June 17th, 2020

We want to be crystal clear. BLACK LIVES MATTER.

Art By KMG Studio & Luc L’amour

A message to the Forest Family from HQ:

As many cultural events, organizations, artists, bands and brands have released statements addressing the current climate of social injustice in the U.S., you may be wondering why you have not seen anything from Electric Forest HQ until now.

On a personal level, our team (of mostly white people) took the last two weeks to be focused on our own actions of learning, listening, donating, organizing, and protesting. As HQ, we wanted to take time before entering the discussion so that we could be action-based and not take anything away from the voices that urgently need to be heard.

We want to be crystal clear. BLACK LIVES MATTER. There are insidious systemic forces that create a deep climate of inequity and danger for Black and Brown people. Millions witnessed the death of George Floyd before even having the chance to grieve for Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the unjust killings of so many Black people before them. Millions more have felt the effects of these forces for the entirety of our nation’s history. This must not continue.

To many, Electric Forest is known as a place of deep acceptance, discovery, and connectedness. The Forest Family is world renowned for our ideals of peace, love, and community.

Yet as we listen, learn, and join in the collective outrage, we recognize that simply valuing equity, justice, peace, and love isn’t good enough. Real action is needed now and forever in the future.

What does that mean for us, as a music festival, as Forest HQ, as The Forest Family – and more importantly, what can we do about it?

We know enough to understand that we don’t hold all the answers today, and won’t have the answers tomorrow either. We will need to embark on a journey that calls in and seeks out guidance and collaboration with many diverse perspectives.

Here is where we are starting:

  • We are committed to investing in opportunities for Forest HQ and the Forest Family to amplify Black and Brown voices, vision, and most importantly, the actions of those aiming to combat racial injustice using programs such as The Wish Machine, The UnMEDIAted Creator Incubator, Electricology, The Brainery and other Plug In Programs.
  • We are committed to shifting focus in our Music In Schools program to provide Black and Brown communities in Michigan educational opportunities for music festival production and music instruction.
  • We are committed to uncovering and dismantling white supremacy culture and the inherent and unconscious biases that affect how HQ assembles our staffing, vendors, law enforcement, musicians and artists, and the type of art installations we select at Electric Forest.

Our biggest commitment is to hold each other accountable for sustained action and discourse.

In this pursuit, HQ is developing a Social Justice Accountability Group. This group will support businesses and festival companies who have made public commitments to social justice and internal change and will offer mentorship, transparency, and accountability to keep these initiatives going strong with longevity in mind.

We invite you to join us in shaping these and our future commitments by sharing any ideas you may have with HQ at SocialJustice@ElectricForestFestival.com.

Let’s work together to change the deep-seeded racism and injustice that keeps our country separated. Let’s use our voices to drive change, and propel forward with action together, relentlessly, forever, and for good.

Forest HQ