some trouble connecting with this type of music during the daytime, but it turns into a giant mega party at night, and it's hard to not get sucked up by its energy.
Perhaps our favorite stage was Jubilee, which was also in a big tent. Unlike the Carousel Club, the Jubilee stage had open sides - and the crowd often would spill out to the outside. A breakout musician this year was a French DJ named CloZee, who played an encore set at Jubilee at 1:30 AM. It was a cool place to be.
Jess and Abby got matching (fake) tattoos. They were applied by a grizzeled WW2 GI (actor) in The Hanger, which was a large indoor area designed to look like an old timey Main Street. Although it was a little sketchy on exactly what decade they were shooting for, because I saw references ranging from 1920s to 1950s.
One of the very first things Jess and I heard about this music festival was how there was group yoga in the morning. I jokingly put “Do yoga at Electric Forest” on my list of life goals about a year ago...
...and I’m proud to say I can cross that goal off of my list! I am hilariously bad at yoga, but it still counts. This festival was a great time, and I’d be very fortunate to be able to go again someday.
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