EVENT REVIEW: Electric Forest 2014 by Serafina Thoma



Sherwood Forest lanterns


EDM TOR covers Electric Forest 2014
June 26-30th

In Sherwood Forest of Rothbury Michigan, lies a magical place filled with talented artists, travelling musicians, unique performers, amazing food, and good vibes. As a first timer, my experience was eye opening and straight-up amazing. Living in the Greater Toronto Area and having experienced many artists who come through our cities often over the past few years, I decided EF was the place to finally see my favourite artists who never come through the GTA.

On the first day we had arrived before dinnertime, set up our camp, and made a ton of new friends to rave with. At 7:30 p.m. on the Tripolee Stage, I caught J Flip and Catz n Dogz, who both played chilled variations of house, but was very relaxed and bumpin’ as the sun started to set.  Soon after, I left for the Ranch Arena which had the biggest stage and sound system I’ve ever experienced in my life. I saw Glitch Mob perform their set from start to finish, mostly playing tracks off their new album “Love Death Immortality”, and a few favourites off their debut album. But the best track was their remix of The Prodigy’s track Breathe, which made everyone lose their marbles.  Zeds Dead came on afterwards, whom I’ve now seen 6 or 7 times. It was truly amazing to see Toronto talent not only kill it in the states, but to be so well received as musicians in the EDM scene. I’ve never seen them play for a crowd as big as that.

hammock cityOn the second day, I had the chance to wander through the forest before my favourite acts started. Yoga begins around noon every day at the main stage where Zeds Dead played, and it’s free for all. At that time, people also go into the forest with their hammocks and nap after a long night of partying ’til dawn.

I on the other hand, hunted for hot food, and found a school bus that made grilled cheeses with anything you could think of. Needless to say I came back 3 more times throughout the festival. There were also taco stands, which were vegan friendly, and quesadillas, fresh smoothies, French toast and breakfast stands, and burritos. It was amazing to find real food which energized you for another day of raving, especially from a staff that was so kind and hilarious.

tip jar

After getting food, I ventured into the forest which was equally as beautiful in the day as it is at night. It was still lit up, and the amount of colourful hammocks everywhere was cool to see. There was a saloon in the forest, with musical acts going all day of folk rock and alternative. I soon made my way back to the Tripolee Stage where all my favourite bass artists were. All in a row, I was able to see Protohype, Pegboard Nerds, Wilkinson, Dirtyphonics, I am Legion, 12th Planet, Bro Safari, Andy C and Excision.  Although with the challenges of any festival, I had to miss Andy C and Excision as some of my friends got sick towards the end of the evening with heat stroke, which is never a good combination with intoxication and dehydration.


We were lucky that our campsite was very close to the bass stage, by the RV camping, so only a ten minute walk away, we were still able to hear the acts from the comfort of our tent. We could even hear Zedd from farther away at the Ranch Arena, who played a good mixture of pop and dubstep. For other campsites that weren’t close to the venu entrance, the walk would about 45 minutes long in the heat. I was thankful as a first timer at EF, that we were already doing something right.

Every night from 3 a.m. til 7 a.m., we had local DJs from the states set up a mini stage right next to our campsite and rage til dawn. The party never stopped. We even had the pleasure of MoonBoots to come over to our campsite, sit down, and chill with us for a bit in the early am. It was such a welcoming environment for fans and artists to mesh and socialize.

On the third day, I woke up bright and early around 8 a.m. and went for a walk to the showers. It was a small fee of 10$ and was 100% WORTH IT! Finally feeling clean was a refreshing start to another 2 days left of raving. We feasted all morning and were visited by many people throughout the campsite who were selling their art, jewelry or handmade things. We had a friend who made amazing graphic tees for Electric Forest 2014 and even wrote out the entire lineup on the back of the shirt. He came around later that day after selling them to have us cut up and tiedye them!


owl pocketwatch

In the day I also ran off on an adventure by myself to see all the booths set up outside the venue in the centre of the camping traffic. I found more fresh food, and lots of artists selling their unique goods and clothes. This festival wasn’t just about the music, but about celebrating culture and diversity. I also noticed I didn’t meet a single rude or ignorant person the entire time. Everyone was approachable and good vibes only was the mantra.

When it was time to venture back into the forest, I thoroughly planned to jump from stage to stage and work my way through the entire venue so I couldn’t miss any musicians. I started at the back stage behind the forest, Sherwood Court where ScHoolboy Q was playing. During his set there were many hoola hoopers letting loose, and performers in the crowd entertaining those who were overly curious of their talent. I then took a walk through the forest again and discovered more areas I didn’t know existed. There was a giant treehouse that I walked into and had a tiny hidden stage inside, where people were drinking beer and hippie dancing. The energy was unreal.

