After months of preparation, it was time to head to Electric Forest! We loaded everything into the car and made our way. I had watched many videos and read many articles in preparation for the festival, but it couldn’t prepare me for the feeling and the overall experience. 

I arrived early Wednesday evening. The security line wait wasn’t bad, and I made it to the grounds just before the sun set, which made the setting up of camp a lot easier and a heck of a lot less sweaty. But the one thing I didn’t notice until I got on the grounds was that I had lost ALL phone service—no way to reach anyone or anyone to reach me. I couldn’t tell you the last time I didn’t have a working phone and was freaking out a little bit as I still technically needed to work. But c’est la vie! I made my peace with it and moved on.

After settling, I went to the main street for the first time! Greeted by music, lights, food, drum circles, and people all excited to be back was truly a sight! I tried Island Noodles for the first time and shopped a little. There were some cool and unique vendors, from rave clothes recycled from saris to backpacks and rings.

I hung around my group for a while, got to know the neighbors, showered, got ready for bed, put in my earplugs and eye mask, and then turned in. I wanted an early night in preparation for no sleep for the rest of the weekend.



Part of my research was learning not to come to Electric Forest without earplugs as the music and never-ending noise will cause a lack of sleep. And also bring warm clothes to sleep in as the night is chillier. What I was not prepared for was the uncomfortable sweat from the heat in the tent by 9 am. It was like a sauna that I couldn’t get out of fast enough!

I immediately wore shorts, unzipped the doors and windows to let in a breeze, and started my day wearing a face mask. I hoped it would cool me down before heading to the main street. The night prior, I saw that The Brainery had free wifi. I grabbed a lavender iced coffee and got some work done before heading back to camp to get ready for DAY 1!!!


The festival/music grounds open around 2/3 pm (depending on the day); by then, I was more than ready to start. I put on my first-day outfit and made my way into the grounds for J. Worra. Our group wanted to see Eazy Baked at the Ranch and walk around for a little to get the lay of the land. As we baked in the sun, we all realized we should eat something, so we returned to the grounds for a couple of hours, ate, and planned our evening.


The group split up as I was determined to see Channel Tres, a rapper-singer-producer who makes heady beats topped off with a distinctive low drawl or a deliciously high singing voice. I had seen him in Chicago several times the previous year and won’t ever miss a set. He is so much fun to see live and puts on a helluva show with some fantastic dancers that just give pure sass!



After, I was going to check out CID, but as I watched the crowds start pouring in Sofi Tukker, I decided to stay in my perfect spot as, before splitting, the group decided to meet at the Ranch Area for Sofi Tukker. Thank goodness I brought walkie-talkies! Without phone service and being TERRIBLE at finding people, I would’ve been alone all weekend. And when I say terrible, I honestly mean it. 

The group was back together, the sun was beginning to set on the first day of Electric Forest, and the crowd was amped up and energized for Sofi Tukker. I made my way to the photo pit, scanned the crowd, and I couldn’t believe it.  4 rows back was my mom! I waved and shouted their names until I heard OMG MY BABY shout from the crowd! She politely asked people to move for just a moment so she could say Hi and then promised she would go back to her spot. She hugged me, took my photo in the pit, and did as promised! Definitely a core memory for me!


Sofi Tukker put on an amazing show! I had never seen them perform before. They had this whole playground-like setup. They incorporated a call-response into their show by asking if the crowd could bring more energy than Bonnaroo. After every song, they would put up a scoreboard and gave a score to the crowd. (Hint: Electric Forest won!) I also loved how they switched up styles and even languages in their set, with the duo playing some songs in Portuguese and incorporating similar elements into the show. They definitely brought the party!


After Soki Tukker, the plan was to watch ODESZA for a little and then head to Infected Mushroom. As someone who has seen ODESZA before, I knew we weren’t leaving, but I wanted to go with the flow. Just before midnight, the lights of the Ranch Arena stage dimmed, and ODESZA took the stage. The first few moments were filled with fire, pyrotechnics, and pure WOW!

I couldn’t go into the pit until 15 mins into the set, and I didn’t know if I had been approved to take photos. My partner said he wanted to accompany me, and we started the trek to the pit entrance. I got to the badass women running the show – they looked at me, and I looked at them, waiting. ‘Delilah, you are approved!’ I had never felt SO proud! Here I was- 1 of 5 photographers to be approved and taking photos. I was so amazed seeing the drum line and them up close.

