Set to return to Double JJ Ranch in just a few short weeks, Electric Forest 2018 sets itself apart from other festivals in more ways than one, here is the story of how it all begun.
In the video history on the Electric Forest website there is a series entitled “ONCE UPON THE FOREST” available for viewing which gives an inside look at what is like to attend this magical community known as Sherwood Forest. This is a 5 part video series: TIME, AWAKENING, INSPIRATION, DISCOVERY, and HEROES.
The AWAKENING chapter explains how this forest came to be…
“Believe it or not, in two mornings we planted that entire section that the electric forest stands in today. To think that this all started with a bunch of seeds. I never would have imagined what it would be like today.” Walter “Wally” Wojack
Wally Wojack started it all in 1955 when he made the decision to plant these seeds in a section of his Ranch. Located only 9 miles from Lake Michigan, the resort itself dates back to the 1930’s when it was named “The Jack & Jill Ranch”. Wally became the owner of the property and then later on decided to rename it in the 1970’s to the Double JJ Resort. Fast forward to 2008 when this location became the original “Rothbury Festival” which then consisted of jam and rock bands.
In 2010 the festival took a hiatus but when it returned in 2011, Madison House and Insomniac Events presented the very first Electric Forest. Over the years it has grown so voluminous that in 2017 the festival produced two weekends of entertainment and wonderment for music enthusiasts to attend and spark their own personal evolvement.
Wally himself attended these events and he always greeted festival goers coming in and waved goodbye as everyone went back to reality. In Wally’s reality this was his home, a place where he let the inspired youth of America invade with love and respect. This beautiful soul is no longer with us in the physical world but his memory lives on. To watch the backstory on the man who started it all, view “IN CELEBRATION OF WALLY”, which is dedicated in his memory 1927-2017. So maybe this year we can yell “WALLY!” verse “Carl!” or both…
Another important piece of the Electric Forest puzzle is that there are many Plug-In Participation Programs
These programs are associated with bringing together different members of this community to connect. The point of these programs is for individuals to interact with one another on a level platform whether they are similar or different from one another. Whoever you are or whatever you do, this amazing experience is being shared together and the connection created in the Forest Fam will last forever.
Check out Electric Forest’s 2018 Mix of the Week Playlist:
The Plug-In that stands out to me the most is the Wish Machine. The purpose is to create an environment that is positive and to spread the love in our communities across the nation. It all comes full circle back to Wally Wojack and his planting of those seeds.
“In celebration of his sustainable efforts in the local community, Jake wishes for The Forest to do the same – by planting a tree and dedicating it to the man who started it all. To applaud his positive impact, Electric Forest is proud to announce ‘The Wally Tree’ – a celebration of beloved Forest Family member and Sherwood Forest’s original Lorax, Wally Wojack.”
The memory of Wally will live on forever in Sherwood Forest. See this wish come true and stop by ‘The Wally Tree’ to pay your respects. Personally, I feel rejuvenated by the joyous energy that Wally put out into the world. This will be my first journey to Rothbury and I am more than ready to embrace the enchantment of the Electric Forest. I’ll be stopping by to say hi to Wally’s tree very soon. See you all there!