Electric Forest and THUMP, VICE’s electronic music channel, announce the launch of “Electric Forces” – a unique music festival activation where U.S. Military Veterans and Electric Forest festivalgoers will share their stories of renewal in festival culture for video documentation during the sold out festival at Double JJ Resort in Rothbury, Mich. on June 26-29, 2014. THUMP broke the news of the Electric Forces launch in this article.
The creation of Electric Forces was inspired by the stories of Pat and Tim, two young wounded veterans who attended Electric Forest and were deeply moved by the community they found there. Matt and Tim’s chance encounter with a THUMP reporter at last year’s Electric Forest resulted in the story “Electronic Music Saved These Soldiers’ Lives.” As Pat explains, “My friends took me to Electric Forest in 2012 when I was still lost. It changed my life. Everyone at that festival became my family within a few days and I can honestly say I think it saved my life.”
In this spirit, Electric Forces strives to nurture healing and to build connectedness between U.S. military veterans and music festival communities. For its Electric Forest debut, the Electric Forces program will engage both military and festival veterans in advance of the event to consider the story of community they would like to share with the world. During the festival, Veterans will host a video storytelling area where EF patrons can stop by, share their festival stories of realization, inspiration, and community, and interact with the veterans to create new experiences. THUMP will be onsite to document the program for later release.
During the past 13 years of war, 2.5 million Americans have served in Iraq or Afghanistan or in many cases, both. Nearly 1 Million have served multiple tours of duty. 6,640 American service members have given their lives and 50,887 have been wounded, with 1,715 enduring amputations. In addition, 357,122 have been non-visibly wounded with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injuries. Upon returning home, over 1 million of the Veterans have sought and obtained care from the Veterans Administration and of that number, 55% have been treated for mental health issues. Another 800,000 are eligible for care at the VA, and these numbers are still on the rise.
For the great majority of these Veterans, they are having a normal reaction to a horrific and abnormal situation—War. “It is widely understood that the best medicine and the way through for many Veterans suffering from mental trauma is by nurturing connectedness and a loving integration back into our extended Community,” explains wounded Veteran and Electric Forces founder Pat. “This is accomplished one precious being at a time. This Electric Forces program offers our Veterans a place for opening and for joy within a positive and meaningful service to the greater good. They are us and we are them—simple. Our hearts beat as one, and all are welcome here.”
Entering its fourth year, Electric Forest is known for bringing together a passionate group of fans whose shared community spirit makes the festival a truly unique experience. The groundbreaking music and camping festival gives fans the chance to experience a diverse lineup of music while being surrounded by the beauty and magic of Sherwood Forest and its many colorful surprises. The festival incorporates the natural beauty of the venue into carefully crafted art pieces and creatively themed environments, while colorful interactive characters and storylines blend with eclectic performing artists and musicians. Bands confirmed to perform this year include The String Cheese Incident for three performances, including a special collaboration with Ms. Lauryn Hill dubbed The Ms. Lauryn Hill Incident, MOBY (DJ Set), Steve Angello, Umphrey’s McGee (2 Shows), STS9 (2 Shows), Zedd, Cut Copy, Flying Lotus, Zeds Dead, Kaytranada, Schoolboy Q, The Floozies, Matt & Kim, The Glitch Mob, Booka Shade Live, Stephen “Ragga” Marley, EOTO, Art Department, and Aloe Blacc and many others. The complete list of currently confirmed artists is available at www.electricforestfestival.com.
Tickets to Electric Forest are sold out!