It has been a Herculean task to sift through close to 1000 pictures and pick a fraction of them for this post. I was having a hard time figuring out how to organize, sort, and present the pictures and videos I took. Did I even need words? Would I be able to describe our experience and do it justice? Well I sure am going to try, but I think in the end pictures are worth a thousand words, so I’m going to let you peruse my collection as a window through my camera lens into an amazing weekend of music, lights, and experience. Be sure to click on links that take you to some of the video clips I filmed.
We arrived Wednesday night, and unfortunately missed the VIP BBQ. We set up our tents and then went exploring. We were in Sherwood Court Tent Only camping which, after seeing how the main Good Life village was set up, I preferred immensely. We also had a great location, about 75ft from the entrance to the venue! One thing we were really impressed (as you can see from us taking pictures) with were the air-conditioned bathrooms that VIP got access to. Definitely validated the extra money we paid for VIP.We wandered over to see Olivia and her crew, for a bit before finally going to bed.
We had chosen to buy the brunch package for convenience, and boy did it not disappoint. All the “hot” food was a 1 trip only rule, but you could go back at any time to get more of the cold food. The brunch was DJ’d and there were endless mimosas or bloody mary. While a bit pricey, I highly recommend it if you can afford it.
The venue didn’t open for a couple hours, so we sat around and worked on our totem a bit. Eventually when we got to go in, it was amazing. We walked around and explored all the sights. I could write pages upon pages about all the cool things I saw and heard, so I’ll just try to write about a few highlights:
- Fake Church that you could get “married” to anything or anyone
- Robot Scavenger hunt art installation
- 20s (?) themed “Hanger” area that also had a a bunch of secrets (we got to a poetry brothel)
- The Trading post was a legitimate trading post! No money allowed, only bartering
- The giving tree where people left stuff around it for others. It was an unspoken give to get policy
- Free temporary tattoos!
- The umbrella lined pathway remains my favorite thing there. It was always a joy to walk through that area
- Loads of delicious food stalls (vegetarian/vegan options abound) and food trucks
- The Nitrogen Creamery truck took our totem and turned it into a smoking beacon
Sets from the first day include:
- Dixon’s Violin
- Wacka Flocka Flame
- Above & Beyond #2
- Bob Moses
- The London Souls
One of the best and most memorable things that happened all weekend, was at the Above & Beyond set. It had been raining most of the day, and there was concern the set would be canceled. But luckily no lightning showed up, so we just endured what was a pretty persistent drizzle that had been going on most of the day anyways. In the middle of their set, they started building to a huge drop. As it got closer the hype was building, and when they hit the drop the sky opened up and rained down as if nature was also really excited to be listening to the set. It was perfectly timed. I remember Adam turned to me and asked “How did they do that?!” and I said, what are you talking about? It’s not fake rain from a rain bar, it’s nature. It was magical, and I hope to be experience something so magical again in my life before I die.
We did a LOT the first day, After the last set (at 2 AM) I had to drive home for 3 hours so that I could attend a wedding and film it like I had agreed to. So I regrettably missed most of the 2nd day of forest. Luckily, there wasn’t anyone I absolutely wanted to see until midnight so I had excused myself from the wedding a little early to try to catch some of the ODESZA set.
ODESZA was one of the main reasons we chose to go Weekend 1, so I made sure to try to get back in time for it. While I missed the first half of the set, I still had a great time. I couldn’t find any of my crew, but after ODESZA we had agreed to go see NERO. So I wandered towards Tripolee and managed to find Hootor above the crowd and reunite with my crew. Also! Randomly saw Jon, whom I know from Ashley’s cask fest adventures! It was so coincidental and so awesome to find him in the crowd. It was quite a spectacle!! Headed to the VIP stage to check out who was playing after, before finally retiring to bed.
I took a lot of videos of ODESZA, it was a beautiful view and great music. I love them so much.
Another day, another Brunch! The music was awesome. More sets, and more wandering. One noticeable thing that happened was that we saw a group of people dressed as gnomes worshiping a garden gnome. Was surreal…and awesome.
Also there was some mad hula hoop dancing at Oliver Heldens; as well as at Bassnectar.
Sets we saw:
- Illenium. Front Row! We were basically at the rail! At one point, he brought out Dominic from Big Gigantic which was awesome:
- Oliver Heldens: who I didn’t know before this, but his set was amazing.
- Wingtip, who is one of my favorite EDM artists now. He had a great set. Super glad we stumbled onto him at the Forest Stage
- Bluegrass Generals
- Bassnectar, at one point Confetti was everywhere. Kind of wish we were in the “splash zone”. Nothing quite like having confetti shot at you and being surrounded by it
By the time Oliver Heldens was done, it was close to 3:30AM and we headed to the VIP stage to check it out. At which point we were a bit peckish so we ate some of the Freeze-dried backpacking food we had brought. By the time we went to bed the sun was starting to creep over the horizon. It had been a long day, but amazingly fun.
The last day of forest. What a whirlwind. We managed to discover a secret poetry brothel. We lost Patrick, only to find him again a few hours later. We danced at Big Gigantic. Adam had some MAD dance moves at the Matoma set. I randomly found another set of friends directly behind us at the same set. We finally checked out the silent disco and I regretted not hitting it up earlier. By the time we drove home, it was 5 AM and Adam and I sat in my hot tub for a good half hour, before I decided to get 2 hours of sleep before work.
What an unforgettable experience. I can’t wait to go back next year.
Until then Forest Fam