Hello, readers! We’re coming atcha with a bit of B2B reporting that bloomed out of a friendly chat between a Forest newb and a Forest veteran. Our writers Alex (newb) and Ariana (veteran) are entirely incapable of keeping the word “Sherwood” out of their vocabulary these days, so we sat them down together to blab about the festival in each other’s company.
Ariana: On a scale of Tomorrowworld-2015-mudbath-not-stoked to being-on-the-rail-for-Bassnectar-super-stoked, how stoked are you for Forest?!
Alex: Being on-the-rail-for-my first-ever-Bassnectar-show-stoked! I have heard nothing but great things about Electric Forest. On top of a loving and welcoming environment, a couple of my favorite bands will be there! I have high expectations for this festival and I’m sure I won’t be let down!
Ariana: What made you decide to make the trek up to Rothbury, MI this year? Was anything stopping you in previous years?
Alex: I have only been attending festivals for the past two years so I haven’t had many opportunities to make it to the forest. Last year while living in Oregon I attended What the Festival. What the Fest had an illuminated forest that gave me just a small glimpse of what Electric Forest could be like. Sherwood Forest looks like a magical place to get lost in with an endless amount of things to discover. Now that I’m back on the East Coast I’d like to attend this amazing festival while I have the chance, and see what all the hype is about!
Ariana: When are you planning on arriving to Electric Forest? Last year I thought rolling in at 2pm on Friday would be fine, and ended up having to set up camp way back by the highway. It turned out to be pretty nice though, since there’s more space back there and shuttle busses to take you to the main entrance.
Alex: I would like to arrive as early as possible to scout everything out since this is my first year and I’m not exactly sure what I’m getting into. Arriving early also gives me more time to make some friends because I will be attending this festival by myself! I wouldn’t mind camping near the back of the campground for the extra space and ease of finding my campsite. Car camping is also nice because I don’t have to haul all of my gear to campsite. Did the noise from the highway bother you at all?
Ariana: Please. I wouldn’t have slept even if it was dead silent. Too much to see and do at all hours. AKA…RV parties.
Would you ever consider Good Life or RV camping? I know a few people who have continuously upgraded over the years, but I kind of want to rough it out in GA for a little while longer. Something about getting lost in a sea of tents and trading in daily showers for a mid-weekend dip in a lake just feels right at Electric Forest.
Alex: I think that everyone should experience some sort of VIP or RV camping at a festival at least once. However, I think that everyone should go GA for their first experience. I agree with you, there’s something amazing about getting lost in a sea of tents and running into different festival families. A nice dip in the lake sounds like a great way to escape the heat and have a little fun. Finding a nice shaded spot to post up in a hammock and catch up on some sleep sound much better than sleeping in a RV anyways!
Ariana: Who are you most excited to see? Honestly, I’m a tad worried nothing will compare to the Mija B2B Anna Lunoe set from last year, but I probably shouldn’t be. I’m really looking forward to Pendulum, Space Jesus, Tycho, and Big Wild.
Alex: A few of my personal favorites that will be performing are Lettuce, Big Gigantic, Papadosio, Nahko and Medicine for the People, and of course Bassnectar. I was very impressed with Thievery Corporation’s performance at What the Fest last year so I can’t wait to see them for a second time!
Ariana: Thoughts on Bassnectar’s Forest residency? I love the man so I’m all in favor, but there’s been lots of valid commentary about how it limits space for other headlining acts to put their own unique stamp on the Electric Forest lineup.
Alex: Personally I love the idea that he decided to become a resident DJ at Electric Forest. Everyone that has made their way to Electric Forest has talked about how much you feel at home there and how amazing and friendly all of the festival-goers are-including Bassnectar. When you spend most of the year on the road and traveling from venue to venue it has to be nice to return to a special place that feels like home once a year.
Ariana: How do you feel about the double weekend situation? I for one am not a fan.
Alex: I am torn about the double weekend situation. I love that it gives everyone a second opportunity to make it to the forest and that it allows people to chose the lineup that they like better. However, I’m worried that splitting the festival up into two weekends will take away from the festival experience. Im also worried that back to back weekends could be rough on the festival grounds. Having to choose the lineup you would rather see is also an extremely difficult decision!
Ariana: Follow up to that: In your opinion, which weekend has the stronger lineup and why? Is that the weekend you’ll be attending? I have to go first weekend because that’s when all of my Michigan friends can go, and that place is nothing without them. I’m seriously gonna miss Nick Monaco, No Regular Play, Crew Love, Shiba San, Valentino Khan, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Flint Eastwood…ok I’m done (except not really because also- DJ Snake, Break Science, Flume, and Alison freaking Wonderland!)
Alex: I think both weekends have fantastic lineups, but I like the second weekend line up better as it has more of my personal favorites. There are a few bands from the first weekend that I wish would be playing during the second weekend though. My Morning Jacket, Everyone Orchestra, and Odesza are just a few. I believe that I’ll be going to the second weekend ,but I would be happy attending either! I can’t wait to make my way up to Michigan for a weekend I won’t forget.
Is there any advice you can give to first year attendees? Anything specific that I should bring, expect, or look for? What was your favorite thing about Electric Forest 2016?
Ariana: I love that you’re going solo. Forest is such a choose-your-own adventure kind of environment, and doing it on your own gives you complete and total freedom to follow every whim. My best advice would be to do just that: follow every whim and say “yes” to everything that crosses your path. There aren’t many places in the world or times in life when you can do that, so take advantage of it. Some advice, though, is to keep in all in perspective. I dealt with a pretty rough post-Forest slump after last year, as many people do, and hopefully having gone through that once will make me better suited to handle the journey back to reality this year.
In terms of supplies to bring, it’s not Burning Man, so it’s pretty easy to get your hands on supplies within the festival grounds or by taking a trip to town. Flashlight, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper are the main things you need to remember. Anything to give as a friendship offering to your campsite neighbors is always nice!