The Magic of The Energy of Electric Forest 2023

Photo Courtesy of Electric Forest

If you ask 10 different people about why they are going to Electric Forest there is a very real chance you get 10 different answers. That is the beauty of Electric Forest. Once a year, thousands descend into Rothbury, Michigan for an incredible four days of music, camping, and being ‘home’ with their friends and family. 

For four days these thousands of music fans share and donate their energy to the Forest, to the performers, to their neighbors, and to themselves in hopes that that energy is returned back to them in some way

Whatever your reason for attending Electric Forest is – I believe there is one unequivocal truth about Forest. 

In some shape or form, the energy you build up and have been giving out will be returned to you in some way. Whether it’s a specific energy you started giving out upon arrival Thursday, or an energy that you’ve been giving for years. It’s the give-and-take properties of Forest that make it such a magical place.

Don’t let the magic of Forest be just a four-day yearly event. Carry it with you. Believe in it. When the time comes, that energy will be returned to you. It may happen in your everyday life. It may happen at Forest. Be open. Be kind. See you next year.

Daily Bread

Photo courtesy of Electric Forest

Daily Bread isn’t a stranger to Electric Forest, but after a few years off, he returned to Forest as a man with so much to give. After a nearly sold-out tour in support of his Invisible Cinema album, Daily Bread made a triumphant return to Electric Forest and played not one, not two, but three sets throughout the weekend. Each set different from the last, each with a curated vibe. One even as the sun came up at 6 am. As a performer, curating one set is hard enough, but preparing three different sets, each at a different time of day is a challenge in itself. But at the end of the weekend – you know what name I heard the most when hearing forest goers talk about who they liked the most or who surprised them the most? Daily Bread. (And he’s got beatz).

Give your energy to the people at Forest, and they will return it to you.

The Electric Forest Therapy Gecko Experience

Therapy Gecko was a late addition to the Electric Forest lineup. He’s most notably, not a therapist, but maybe even more notably indeed a gecko. His popular podcast features strangers calling in and talking about what is going on in their lives to facilitate raw, anonymous conversations. Therapy Gecko had 2 official ‘sets’ at Electric Forest’s Honeycomb stage, but one experience specifically showed the magic of the forest. 

A young man took the stage to share his experience with HPPD and psychosis. As the conversation continued, the young man shared his story, but one section, in particular, elicited a reaction from the crowd. The young man was against taking his prescribed medication. Therapy Gecko opened the floor and one voice immediately boomed over the others. Katie, a newly minted psychiatrist, and Electric Forest veteran almost demanded to take the stage. And she did.

She gave her take on everything from her teachings and real-life experience – and being able to see, at least what looked like, a genuine difference being made in this young man’s way of thinking was beautiful to see. He was brave enough to tell his story, and Katie was brave enough to share her experience and her learnings. I caught up with Katie for a few minutes after the experience and she said, “Moments of serendipity, small and large, occur in the forest if you are receptive, and each year I am convinced magic is real.”

Be receptive to the energy of the forest and the forest will give back. 

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Photo Courtesy of Electric Forest

Tomcat Burke

Tom ‘Tomcat’ Burke is a longtime Electric Forest attendee. After experiencing the magic of the forest firsthand for so many years, he knew he needed to be a part of the magic. He became a recurring cast member of the old Hangar for a few years, helping Forest family find their own piece of forest magic. After a few cameos on stage, this year was his first set as a billed artist on his own. Tomcat Burke’s set featured an incredible multi-genre DJ set with a 3 part horn section – which in its own way is my favorite part of the forest. Combining the organic with the electronic to create a brand new experience. And each experience, completely unique in its own way. A man that has donated his energy to the forest for many years, was given back the energy tenfold during the entirety of its set. In a small moment, he stopped to take in the crowd, as tears filled his face, I’m sure a million thoughts flooded in as the adrenaline started leaking from his body. A true gratefulness.

A true testament to putting your time and energy into the place you love and being rewarded with such an incredible moment. 

Post-rain experience

“Everyone has a plan until you get punched in the face” can be said about any extreme weather experience at a camping music festival. The weather agreed with forest-goers all weekend until a late afternoon midwest micro burst threw a wrench into everyone’s plans. I vividly remember sitting at my campsite with my girlfriend, a first-time forest go-er, and saying out loud, “Ok those clouds look exponentially spookier.” As the ominous dark clouds took over the skies and the wind picked up, any midwesterner could know what was coming next. Within minutes, the skies opened up and canopies were sky high in the air. Campers all around us were trying to decide whether to hold down their canopy or seek shelter. As we got in the car after protecting what we needed to protect, one overarching feeling took over and I said out loud – “The second this storm clears up the vibes are going to be immaculate.”

As the sun started to peek out, music could be heard from every campsite as campers started taking inventory of what they could salvage, what was trash, and what they had left to drink. As I sat on the roof of my car bumping Pretty Lights, I saw neighbors helping neighbors in every direction I looked. Beers were being passed, and stories from the last hour were being traded like war stories. As people started dancing again, people realized “We still have day four baby.” And just like that, the day was saved.

Believe in the energy you want, and you’ll find it at Forest. 

Levity’s Electric Forest Debut

Photo by Darkslides

Levity, a budding young trio from Chicago had no intention of making their Electric Forest debut in 2023, but as you give to the forest, the forest gives back. With a few Chicago headlining shows under their belt already and incredible opening sets for the likes of Madeon, Louis the Child, & more its clear they are gearing up for something big.

As first-time attendees in 2022, they immediately knew they needed to play Electric Forest and added another year of producing and performing under their belt. 1/3 of Levity, John, arrived to Forest on Wednesday. Thursday at 1 pm John was informed that they had the chance to play what would essentially be a 360 set at the Honeycomb stage at 7:30. Unfortunately due to time constraints only one other member could join, and by 6 pm 2/3 of Levity were ready to give their all to the Forest with nothing but a trusty USB.

The energy of their set immediately started filling the forest and as the tunes kept flowing, the crowd kept growing. They interacted with the crowd and professed their gratefulness while playing through a set that could be described as “hella fun” no matter what kind of music you like.

Put all your energy into what you love, and the forest will return it. 

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The Magic of The Energy of Electric Forest 2023