This past weekend I attended my 5th Electric Forest Music Festival in Rothbury, Michigan. I spoiled myself and used my 4-In-The-Forest discount to camp in Good Life. I won’t say too much about Good Life now, you’ll have to wait for that article (coming soon). But, out of all of the years I have gone, this year was my most eye-opening one. Everyone’s experiences are different, and I’ve seen everyone having a great time, or a not so great time; mine was in-between.
Okay, I lied. I’m going to spoil a little bit of information about Good Life. Wednesday early arrival and a FREE BBQ (those black bean burgers, yum!!!) is included. So, instead of just hanging out the camp in GA on Wednesdays, I was soaking up the sun, free food and beer, and going down a water slide. It was honestly the best kick off to the weekend, and if you do Good Life and don’t go to the pre-party, you’re messing up.
We got back and decided to go over to GA, and it was insane to see how much more camping space that they opened up! Of course, they have to accommodate for nearly double the amount of people, since they went back down from two weekends to one, but it was crazy to hear that all of that new space ended up getting filled up too! I remember my first Forest didn’t even sell out.
Thursday and Sunday were my two days I was mostly excited for. Earlier in the day, we did a photo shoot for an engagement and it was honestly so beautiful. We walked around the whole forest and it got me excited to be able to walk around later after the sun goes down and the Forest lights up in all its glory. The new Honeycomb stage area was probably one of the coolest things Forest installed this year. (R.I.P. to the Forest stage) Also, if you found it, the hanging flower was one of my favorite installations.
Gramatik, Ekali, Odesza, Eoto were my top favorite sets of the day. Gramatik being one of my top favorite sets for the weekend. I haven’t seen Gramatik in 3 years and the set was full of vibes, body rocking, and great energy all over the crowd. Odesza was good as always, but I’m just going to say that the VIP viewing area for Ranch Arena SUCKS. You either have the giant speaker blocking half of the stage, or a bunch of trees in the way. I finally found a nice girl who let me stand on a bench with her and I was able to enjoy Odesza. Whenever I see the boys, I always love being able to see their visuals and watching the drumline kill it, so me being 5’3, being on this bench really made my experience better. But holy crap guys, that crowd was HUGE. I believe it when they say Forest was over sold because it was extremely crowded everywhere for the most part.
Honestly, I only cared for Kygo and Subtronics. My love for Kygo is always going to be there, and let me tell you, his set was definitely in my top 5 for the weekend. The first/last time I was able to see Kygo was at Lollapalooza 2015, and it got me hyped to see him again. When I saw Kygo’s name on the line up this year, I KNEW that it was going to be better than ever. In fact, it was WAY better than I anticipated, and I tried not to boost my expectations this year. I have been sticking to that motto for Forest the last two years and it has made a big impact.
I was so antsy for Kygo, he started about 15 minutes late and I was just waiting for all the lights to turn off. When they finally did, you saw Kygo being lifted up on the stage with his piano. Flames, confetti, CO2, and colorful lights everywhere. I was moving and dancing the whole set. It gave me so much happiness, love, and excitement for the rest of the weekend. And that ending… Kygo lifted back up with his piano and a group of violinists and cellos came up on stage to play the most beautiful and heart-warming cover of Firestone. Violins and cellos are some of the most beautiful instruments in my opinion, and the crowds energy and the mind-blowing voice singing Firestone really made me speechless.
Almost every set I saw this weekend, I had a really good crowd around me, everyone vibing, dancing, laughing and smiling. A few people kept checking in with everyone around them too, so nice.
To be honest, Saturday was the most low-key day and the only good thing was T-Pain and The Big Shebang.
T-Pain’s set was like a giant throwback for me. Every song played, I could only think of good memories from my high school days. Most of the rappers that play at Forest usually don’t show up, so I was really hyped that he was still coming.
My boyfriend has attended forest for 6 years and hasn’t experience The Big Shebang. So, we made that on our to-do list. Luckily, we were already over at that stage. And right when we finished eating, the big shebang was happening. Floating figures and light up balls, trapeze artists, confetti, fireworks, and some of the best jam music I heard all weekend put into one big area. I don’t even have words for it. If you haven’t experienced the big shebang, you’re not going all out with a bang.
Notice how I didn’t mention Bassnectar, yeah I took a nap in the forest in a hammock, oops. Aside from the nap, we explored the forest, played some mini-golf in The Hangar, and found some fairy doors. The creativity and uniqueness that goes into every nook and cranny of the Forest blows my mind every year. While they do reuse the same things from past years, they always seen to switch it up, or change the color of it. Like the Forest Goddess, she’s this gorgeous black, blue, purple, sparkly color now! Or adding white umbrellas to the colorful umbrellas to show off the lights at night. My favorite area of the Forest is the birds nest. Its always so cozy, comfortable, and I always have great experiences and conversations there.
There’s always a part of the weekend where I don’t care about the music and just focus on the Forest and connecting with myself, and I realized a lot. I always tell myself to stop stressing over things I can’t control. So I don’t know what hit me while walking around, but just this realization to stop stressing over what you can’t control, and stop timing things out, and let the Forest take you whichever direction the trees blow.
ZEDS DEAD AND SEVEN LIONS!!!!!
Per usual, Zeds Dead always throws down, but man, ALL OF THAT NEW SHYT they threw, where’s the album?! Don’t even get me started on how hyped I was about that Billie Eilish Bury A Friend remix.
Moving over to Seven Lions and having him drop my 3 favorite songs right when I got over there got me in major feels. And all the little twists and turns his does to his set, and the mind-blowing and mesmerizing visuals, how could you not fall in love at a Seven Lions set?
Did anyone go to The Funk Hunters?! If you were on the hunt for some funk that weekend, this was it. If you’re into Daft Punk, Griz and Manic Focus, this is who you should listen to. The whole crowd was moving and grooving until the set was for sure over. We had so much space and everyone let the funk take over their body.
Overall, the weekend got better for me every hour during the days. I had a blast see some of my favorite artists, people, and the forest creations, but I just hope next year isn’t as crowded. And maybe that Big Grizmatik reunion falls into fruition. ? I kept saying that this year would be my last Forest, but honestly, I can’t just leave home. Forest 2020, I’m coming for you.
Electric Forest 2019 Photo Gallery
Check out the full photo gallery of Electric Forest Music Festival 2019 below.
Show some love to Mark Reddington Photography for capturing these amazing pictures!