“Oh, the places you’ll go” at Electric Forest

Though we can’t speak with full confidence, we’d like to think if Dr. Seuss were to create a music festival, Electric Forest would be it.

In a previous article, we explained many of the unique amenities Rothbury’s Sherwood Forest has to offer. And, of course, the musical lineup is as solid as ever. But today as many of us are making final preparations for our journey, we’d like to take a more playful approach and provide you a few tips on making the most of your festival experience, through the words of Dr. Seuss himself.

After all, it’s the magic that makes the memories.

“Oh the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”

The time has finally come. The enchanting spirit of the Electric Forest is building among us and the grounds are awaiting our arrival. Whether it’s your first time there or you’re a veteran, the adventures awaiting are sure to be magical indeed!

“It’s opener, out there, in the wide, open air.”

The Forest is your playground. With expansive camping areas, a handful of live performance stages, massive art installations, a waterpark and golf course, and the forest itself all with in reach, the village is built and the scene is certainly set. It’s up to you to make it come alive. It’s helpful to familiarize yourself with the festival map before you arrive so you can focus on the journey, not the logistics.

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”

It takes courage to stand apart from the crowd in our everyday lives. But the Forest isn’t everyday life. And it’s far from “normal.”

This is your chance to be whoever you want to be. Whether you try out a new look or a new pick-up line, the possibilities are nearly endless.

Just remember your idea of fun may differ greatly from your neighbors so be respectful of each other. Sometimes differences bring us closer together than we could have ever imagined at first glance.

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”

You probably won’t hear this said in your office cubicle or board meeting. And for good reason. But, in the Forest, the norms of conformity are meant to be bent. Here you’ll find an environment where fantasy is encouraged and ‘weird’ is celebrated.

“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”

There are literal things to see: the lighting displays, the eccentric costumes, the musical performances. But if you look beyond the physical aspects, you’ll also see the beauty of the festival community forming around you. Be one with the experience.

“They say I’m old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!”

Sometimes it’s nice — if not necessary — to escape the hold technology has on our lives and enjoy a bit of the “old-fashioned” lifestyle for a bit. Leave the cell phone, tablets, and laptops packed away and enjoy the show and company of the people you’re with. While the Forest is certainly not a primitive experience, there’s a definite feeling of ‘escape’ one can gain when the electronic tethers are put to rest.

If you normally rely on your cell phone to find your friends, instead choose a meeting location when you arrive. And even then, sometimes you’ll find the newest and best of friends when you can’t locate your own.

“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.”

Attend a group yoga class. Participate in an African drum circle. Try out a hula hooping lesson. Lounge in a tree hammock. Listen to music you’ve never heard before.

Now’s the time to try something that maybe you’d be embarrassed, too busy, or don’t have the ability to try at home. Our minds are best enjoyed when kept open.

“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

Though your time at the Forest will lend you countless opportunities to try amazing new things, do so with care. Some may not always be in your best interest. No one wants the weekend to end prematurely because of one wrong turn. Be smart. Be safe. Be healthy. This includes the smaller — yet essential — things like staying hydrated and applying sunblock. Take care of yourself and the others around you.

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”

Electric Forest is a near ’round-the-clock experience for four full days and nights. It can be exhausting but that doesn’t mean you should put off an opportunity until “later” to explore an art installation, see a performance or make a new friend. You may regret passing on the chance thinking you would have more time later. Use your time wisely because all too quickly you’ll ask yourself….

“How did it get so late so soon?”

Your time in the Forest will go by more quickly than you’ll ever think. You’ll say:

“I’m glad we had the times together just to laugh and sing a song, seems like we just got started and then before you know it, the times we had together were gone.”

But in the end…

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Because you’ll always have the memories of the places you went and the people you met.


**All photos courtesy ElectricForestFestival.com. Quotes collected from various published Dr. Seuss texts and direct interview quotes. This was originally posted in June 2012.


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Kent Otto

Kent is founder and editor-in-chief. He's always had a love and passion for music of all types, but didn't discover the music festival scene and community until moving to Southern California during his early post-college years. He returned to his roots in the Midwest in 2011 and has since been determined to share the magic and beauty of the music scene with as many as possible. Email kent@edmcalendar.com.