Once I had to leave the pit, we looked at the crowd and knew we weren’t finding the group after, so we stayed off to the side where there was room to enjoy the set. The set left us speechless and in a complete state of awe. 


The shows were done for the night, but you could still wander the forest, which is precisely what we did. Experiencing the forest at night is a whole experience that nothing can prepare you for. Music coming from every which way, lights, and all the unique and happy people!

We got lost, found many fairy doors, saw some amazing art, and checked out the stages. And we also found a vendor by The Honeycomb stage that was serving, and you’ll never guess it but LAVENDER LEMONADE!! They were closed, but I took one look at my partner, and they knew and said, ‘I gotcha babe’!

Exploring Electric Forest is where I realized that all the plans I made to see, do, and sets to catch were going right out the window as I let the forest decide. But one goal remained the same – find the undulating flower! It hangs from the tree, rising and falling while casting a kaleidoscope of colors onto the petals. When you lay under it, it is an experience. I sat there for about 30 mins before looking at the time and saw that the grounds were closing soon.



Making our way back to the campgrounds, I saw an individual sitting under the tree alone and looking sick. I stayed with them, introduced myself, and let them know I had worked festivals before, including getting people medical. I helped them get through the grounds and took them to ground control to help get them back to their campsite. As we parted ways, we wished each other love and light and gave hugs!

I told this to remind everyone out there to take care of one another. Being sick, alone, lost, and overwhelmed is a horrible feeling and could very well be you! Please take care and help one another. It doesn’t take a lot to make sure someone gets back safely.


Below you won’t see any photos as I decided this day was entirely for me. For me to explore. For me to be present. Be present to make memories with an amazing rave fam!

Instead of pictures, I will describe in detail my day. What I saw. What I experienced. And what I got to be a part of.

Here we go….

The day started with us waking to the music’s faint background noise as the stage started again and, of course….the lovely heat!

I started my day by doing a face mask before heading into town. I needed to work for a little bit and, yes, you guessed it – get another lavender iced coffee (yes, I am obsessed with lavender). While working, I enjoyed listening to the erotic blueprint panel at The Brainery.

From there got back to camp to relax, nap, and eat before the grounds opened for Day 2.

We walked back to the grounds, got some water, and found our spot at Trioplee, where we saw Zingara, Truth, Champagne Drip, Jantsen, and Rusko B2B Dirt Monkey. During the day, Tripolee was my least favorite stage. The nighttime was great and a great stage, but the daytime was brutal. It was so hot right in the direct sunlight, with no shade whatsoever! Throughout the sets, groups would take turns sitting down, running to get water, or finding shade to escape the sun. Even the DJs struggled on the stage!

During the changeover between Rusko/Dirt Monkey and Virtual Riot, I sat on the mat and started pondering. I struggled a lot with letting my brain relax and not trying to process a million thoughts simultaneously. It is hard to do when your days are constantly thinking about the never-ending to-do list. Now add the to-do list to no service and inability to work. 

The stress started registering on my face as one of the group members bent down and checked in. I told him I was just stressing myself out and struggling with letting go of this constant need to work. We had a long talk, and he said: 

“We spend too much time thinking about the past and the future that we forget to live presently. It is very easy to get caught up in everything we need to be doing, what could’ve been done, or what can get done. And there is always more work. I know you are here to work, but you are also here to EXPERIENCE! Experience something not everyone gets to. Experience a place that most people can’t fathom. And it isn’t every day that a phone doesn’t have service, so take it as a sign from the universe and detach—work and then experience. The wonderful thing is that your work is something that you enjoy and have fun doing. BUT don’t have this amazing experience shadowed by the thought of work that didn’t get done but what you got to enjoy. “

He was absolutely right. So I sat a little longer. I closed my eyes, did some refocusing breathwork, and got back up as Virtual Riot took the stage. He was the last set we would see on the stage until later for Ganja White Night

 The set was great! I danced a lot and truly let go and enjoyed it. He ended his set on a quiet note and left the foresters gasping for more. Everything was quiet for a moment. No one speaking. No music. Nothing. That is until one person started the infamous calling out for ‘CARL.’ The crowd erupted one by one, yelling for Carl. I just giggled as I walked away.


