If you’re anything like myself, you’ve been in the festival scene for sometime now. Long enough to watch yourself transform from Kandi Kid to Seasoned Show Vet. As you’ve started spending less time planning your outfits and more time planning your meals, this question might have snuck into your subconscious. “Am I getting too old for this?” You’re standing there with a college degree in one hand and a pin collection in the other. Let me break something to ya, friend. Even your grandmother has a broach collection. As you grow into yourself, the way you experience Electric Forest can grow as well. Here is why Electric Forest 2017 just wouldn’t be the same with out you.
A sustainable community consists of many different types of people. People of different backgrounds, gifts, music preferences, and ages. For a community to thrive, everyone brings with them the experiences that make them who they are. Those experiences offer unique wisdom. I packed only pb&j’s, apples, trail mix, and instant coffee for my first Forest in 2014. I was ballin’ on a budget with my head in the clouds. My veteran camp neighbors, shout out to Sam and Alex, sent me off to catch Nahko and Medicine for the People’s with a warm veggie burger in one hand and a cool drink in the other. Completely fueling me for an afternoon of revolution songs and an evening of heavy bass. (I have since invested in a Coleman Grill.) As a returning Forest Family member you have something to share. You remember to pack extra band aids for dance blisters and bring an offering for the giving tree. Meanwhile, you may be inspired by the first year attendees sense of awe and bliss as the enter the evenings neon trees for the first time. The Forest Family has grown and the responsibility to maintain that home feeling lies in your hands.
There are many social media groups of Foresters who share the Forest vibe the other 361 days of the year. Get connected in the community and find a group that’s right for you!
Creating a balance of work and play is another way to grow your experience at Electric Forest. Everything in life is about balance. Electric Forest gives traveling souls a place to call home. But, it can only give so much until it runs dry. If someone is always picking flowers and never planting, they’ll stop growing. Maybe it’s time to give back. Giving back rebirths purpose and offers new experiences. EF Headquarters puts out a call for all artists, hoopers, veterans, photographers, movers, and shakers to help. Its the foresters that make the forest happen. Here is their Plug In page.
There are conscious give back programs as well. They reward participants with prizes, exclusive release items, and sometimes tickets. Last year, I got caught recycling by Forestcology and received a ticket for a raffle. Shout out to Grassroots California for the Limited Edition Hula Roots Hat.
Attendees can also bring cans for a food drive for the local food bank. While supplies last, they can receive a bomb poster. Note, I didn’t bring my donation till Sunday last year and they ran out of posters. Drop it off early!
The WET Program offers a chance to play rolls such as set up, clean up, ticketing, parking, and so forth. It also means a cool T-shirt and attending Electric Forest essentially for free. This year the Forest is offering three work options. The first weekend, second weekend, or the week between to attend both. Place a $400-500 deposit to hold a work spot. When your work requirements are complete, around 18 hours, the deposit will be return. Plus, giving back to the place that has provided you with so much just feels down right good.
There are also endless opportunities to advance personal and professional ventures at the Forest… if you make it happen. This is where like minded people gather, come prepared. Like the billionaires make deals at the country clubs, freelancers network at their campsites. This is where practicing glass blowers, aspiring musicians, and growing activists gather. Bring your latest artwork, pass out business cards, and interview people for your blog. Draw inspiration from the nights spent frolicking under the glowing trees and make deeper connections. This beautiful pool of people and potential opportunities only happens end of June.
This blog will continue to capture the community of Electric Forest over the next few months, here’s a shameless self promotion. If you want to be featured in this blog keep an eye out for my YAS QUEEN totem. It’ll be around both weekends.
Finally, let’s be honest with ourselves. The ultimate reason to go to Electric Forest 2017. You have worked really hard this year. Yes, I’m talking to you. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back. You might have gotten your first big boy job, started your small business, or built your off-grid home. Maybe you bust ass at a job you hate or reached a long term goal. You’re not sucking on a teet anymore, you are adulting really hard. Take the time to step out of reality and step into a four day fantasy world. Chances are you’re about a year over due for a break, anyway. You earned it.
Have any stories about how you’ve grown at Electric Forest? Social Media groups you’re apart of or Forest inspired work? Share them in the comments bellow! See you in June!