Eventually I made my way back to Sherwood Court and caught the beginning of Flying Lotus’s set, which reminded me a lot of Amon Tobin with his ambient and abstract sounds which pieced together and made melodies. The visuals on the stage were amazing too and carried the themes of humanity and culture. It was so soothing that many people laid in the grass and just slept. My favourite set of the entire festival though, had to be Booka Shade just after, who reminded me a lot of Destructo who played earlier that day at the bass stage; lots of deep and progressive house, with retro feels. Everyone had to drop what they were doing and go nuts. I had never expected myself to fall in love with an artist so instantly like that before. It was hands down my favourite set of the entire festival.

After his set, we also stayed at Sherwood Court for STS9, which also killed it. I left half-way through the set to catch RAC at the forest stage, who’s known for remixing artists like Foster the People, Phoenix, Lana Del Rey and Chromeo. Although they were playing at 130am and my energy levels were lowering, I stayed for a bit and soaked up all those electronic jungle vibes. It was very progressive and chill. After a half hour I started making my way through the entire venue to the exit. I passed Art Department at the main stage on the way out, and was immediately grabbed by them when I heard Pendulum’s track Island drop.

The last day was jam packed with more artists I have been waiting years to see. I caught the beginning of K Theory which was a little disappointing but definitely not bad.  I made my way over to the forest stage where RAC had played the night before, and we waited for Kygo to play. It was interesting seeing him play just a few weeks before at the Hoxton, and then again in the forest. It was 5 times more packed. I could barely see him from where I was, and there was no room to dance. The dancefloor had trees in the middle of it for people to set their hammocks high up, which was awesome if you had a hammock, then you would have the best seat in the house. But I was satisfied sitting and listening to the jungle/future bass, and everyone sang along to all the tracks. His set suited the atmosphere perfectly.


kygo forest stage

I made my way back to the bass stage and saw Alex Metric for the second time, followed by What So Not who blew my mind, then Seven Lions played which I saw for the second time and was just as good as the first.  As soon as their set was done, people left the stage and headed for the forest. My friends and I were confused as we have been waiting a long time to see Cashmere Cat play, especially since they just played at the Hoxton in Toronto the night before. There was zero chance we were leaving. I was pleased with myself for making that decision, because everyone who stayed had room to dance and let go to the happy hippy beats. It felt very nostalgic.

After Cashmere Cat, we skipped GTA since we’ve seen them 2 or 3 times already, and I was able to catch some of The String Cheese Incident who headlines the festival every year, and plays 3 times over the 4 days for at least 3 hours each time. They covered everything from originals to Bob Marley. It was amazing hearing a real orchestra and brass instruments with powerful bass and vocals. It’s not normally my type of music, but when hearing it live there was no denying how moving it was. I remember standing in line for the bathroom during their set, and people were dancing in line to the music as they waited. It was just that good.

I didn’t even get to see half the artists that were there because there was just so much talent to offer. There were so many secret places to go within the venue, and little side stages that weren’t on the map because you had to explore to find them. This festival really is nothing in comparison to Veld or Digital Dreams. Friends everywhere made creative totem poles and raged with them all weekend long. If anyone every got separated from the crew, we could look for the totem pole in the crowd and reunite with our friends.


rob ford totem pole

On the way from the bass stage into the main arena, there was a giving tree where you can leave something and take something else. The idea alone was inspiring; to offer something to someone who may be in need or collecting an article to remind you of the giving tree. People left totem poles, flowers, cigarettes, phone chargers, friendship bracelets, money, anything. It demonstrated the amount of kindness that people have toward one another. It was very refreshing to see at a rave, let alone a giant festival with approximately 40,000 people.

I’m happy with my decision to invest in Electric Forest this year. I will be going back next year without a doubt, and I cannot wait to meet up with all my new friends and bring so many more with me from home. The experience gave me the best birthday of my entire life, and I couldn’t be happier with the amount of kindness and culture I was surrounded by for 4 days. I feel much more prepared for next time, as I will be decking out my camel pack with lights and hemp bracelets, making a kick-ass totem pole, and crazy costumes to rage in.

Check out my video log that I took only using my phone camera over the 4 days. You have to see it to believe it!



Electric Forest

EDM TORSerafina Thoma


About Author

Adele Desloges

Adele is the owner of Tranceported. She also heads up the social media as well as the photo and video teams, and was a promoter of events across the Toronto area for years. She has been a fan of Trance music since the mid-90s and has been shooting Trance events since 2011..

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