2016 will be my third year in a row and there is a reason everyone (myself included) goes back year after year. The festival takes place in Rothbury, Michigan at the end of June.
I have always left with more friends than I had to begin with and that’s one of my most valued parts of the festival. Everyone is there for the same reasons: to listen to great music, dance, “explore the forest”, meet new people, and of course to have a great time.
Tickets always sell out fast. Last year they sold out only hours after the lineup was released; this year they sold out before the lineup was even released. It seems like there is more and more hype revolving around this festival every year so how do you make sure you have a ticket? Tickets sales have been released around Christmas each year so just make sure you sign up for their emails and you will be first to know about them.
If they have already sold out like in this years case, you can still find them but you will have to search. There are often people that buy the tickets then have things come up that results in them needing to sell their tickets. This is especially common closer to the festival. Where do you look for these tickets? You can try places ticket reselling sites like stubhub. You can check the Facebook event page or join some Electric Forest Groups on facebook as well. Be weary though because there are scams! NEVER pay someone in any other way besides paypal as “goods and services.” Don’t use any other type of personal transaction app.
Stubhub is without a doubt your safest bet; the reason it’s more expensive on Stubhub is their product guarantee. If the seller never ships your wristband, they will buy another for you.
Avoid the hassle and just sign up to be notified when they tickets go for sale.
There are plenty of options to choose from depending on how much you want to spend and what type of camping you want to partake in.
The GA wristband already includes GA camping which is access to an area to camp next to your car that measures approximately 12’x30’. This means that you are parked where ever you are directed and each day could be a bit of a walk to get into the venue.Group Camping is what I have done the last two years. Groups of 20 or more people can pay an extra $4o per person plus $65 paid by the “group leader” to get a camping spot located near the the venue entrance in the GA Campground. Don’t have that many friends? There are often groups trying to fill their quota who may post on Facebook groups. Electric Forest even started a new program called the Her Forest Woman’s Camp for girls that are attending solo or that want to make more friends.
Those are the only two options that I have participated in and can personally vouch for. Both were great but I enjoyed being closer to the entrance which group camping provides. You can get more luxurious camping packages that include showers and air conditioned bathrooms but I’m ok with getting grubby.
Showers are an extra fee and in my opinion, not worth it. My first year I paid $10 then waited in a line for over an hour, to shower in the back of a semi tuck with small and dirty stalls. I will never do it again. I just use baby wipes to get all the dirt off me and dry shampoo to keep my hair looking clean. If that doesn’t keep you as clean as you would like a portable shower is something to look into.
The physical address of the Electric Forest GA Camping Entrance is 7100 South Water Road, Rothbury, MI 49437. Once you are close there will be signs and it’s easy to pick out which cars are making their way to the forest. Just follow the craziness.
- Clothing to keep you warm or cool. Weather can be unpredictable but it’s often hot during the day and cold at night.
- Your hammock. Nothing beats stringing up to a tree in the forest.
- Cash. Lets not forget the fact that you may want to buy souvenirs. Avoid fees from the ATMs inside (yes they have ATMs just in case).
- A backpack, fanny pack, and/or a camelbak. It all depends on what you want to bring in. I rock a fanny pack most of the time (don’t judge they’re making a comeback).
- Gifts for the giving tree. Obviously not essential but it’s fun! This could be something as simple as jewelry or you can get creative. I’ve brought souvenirs from my travels and wrapped them in notes about where they came from and a story behind them. In Indonesia, I bought a ton of bracelets and necklaces which were then blessed by the woman I bought them from and those were my gifts.
- Don’t forget your bracelet. My first year I got about 20 minutes away and had to turn around because I forgot the most important thing. Don’t judge.
- A positive and open mindset. Not that I have to remind you but seriously, you’re going to have a great time. I like to compare Electric Forest to an adults playground. This is a place to let loose.
←What to Wear→
Since the weather in Michigan can be pretty unpredictable I always have a range of things. My first year was hot and dusty by my second year was cold with even colder nights.
The best part about this festival is that almost anything goes, you can go crazy and wear an outrageous costume, or just go with something as little as pasties and short shorts. It depends on the person. It’s one of the few places you won’t be scoffed at for wearing something that mat be seen as insane in the “real world.” It’s a place to get creative.
What you actually wear is up to you but here are some suggestions:
- Comfy shoes. This depends one what is comfy to each person but my first year I wore toe shoes (Vibram Five Fingers) and the second I wore combat boots most days.
- A bandana or something to cover your mouth. Since it can get dusty this will help to protect you from inhaling all that dust that gets kicked up and prevents you from an awful case of bronchitis. Trust me, I know first hand and it’s no fun coming home with no voice and coughing up dust for the next week.
- Anything you want to wear but maybe felt like you couldn’t “in the real world.” No one will judge you here!
←Food And Drinks→
No glass is allowed. They even do a brief search in your car to make sure you don’t have any but you can always just ditch the glass for reusable containers and water bottles.
They have hot food but expect to pay $5-$10 for a plate of food. I bring enough to eat and snack throughout the day but also get myself one “hot meal” a day, usually just choosing something from the food trucks. Spicy pie is notorious at Electric Forest and people will often mention it when talking about “forest food.”
Staying hydrated and eating good food will do wonders so my suggestion is to bring lots of fruits, nuts, granola bars, and water. They also have water fill up stations scattered everywhere from the campgrounds, to the venue so you can reuse your bottles.
Hope this helps. I tried to cover everything because I remember my first year going. I didn’t know what to expect or what to bring, I just knew that I had always heard about this festival and wanted to go. These are all the questions I remember asking or wondering about. It’s a great place though and even if you forget something, you are surrounded by family: forest family. People are always willing to help.
Did I forget anything? Have any suggestions? Let me know in the comments!