Back in 2014, my (then) future boyfriend, three friends and I drove 1,925 miles from Tempe, Arizona to Rothbury, Michigan. Here, at the Double JJ, Electric Forest made a very permanent imprint on my heart and mind. Here are a few things I wish someone had told my naive self back then.
If you’re just tryna “get lit”, you’re going to miss out on a lot.
I wish I hadn’t focused so much energy on eliminating my sobriety. I didn’t realize that my desire to have a good time was the main hindrance to me having the perfect time. The point of Forest is not solely to alter your consciousness via various substances. The point is to open your mind through music, connection, art, and empathy.
Keep your wits about you.
Unless you have a designated sober sitter in your group, it’s important not to take your fun to an excessive level. You very well could be standing next to someone who has overdone it, and your assistance could be important to their health and wellbeing. A man passed out right next to my group and my boyfriend sprang into action to support him. As he gave him water, the rest of us stood by in horror, unable to react for several moments. I began calling out for a paramedic and was met with a sea of bewildered faces and no action. We need to take care of each other out there.
Enjoy the people surrounding you.
Even though you may think your pals at your side will be there forever, the truth is that things could very well change. Enjoy these moments to the fullest. We never know how long we have together.
Get some shut eye.
Your brain needs a chance to catch up with all that’s happening around you. Sleep deprivation is seriously unhealthy and quite dangerous game to play. Though a sleepless night here or there won’t kill you, know that sleep debt can not be repaid. Road trippers especially need to make sure they are catching enough shut eye.
Bring. A. Canopy.
If you are tent camping a canopy to shade your tent is a must. Especially if you want to get that lovely sleep as previously mentioned.
Don’t add to the MOOP.
MOOP, otherwise known as Matter Out of Place, is not okay. Don’t be a litter bug! If you can muster up the strength some morning, get a rubber glove and a trash bag from a food vendor (though bringing your own would make it easier) and pick up some of the litter that finds its way to the Forest floor. Doing good deeds feels wonderful, especially at Forest.
Be safe & happy Forest!
(Featured image also by Mark Reddington)