Grand Rapids Cigarette Butt Cleanup // Danielle
Danielle committed to picking up cigarette butts in Grand Rapids, Michigan every Saturday for the past 8 months. In return, HQ is bringing Danielle back to The Forest and developing pocket ashtrays that she will distribute on site at Electric Forest 2019 with fellow Grand Rapids Wish Machine winner, Brandy!
“Rothbury 2009 was my first festival ever and for the last decade of summers, Electric Forest has been a huge part of my life. My first time to Double J Ranch was when I was 17 and I had barely been to any concerts. We went to see The Dead and discovered so many other great artists that weekend. I saw Pretty Lights at the Tripolee with probably only 100 people. The String Cheese Incident got back together. The bass coming from Sound Tribe’s EHM blared through the speakers with a loudness I had never heard before.
I was hooked. Even better than the music is all the amazing people that we met weekend. My friendships with the four friends I camped with strengthened so much and we grew such a tight bond. It was like I had been transported to a world with so many like-minded, kind hearted people. What a great experience!
I remember falling at the Matisyahu show that year and ten people reached out their hands to help me up. In 2017, I lost all my friends and a stranger helped me find them. Someone once literally lent me their shoes at a festival after I had lost mine so I could go inside a porta potty and use the restroom. The compassion from Forest Fam is everywhere. I always feel good vibes at Electric Forest and it’s because of all the great people that attend.
Another thing that has always kept me coming back is The String Cheese Incident. What an awesome band! I love how the guys encourage people to look out for each other and to explore music that they usually wouldn’t listen to. Forest has always been great at mixing many genres on the yearly lineup. We have met so many new people through different music but one family that has grown over the years is my Cheese family. Someone in the earlier years told me “there is no crowd like the Cheese crowd.” It is true. Although different music brings different fan bases, I’ve always witnessed so much love and care at the SCI shows. I think the Saturday spectacle is a really cool way to not only get everyone dancing, but to really start the party and appeal with stage performers, fireworks, and balloons.
I wanted to enter the Wish Machine because I thought it would be a great way to get my voice out there. At Rothbury ’09, campers were given pocket ashtrays to put their cigarette butts in instead of throwing them on the ground. Every year since then, I waited for the festival to hand them out again but they never did. It is my pleasure to be part of the initiative that is bringing Wish Machine branded pocket ashtrays to EF this year. Just as Mother Earth watches out for us, we need to give back to her. I am so excited to meet, dance, camp, and explore with new and old friends this year. This might be the best summer yet!”
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