Music festivals have a terrible reputation for leaving behind a mess afterwards. Camping festivals, especially, are known to leave a wreck in their wake (has anyone ever heard of Creamfields being called Trashfields? Or seen the dust covered bikes after Burning Man? We have.)

Electric Forest is a festival that tries to break that mold. After the last set on every stage, the infamous, “Prize Cart!” jingle can be heard. A cart wagon with volunteers pulls up, and trash bags are handed out to everyone. Festival goers pick up trash around that stage area, and can trade it in for various prizes-a small pouch with pins and lip balm for smaller amounts of trash, and larger prizes such as drawstring bags for trash bags that are more full.

Electric Forest also has Electricology, their recycling and sustainability program. Festival goers can bring trash and recycling to their neighborhood EcoZone, earn EcoPoints, and trade them in for prizes-including festival tickets for the following year. It is their way of trying to keep the Forest green and litter-free.

All of this makes it even more sad that a week since weekend two ended, Double JJ Resort, where the festival is held, was still a mess. Crews were even working on the Fourth of July, working to clear up all of the trash campers left behind. According to Rothbury residents, this is an occurrence that happens every year. The Electric Forest staff is tasked with cleaning up after the festival and leaving it spotless so that the Resort can continue its business until June of the next year.

This year’s trash was reported as worse than years prior, even leaving an unfortunate smell behind. Some were left wondering if it was because the Eletricology prize changed this year from a lifetime of Forests to just a Goodlife package for 2019. Hopefully, Electric Forest will be able to instill a stronger enthusiasm for Electricology within the Forest family for future years. This way, the festival that we all know and love does not leave a bad smell behind (in the literal and metaphorical sense) and continues to align with its mission of sustainability, activeness, and respect for the Forest and the family within.

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