We visited the Dream Emporium, which replaced The Hangar this year. A mysterious destination where visitors are transported to various themed rooms. As you walk in you are greeted by a tunnel by different objects depending on which entrance you took. Inside you could find a lazy lagoon station surrounded by sand, a considerably large docked fishing boat, and the uplifting melodies of jam band music. An alien/UFO room. Or a room where an insult battle in a wrestling ring was taking place. Apparently, there was a roller rink in there as well, but we didn’t see that.

By this time – it was definitely time for lavender lemonade! I was so excited! We got this fantastic drink and sat down at The Observatory to listen to some tunes by Jupiter & Okwess. We enjoyed this cup of life before heading to Disco Lines at the Carousel Club, then BLOND: ISH at The Observatory, and finishing the night at Ganja White Night. We were disappointed by Ganja White Night. They turned down the volume for their set. You could hear the music from the campground stage better than at Tripolee. We ended up leaving the set early and heading back to the campground.

After showering and eating, I laid down with my self-heating eye mask and ear plugs. I drown out the noise and slowly pass out!


I had no work or meetings to attend, so I put my laptop away, ate breakfast, and fully immersed myself in the experience. 

Today the group planned to do the scavenger hunt.  One of the more interactive features of Electric Forest is the scavenger hunts. The one we did, we went to The Hangar and visited the Time Travel Agent. You are given this sheet with riddles. The first step is to find the puzzle’s location, and then you have to solve the puzzle for the answer. Once you have the answer, you will know the code to the lockbox, which unlocks the stamp. Get all the stamps = get a prize.



The first riddle led us to a ‘traveler’s feast’ I walked around the table thinking, ‘yea, I got this.’ After about a moment of staring and trying to rack my brain cells together, I thought, ‘What am I even looking for’ and stopped. I sat in a hammock, waiting for my friends to figure it out. They did, and then onto the next clue.



The next clue took us to the Art Bar/Creation Station. We got there, and the group went on to find the clues. I was stopped by people making giant bubbles, hula hopping, and playing hand pan. It felt surreal as the rest of the forest was quiet, beams of light poking through the trees and cooled by the breeze. All while I am watching bubbles and listening to my favorite instrument. Fully immersed in what was happening, I started crying. There was so much peaceful energy all around me. And my brain was at peace. I have never had my brain feel so calm and relaxed. I just sat there, listening and crying for what felt like forever.



Eventually, the person who helped me through my stressful moment the day before eventually found me. After telling him what was happening, he sat down and cried. ‘I am so happy for you,’ he said, and we hugged each other and continued having a wonderful moment. His sister joined shortly after his arrival, and she was crying too. We asked if she was ok, and she said, ‘Yes, I just saw a random drawing with my cat’s name on it who just passed,’ we welcomed her with open arms to our little crying session! Here the 3 of us sat, crying, hugging, and laughing.

We re-grouped ourselves once the group found us, and we explained what was happening. I looked over and saw a friend from the past in the middle of the forest. We stared at each other out of disbelief that the other couldn’t be there. Eventually, I decided to risk it and say hello! We caught up with one another, and they were there performing at the Dream Emporium! So cool! You never know what the forest will bring. We gave hugs and parted ways so I could get ready for the rest of the Day.

It was still hot and humid getting back onto festival grounds, and the festival had turned into a dust bowl. Nearly every festivalgoer walking around had some sort of face covering up to protect themselves from the dust. But we made our way to the highly anticipated ISOxo at Sherwood Court and danced for the whole set.  and then went off to wander. 



We got another lavender lemonade and decided to sit out of the sun and relax at Carousel Club. We had no idea who would play next but decided to check out a new artist. 

Sitting at the back of the stage, the music started. The artist came out with a TV on his head, and the stage was decorated with everything from a drum kit, a keyboard, a guitar, and a microphone. My partner and I looked at each other with perplexed faces. What were we witnessing? As the artist kept playing, it drew us in, and we found ourselves standing up, moving closer to the stage, swaying, and then dancing. The moment the artist had us was when he asked for four volunteers, and they were to hold their hands up. He tells the crowd that he built a device he calls the ‘human drum machine,’ and he touches the volunteer’s hand to play them as an instrument.

This artist is Mobley – seeing his performance is an experience. His music is genre-bending and something to pay attention to. If you get a chance to see him – GO!!



