Sisters of Electric Forest's Her ForestArticle by: Brittany NO FOMO
Mon July 03, 2017 | 13:45 PM
Sometimes it takes traveling far away from what is considered the “real world” to experience enlightenment. With music festivals going beyond just entertainment and more into creating ways to learn and grow for their attendees, safe spaces in which you can meet like-minded individuals and blossom in a nurturing environment are becoming more common.
With that kind of forward thinking, Electric Forest Festival,
in partnership with Madison House Presents, offers the first-ever women’s community program at a major music festival, Her Forest,
and we were lucky enough to share in the community firsthand during its second year at the festival.
Her Forest is not only a significant move in the festival industry as a whole, it also holds a very special place in all the participants’ hearts. To start, the Her Forest gatherings simply bring friendly strangers together so that while one explores the grounds, she can run into familiar faces and not feel alone. For others, it’s a sacred, safe space to just feel comfortable, unwind, and safely vulnerable for the first time. And for all, the meetups, talks, and circles curated under the name Her Forest provide a more intimate experience and smaller home within the larger, beautiful infrastructure of the massive Electric Forest.
“It’s still in the beginning stages and it’s continuing to evolve,” Edith Johnson, Her Forest Women’s Group Camp Coordinator shares. “The sky is not even the limit – unlimited potential for this group.”
“We’re all sisters,” Kiki Federico emphasized throughout the talks and programs all weekend – an important foundation that all the women needed to hear to be reminded that identifying as a woman welcomes you into a beautiful, supportive community of sisterhood, at Electric Forest and in the real world.
Kiki Federico, Her Forest Program Leader, California
“I am beyond proud, excited, grateful, inspired, privileged to be a part of the team behind Her Forest – the first ever women’s community program at a major music festival. With the pillars of connection, comfort and inspiration, Her Forest is creating spaces for all those who identify as women and amplifying the feminine creative voice within the music industry – from production to artists to patrons.”
Electric Forest Green Monarch Queen Wizard, aka Celeste, Minnesota
“Last year I came to Her Forest, so I always come back to that sense of sisterhood and accomplishment because that support is what helped me get to the place I am now. Her Forest [campers], last year when I camped there, were encouraging me and supporting me…”
Bailey Banks, five-time attendee of Electric Forest, Michigan
“It’s amazing. It changed my life last year. It’s so powerful. I still don’t take the bracelet [from last year’s closing ceremony] off. It is such a grounding thing to have so many strangers be able to feel together.”
Leah Sindelar, Energy Healer, California
“Other festivals I’ve been to focus only on music, very heavy focus on that. It’s not as much the community vibe, so I thought it was very beautiful to come here and see that an energy healing session was actually held amongst a group of women [aiming] to empower people.”
Edith Johnson, aka The Festival Girl, Her Forest Women’s Group Camp Coordinator, Utah
“Her Forest camping is an opportunity to connect with other women in the Forest from diverse backgrounds and build a nest together, a touchstone we can come back to year after year and collaborate on. It will be something different every year!”
Katie Dunn, Edith's assistant and previous Her Forest camper, New York
“It’s about support inside and outside the Forest. So when you’re in this world, you then take it outside with you to the real world, you then realize other women are there to support you if only you start that conversation with them rather than [create] a competition.”
Natalie Marie Shapiro, Facilitator at Her Forest, California
“Her Forest is such an important part of this gathering. The inclusivity it offers to the voices, gifts and experiences of every person of all backgrounds and orientations is such a vital and powerful message to share at this moment in time.”
Jessica and Cathy
“One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever experienced. I’ve never experienced anything like this at a festival.” – Jessica
“Going to a festival… It’s not all just about… partying, it’s about connecting… and spreading good energy.” – Jessica and Cathy
“That was very special to connect with women in a space. There is so much going on and so much craziness, so it’s so nice to slow down, be present, be grounded in yourself.”
Teresa Vanderment and Polly Black
“Definitely within the women’s circle itself, it felt like home, even more than home.” – Polly
“I would come back [to Electric Forest] for something like this [the Her Forest circles]. Coming to dance in the woods and listen to music is cool, but it doesn’t nourish me in the way that this community is nourishing. This feeds me and is absolutely essential.” – Teresa