Into the Forest We Go

Festival Babes finally got to attend one of our bucket list festivals this year, Electric Forest. This review was much awaited but this year our summer was so packed and things kind of got away from us. Anyway, you heard right…

WE WENT TO ELECTRIC FOREST.

Was it amazing? Yes! Was it exhausting? Yes! Was it worth it? 100% yes!

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Getting There

The beginning of this story did not start out magical, unfortunately. This is how it all went down: Our airline somehow lost our bags, our bags didn’t arrive until after the shuttle pick-up we had already paid for for the following day, aaand that was the only shuttle pick-up for that day…so we were basically stranded in Detroit Thursday morning when we were supposed to be on our way to Electric Forest. To say we were having a rough start to our journey is an understatement. We ended up renting a truck to fit our things since we all flew with our camping gear (check out our previous post about flying with camping gear) and after all the trouble we finally made it to the venue. 

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Getting In

We have been to a number of festivals both small and large, with very few actually being efficiently organized where you don’t spend hours upon hours to get into the venue and find your camping spot. We had intended on doing walk-in camping with our friends we were meeting so all we had to do was to park our rental car anywhere they’d let us in car camping and then lug our stuff to avoid being closed in or sent far away. I don’t know if we just got lucky with the time we got there Thursday afternoon or if everyone else did early arrival but when we pulled up to the “line” we got in almost immediately. We were ushered to the road that led to group camping and BAM, a spot right by the entrance. All that traveling, and finally we were in!

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Art/Interactive Areas

Electric Forest is about so much more than just the music. There is a whole forest that comes alive at night, just waiting for you to wander. It’s actually hard, with how good the music lineup always is, to establish a fine balance between dancing to sets and exploring the forest! We enjoyed finding the little fairy doors at the base of trees with hidden gifts inside, or spotting random telephones in the forest that you’re supposed to answer if you hear them ringing. Pro tip: Always answer the phone, you won’t regret it 😉  There were so many things we didn’t have time to do, like the scavenger hunt, and are definitely committing to that next time! 

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We loved finding a piano in the forest where random festival-goers could play whatever they’d like. On Sunday night one of us was wandering past the piano and discovered a bathtub set up on the other side of it. I swear we didn’t notice it all weekend, so who knows if it was always there or randomly appeared at some point during the weekend! The bathtub looked pretty cozy with pillows in it, so we just had to check it out. 

Other entertaining areas to check out at Electric Forest included the Hangar, which was this huge covered area that had mini golfing, ping pong, and bowling; it was like a festival-style amusement center! There was also a sound healing dome, however it always had a ridiculously long line so we never got a chance to experience that. Throughout the forest there were also huge statues of wizards, Mother Nature, umbrellas hanging, and colorful twinkling lights to make the forest look like a fantasy land.

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Music

So usually we’d do a breakdown of our favorite artists and diagnose their sets but honestly we saw such good music throughout the festival weekend that we don’t have the time to discuss every set (bravo Electric Forest!) but we will mention who are favorite artists are that we actually saw! Some artists whom we love we didn’t manage to see whether it be: they were on the other side of the festival and we were too tired to walk that way, they were at the same time as someone we hadn’t seen live before, or they were on so early in the day and it was too hot for us to be out there dancing. 

Favorites: Odesza, Alison Wonderland, Kygo, Nghtmre and Slander, Manatee Commune, and Seven Lions. Shout out to Crooked Colours and Shaed for us not being totally familiar with you coming into the weekend but being so in love by the end. And T-Pain…oh the nostalgia. 

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The Weather

Oh man, the weather. So being Northern California girls, summers for us are hot and dry and at night it’s comfortable, unless you’re in the mountains where it does get cold. Electric Forest is interesting though because for a Midwest festival in June you experience three things: spontaneous thunder storms, sunshine, and humidity. Thankfully, we are planners and prepared for the chance of muddy terrain and constantly feeling sticky from heat but it still took some getting used to! We brought fur coats thinking it may get chilly enough at night but nope, the humidity kept it just warm enough that we were running around with little clothes on 😝 The days got warm and humid early on and it actually stormed pretty hard one of the days, but our campsite was safe and none of our stuff got damaged. Biggest advice we can give is to plan for all weather types!