The last two sets of the night were Svdden Death: Presents VOYD and Zeds Dead. I have seen both many times before, but both had great sets. After, the decision was to see Chris Lake or wander the forest. I decided to wander some more as we only had one more day of this experience, and I didn’t want to waste it. And by the 3rd night, I was starting to feel exhausted and knew if I went back to Tripolee, I was not walking back into the forest after.

Regardless of exhaustion, the night was magical. The air was cool. The forest was alive with artwork, fairy doors, and stages. People walking, sitting, talking, laughing, or laying a provided hammock everywhere you looked. My partner and I walked around enjoying one another’s company, and they asked me, ‘As a veteran raver and avid concertgoer, how would I describe forest to people? I thought….and said there isn’t a way to describe this place as it is a feeling. A sense of freedom to get lost and live presently. To become one with nature. A chance to get in touch with your inner child. You just have to experience it.

On that note, we returned to the campgrounds for a shower and a nice sleep before the last day. The day I have been waiting for.  To put into perspective how dusty it was when I got back to the campsite and peeled off my pastie, there was an outline of it from the dirt.


Again woken up by the inevitable heat, we got up and started packing when we noticed the clouds looming over the festival Sunday morning. All of us frantically looking at our phones, hoping it would pass the fest. We were wrong.

Electric Forest called for everyone to find shelter immediately. The clouds looked dark and ominous, and I shouted to my partner that we wouldn’t make it to Main Street and back. As we turned around, the rain started coming down in waves, and people yelling. We sprinted back to camp to throw the rest of the valuables in the car and get under a canopy. The wind was ripping through the campground. Canopies were flying. Tents were collapsing. All of us were holding the big canopy down and laughing. Eventually, we started passing around doing shots. 

We emerged, looking around at the carnage. Our canopy was bent up/destroyed! Our friend’s canopy was on our tent, and our tent had folded in. We were smart for packing the majority of our stuff earlier. As others emerged, the mass yelling of ‘we made it’ proceeded throughout the campgrounds. Another core memory was made!


Despite it raining for most of the remainder of the day, it was still a successful day and weekend. We got ready and went back into the forest for the final day. After all, it was PRIDE, and we couldn’t miss the celebration at the Honeycomb! The party was in full swing when we got there. The endless rainbow everywhere. People smiling and dancing. Performers in the middle. Some were waving rainbow flags, and some doing crazy flips in the air. We a spectacular spectacle.


As the party was ending, I got a couple more lavender lemonades. (don’t judge me, lol) and went to Sherwood Court. The time was here – the day I had been waiting for. It was time to see Apashe and the live brass ensemble! And you best believe I would be at the rail for this one. Apashe has one of the most unique sounds in the world of EDM. He manages to build this grand soundscape that almost brings you to another period of time. 

Before his set started, Apashe and Waisu came out and greeted the crowd. Waved and bowed and returned to the sides for the show to begin. 


The set was surreal, and his live set was mind-blowing. I stood there raging and being ridiculous, all while in complete awe. My entire day and festival were made! You just couldn’t take your eyes off the Sherwood Court stage. A show to watch anytime he’s on the lineup.



We wandered some more and caught some more sets, but ultimately I didn’t care what we did the rest of the time. I was just unbelievably happy with where I was, what I had experienced, and who I got to spend it with. But one thing for sure was that we were ending the festival with Above & Beyond, which was perfect! Utterly blown away by every second of it!! Such a balance between epically beautiful and downright nassssty!! I see why they have the phrase Group Therapy!! Seriously one of the best nights and nothing I will soon forget.


Electric Forest is an experience beyond the scope of almost any music festival in the U.S. The meticulous attention to detail that organizers and countless visual artists put into creating an environment conducive to childlike whimsy and wonder is something every live music fan should experience at least once. 

One thing I would love to see done differently is to bring back the umbrellas! I was really excited to see them and disappointed they were replaced. Additionally, trying to take photos of some of the sets was difficult as often the artist had an LED platform under them. You would try and get a photo in the pit and end up just getting their head.

Overall, it was a fantastic weekend! The food selection was great, even for vegetarians. The vibe was magical. The art installations were larger-than-life, both in terms of size as well as the fact they were created by world-renowned artists like Daniel Popper. The elements hidden in the forest are endless, physical, and abstract. The ability to throw out the schedule, be spontaneous, go with the flow, and have that energy reciprocated. Some of the best memories you will ever make.

If you ever have a chance to check out Electric Fores Music Festival, you should!



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