Walking through the gates of Forest is nothing short of entering a dreamland. The line wraps back and forth, prompting guests to high five, cheer, and shout “Happy Forest” to each other as they make their way into the fest itself. With all of the nine stages of this event seeming honestly overwhelming at first glance, we wanted to take a deeper dive into breaking down all of the stages that this magical event had to offer:
The Tripolee entrance stage is overlooked by a glimmering Ferris wheel and is surrounded by vendors with tons of open space. This year, the Tripolee stage hosted some of our favorite moments of Electric Forest, including performances from Lick, Said the Sky, Wooli, Alison Wonderland, Yotto, and Seven Lions. This stage had an abundance of open room and was obviously intended for a crowd that really likes to dance.
To our pleasant surprise, no matter what size the crowd grew to, we could always find ourselves with plenty of personal space to enjoy the show as we wished. This led to a permanent tendency to migrate back towards that stage through the weekend.
Climbing past the Tripolee stage the path of the fest guides guests up a hill and right into the Ranch Arena. With an expansive grass covered area, this arena was home to some of the biggest crowds of the weekend. The Ranch Arena hosts one of the most massive and professionally equipped stages we have ever experiences at an event. This stage looked as if it was designed to be reminiscent of a time machine, taking the lighting, design, production, and sound to an unimaginable level.
Some of our favorite sets we caught in the Ranch Arena included Bassnectar, Odesza, String Cheese Incident, Zeds Dead, and our personal of the entire weekend, Kygo which featured a special tribute to his friend, Avicii, whose shimmering melodies sent hearts soaring from the pure beauty of this adventure. Whether you chose to battle for a spot at the rail, or hang in the back and sit on a blanket with your friends, this stage really revealed itself as the ultimate meeting spot of Forest.
The Observatory; The Honeycomb; The Silent Disco
Stepping out of Sherwood Forest and through its branches, we emerge into to some of the most interesting stages at this festival, The Observatory, The Honeycomb, and The Silent Disco. Though you can look at pictures of the forest as much as you want, there is nothing compared to strolling through it for the first time and seeing the magic that lies within. While walking under the arches reading “Sherwood Forest” we were overwhelmed with the attention to detail put into every corner of display by the creators of this festival.
With multiple free activities, areas to relax, and areas to explore, being inside Sherwood Forest was by far our favorite area to experience in the venue. Multiple times throughout the weekend we caught ourselves getting drawn to The Observatory to catch a more relaxed show from the side of the stage. The Honeycomb Stage hosted Steve Poltz, Memba, Lnyx, and Datura, and was the perfect place to catch a vibe. Both stages were surrounded by tall trees and lights all around, making it impossible to not be completely immersed in the experiences that were provided.
Past Sherwood Forest and emerging through its branches was Sherwood Court, which was another large venue experience fully equipped for live music. Here we had the pleasure of catching Opiuo, Claude Vonstroke, Ookay, The Floozies, Gorgon City, and The Polish Ambassador. This stage seemed to bring attendees together the most, as everyone, old friends and new, came together to experience the music as a family. This stage featured more of an overall bohemian vibe, defined by the gold decor and decorated with elephants and jewels. Surrounded by amazing music and even more positive vibes, Sherwood Court is the home of many memories made within the gates of Electric Forest.
Jubilee, The Hangar, the Carousel Club
Just to the left of Sherwood Court is where you can find the Jubilee stage and The Hangar, which hosted the Carousel Club stage. The Jubilee stage had a retro disco feel to it, but without the disco music, with its roller rink concrete flooring and tented ceiling. Here, we were able to catch the stunning music of Charles the First, Lettuce, and Defunk. Though the overall style of this stage was off the charts, the downside was that due to its size it tended to be overcrowded with the temperature under the tents getting a bit too hot at times, but it did leave plenty of opportunity to get lost in the flow of the groovy beats.
And last, but definitely not least, comes The Hangar, which served as the hub for a truly different kind of adventure. The Hangar is themed inside its walls as a “time machine” taking audiences back into the 1940s. Standing as the most immersive and interactive part of the forest, guests could go so far as to get a tattoo (temporary, of course), get their hair braided with brilliant festival dreads, go bowling and hit a strike, or even get a haircut at the barbershop.
The Hangar was also full of mystery, with games, treasure hunts, and things to discover hidden all around. The back of the Hangar hosted The Carousel Club, which was one of our favorite Forest surprises of the entire weekend. As a complete coincidence, we stumbled upon The Carousel Club which was small and immersive, themed as an old-school classic palm tree adorned disco party. With plenty of room to swing around and a great place to catch some AC, this spot is definitely a place to be explored when the next forest comes around.
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