The Gorgeous Nightmare

We were so excited to represent one of our favorite clothing brands, The Gorgeous Nightmare, all weekend! We did a takeover on her Instagram story and wore her festival clothing for the festival. Out of all the festival wear we own, Gorgeous Nightmare’s sets and pasties definitely make us feel the sexiest while still being so comfortable and unique. Look out for our official blog post dedicated to her festival clothing brand!

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Final Thoughts

We had the most fantastic time at Electric Forest. It lived up to its hype and all the stories we’ve heard of other people’s experiences. It is a well set up and organized festival and we can see why so many people travel far (including us) to get to witness this lovely festival. The big 10 year anniversary is next year, and you already KNOW these babes will be there. Expect a full report on what new adventures we went on the next time, because we can only imagine what craziness they’re going to bring for the 10th year!

P.S. if you’re on the fence on whether you’d be interested, check out this now well known social media drone picture of just PART of Electric Forest. ❤ Happy Forest, y’all.

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How to fly to a festival with camping gear

Camping festivals are the best festivals. But it’s always been daunting to think of going to a camping festival in another state. How will I get all of my camping stuff there? Do I drive? Do I fly?

We finally faced our fears and decided to attend Electric Forest this year. We knew we had to camp, that would be half the experience. We immediately crossed out the possibility of driving all the way there (30 plus hours in a car one way, no thanks) and decided to book flights. A lot of stress and anxiety went into figuring out how to fly with our camping gear, so hopefully with this post we can save you from some of that.

Number one, be prepared to check in bags. We flew Southwest because they let you check up to 2 bags for free, and you have a free carry-on too. We needed as much space as possible to fit all of our stuff.

Secondly, I would highly recommend investing in a backpacking pack. Having that longer body allows you to fit bigger items like a tent, that otherwise wouldn’t fit in a normal suitcase.

I will warn you that you are going to have to compromise, there’s just no way to fit all of your normal luxuries when you are flying. For example, we love having a big rug and pillows for our camp space, and there’s just no way of doing that. We knew we weren’t going to have our cooking gear, so we were going to have to buy more meals in the festival. Figure out what your essentials are, and what things you can live without.

We ended up purchasing some new camping items that would be easier to compress and pack up. As much as I love sleeping on a big air mattress, that just wasn’t feasible for flying. We found a great inflatable sleeping pad on Amazon that packs up nicely into a small bag. It’s easy to inflate and inflates decently high so you definitely are off the ground. It’s comfy and affordable! We also bought portable folding chairs that also pack up into a small bag. I cannot recommend these chairs enough! They’re durable, comfortable, and perfect for festivals.

For luggage, we each had a backpacking pack, a suitcase, and a backpack as our carry on. In the backpacking pack, I fit the tent for my friend and I, the foldable chair, my sleeping pad, a towel, a tapestry, a fur coat, and a few smaller items in the pockets (led lights, fun things like that). My friend fit my blanket and our tarps in one of her bags since she didn’t have to make room for the tent. My suitcase had all my clothes (we were forced to pack light and not bring a million options like we usually do), a pair of boots, and toiletries. My backpack had another pair of boots and more smaller items like sunglasses, a fan, etc. We also carried on our parasols onto the plane in their little bags. PSA: you can bring a parasol on a plane as long as it doesn’t have a pointy end! We also wore a big coat on the plane that we wanted for nights at the festival, so we could save room packing. You could also do this with boots if you didn’t have enough space. Since we didn’t have room to pack a pillow, we brought those little neck pillows on the plane and just used those as our pillows for the festival.

We did have to buy shade and a cooler when we got there, since we couldn’t figure out a way to fly with those things. We also stopped to get sandwich stuff and drinks for the weekend!

Although we originally were going to take the shuttles, we ended up renting a car for the weekend, which made everything so easy, and I’d absolutely recommend that! We had a lot of luggage for a shuttle anyway.

Another alternative if you don’t want to try to fly with all of your gear is shipping some of it out beforehand! If you don’t have any friends in the area to ship it to, I’d recommend flying out a day earlier, and shipping to the hotel you stay at. Hotels will receive packages for you and hold them until you arrive (although you should check with your hotel before you try to do this!)

All in all, our camp turned out looking pretty good for having to fly with everything! See for yourself-

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Good luck!