Another year of Electric Forest has come and gone. For the first time since 2016, Electric Forest took place over just one weekend. Yes there was a bit more people than years past but after day 1 – there was no issues with that at all. As Electric Forest drew closer – all eyes were on the weather – as storms were forecasted for…well most of the weekend. But the magic of Electric Forest pushed through. Minus a little storm on Friday morning – skies were clear – and the music was uninterrupted. We were lucky enough to swing by Electric Forest 2019 again this year – and wrote about some of our favorite things we ‘learned’ at this year’s event. See you all next year!
Drum and Bass Isn’t Dead (And Neither Is Disco)
The only reason Electric Forest has the free-reign to book such an eclectic roster of artists year after year is because of the open-minded forest goers that attend every year. It’s a give and take relationship that has helped this community thrive into what it is today. Besides an absolutely mental all D&B set from Loadstar and DC Breaks, so many artists made drum and bass a prominent part of their set and brought D&B to the mainstages. Zeds Dead and Claude Von Stroke being two of them. And it worked every time. It didn’t create a general feeling of “How do I move to this” like D&B has in years past.
Disco thrived as well. The Carousel Club on Friday at Electric Forest was completely dedicated to disco music – and if you happened to make your way in there during Yung Bae‘s set then you were a part of one of the most feel good dance parties all weekend. People were dancing to songs everyone knows, songs that only a few knew, but most importantly – everyone was dancing. Together.
One Frog Can Cause Quite A Ruckus
As thousands of awaiting Bassheads waited patiently for their yearly Forest Bassnectar set – there was a certain energy in the air. It’s a very specific energy that is only exists minutes before Bassnectar takes a stage. The crowd at forest is a mix of people seeing the king of sound for the first time, bassnectar veterans, and people that are just along for the ride. For the veterans – the first sound that came from the stage created an uproar and for good reason. The ever elusive ‘Ribbit’ from Bassnectar’s unreleased “Frog Song” kicked in – I heard someone say to their friend “Was that a frog?” as someone replied for him “F**K YEAH IT’S A FROG” The next hour and a half were an absolute onslaught packed with bassnectar gems – each one eliciting a primal reaction from the bass hungry crowd.
Louis The Child Belongs at Every Electric Forest
Louis The Child has been a part of Electric Forest in some capacity every year since 2016. Whether it was being officially booked on the lineup, or showing up for surprie monster b2b sets, or playing renegade RV sets. The Chicago duo always bring a certain kind of playful magic that is unmatched. 2019 was no different. They stopped by the RVs for a surprise b2b with ilo ilo on Friday night – but one of the highlights of the weekend was Louis The Child’s surprise set in The Carousel Club on Saturday night.
It was announced that the highly anticipated set from Honey Dijon would not be occuring – so Louis The Child would be filling in with a special Playground set. A Louis The Child playground set is completely open-format and by my count they only played 4 Louis the Child Songs in the span of a 90 minute set. But they came packed with surprises and were joined at the decks by Dr. Fresch, SNBRN, and Ookay. Besides some deep cuts from Bassnectar, the biggest crowd reaction may have come from Louis The Child’s set when they played out the original version of “Sleaze” by Knife Party. An EDM song from 2012 really did that.
Electric Forest Listens and Learns.
The biggest issue that people had when hearing that Electric Forest was going back to one weekend was the idea of overcrowding. It is no doubt that there more people in attendance of 2019 when you compare it to either weekend of 2017 and 2018 – but Electric Forest handled it beautifully. After long waits on Thursday to get into the venue, Electric Forest HQ tightened up and made for seamless entry the rest of the weekend. Things happen – but festivals are set apart when they prove how quickly they can fix those problems
There’s Something Magical About Hot Air Balloons
If you looked up at the sky during most of the weekend you could be greeted by a myriad of things. The most notable and memorable probably being hot air balloons – which there was no shortage of. Some balloons stayed stationary only going up and down where festivalgoers could join for a price.Other balloons ventured out of the venue and into the campgrounds – and might even land right next to your campsite. I know they are primitive in nature – but seeing the sky loaded with them is just another way that Electric Forest tries (And succeeds) to elicit some simple childhood wonder.
It Pays To Get Your 6 In The Forest Pin
A couple of years ago, Electric Forest introduced added perks for those who have attended multiple Electric Forests. If you have gone to 4 – you are eligible for the 4 in the forest pin and if you have gone to 6 – you are eligible for the 6 in the forest pin. Besides expedited entry into the venue – there are some other added perks. The coolest being an exclusive set that is only available to 6 in the forest pin holders.
This year’s set was a 2 hour extravaganza from Paper Diamond and Friends – and it was one of the coolest 2 hours of the entire weekend. Electric Forest opens the hangar only to those that have a pin – giving you a chance to explore the entire area, and all of the hidden secrets with less people. But the best part is the exclusive set. Paper Diamond played a 2 hour long set – the first half – was more a DJ set with Lane Shaw (of Pnuma) on the drums – before switching to the second hour which included Big Yuki on keys from Griz’s live band, along with Aaron and Brownie from the Disco Biscuits. It was intimate – and everyone knew they were part of something special.
No one has ever been inducted to the Forest Family faster than T-Pain
T-Pain made his Electric Forest debut in 2019 – and his debut was one of the most electric debuts I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing. At any festival. With Electric Forest’s less than stellar luck regarding rappers canceling last minute – social media immediately filled with comments worried that he would be another hip-hop act to fall to the cancellation graveyard – but luckily everyone claiming that T-Pain would miss his set was dead wrong. He took the crowd through his catalog of music – and as he got into his deep cuts – the crowd came more and more to life as they realized they could sing along. Welcome to the Forest Family, T-Pain. Bring Nappy Boy Radio back to The Forest soon.
Forest Fam Will Literally Give You The Shorts Off Their Own Legs
A few songs into T-Pain’s set he realized that it was almost 90 degrees and he was wearing jeans. It’s ok – it was T-pain’s first time in the forest. He wasn’t prepared. But in classic Forest fashion – someone was willing to take their cargo shorts off and throw them at T-pain. With a quick on stage pants change, T-Pain was ready to go.
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[All Photos Courtesy of Electric Forest]