What's new for 2023 compared to 2022?
2022 was an amazing inaugural year for Ecstatic Forest. We learned so much and so many attendees left inspired and with a sense of a new home. In an effort to always grow and improve, this is what is new for 2023:
- New venue – Spark River Ranch at Spiderwood Studios is a gorgeous 150-acre property in Central Texas on the Colorado River.
- Restrooms and showers – We have an upgraded shower trailer this year.
- Carside camping – All of our camping is car-side camping this year, meaning you don’t have to carry your camping equipment very far to get set up.
- Lineup – Equanimous and Ruby Chase kicked us off last year, and Mose, Swahe, and Naughty Princess are taking the musical reigns this year. Check out our full lineup at EcstaticForestTX.com.
- Createshop Tent – Create music, poetry, writing, crafts, and art in our fourth workshop theme tent.
- Hammock Valley – Take a nap with a view of the Colorado River. Use one of the existing hammocks or bring your own to add to the Hammock Valley.
- Goddess Garden – Do you identify as a woman and want to be amongst other females in the camping area? Join the Goddess Garden, and have a space designed just for you at the festival.
What is a transformational festival?
A transformational festival is a counterculture festival that espouses a community-building ethic, and a value system that celebrates life, personal growth, social responsibility, healthy living, and creative expression. Ecstatic Forest Festival is a transformational festival with a focus on healing through dance, flow, and play. All of the experiences are designed to be highly participatory and to have a positive impact on your soul and spirit.
Is this a music festival?
Though there is amazing music at Ecstatic Forest each night, this is definitely not a music festival. Every experience at Ecstatic Forest is meant to be participatory rather than passive. We want you to heal by moving to the music rather than just watching the artists. You are in a safe space and loved and are free to be in your full expression.
What is the food situation?
As a camping festival, you will definitely be able to bring any and all food you wish. We just ask that you minimize or eliminate the use of glass bottles and containers for your safety and those around you. There will also be multiple food, drink, and dessert vendors on-site at the festival, so you don’t have to bring any food if you don’t want to. Smooshy (formerly VegiWow) is back with their meal plans and amazing smooshies (part juice, part smoothie). You can pre-purchase your meal plans.
How can I help promote Ecstatic Forest festival?
- Add us on Facebook and Instagram at @EcstaticForestTX and share the posts that inspire you.
- Join our ambassador program and earn a commission by helping us sell tickets to the festival. We will show you how.
Policies and Procedures
What are the Ecstatic Forest Principles?
- 4 Agreements – We practice the principles of always do your best, don’t assume, don’t take things personally, and be impeccable with your word.
- Consent – We believe that consent is super sexy. Please read our consent guidelines in our festival rules and guidelines below.
- Safe space – All of Ecstatic Forest Festival is a safe space. Please read our safe space guidelines in our festival rules and guidelines below.
- No judgment – We practice no judgment. This means no judgment of others and no judgment of self. Spend your time at Ecstatic Forest Festival being the observer.
What are the festival rules and guidelines?
These rules and guidelines pertain to the entire event, from beginning to end and during and between all activities:
- Consent – This is a highly consent-based festival. Consent is required for any type of interaction with another person, not just physical interaction. If you want to approach someone for dancing or any other type of engagement and you do not know them well, approach them from the front to allow for eye contact as well as visual and verbal permission for engagement. If someone does not want to interact with you, follow the Four Agreements and do not take it personally and respect their space and energy.
- Alcohol – Ecstatic Forest Festival will not sell any alcohol or allow other vendors to do so. You are welcome to bring your own as an attendee, but we highly suggest that you experience this week without alcohol, especially during the evening dances. The evening experience is patterned after ecstatic dance, which is typically a sober dance.
- Plant medicine – We honor everyone on their plant medicine journeys. We highly recommend allowing the dance and movement to be your medicine for this event.
- Recreational drugs – We do not allow the sale or use of recreational or synthetic drugs at this event. Anyone caught selling or consuming recreational or synthetic drugs can be removed from the event with no refund.
- Safe space – As a whole, Ecstatic Forest Festival is a safe space. If for any reason you do not feel safe, please visit the Information Booth in the Vendor Village, and we will help you address your situation.
- Photography and videography – Please see our photography and videography policy question for details.
- No judgment – We believe in a judgment-free zone. This includes judgment of self as well as judgment of others. As long as words and behaviors are safe and do not violate any of the festival rules and guidelines, all of our attendees are free to express themselves as they see fit.
Ecstatic Forest Festival reserves the right to remove any attendee for any reason without a refund.
What is the photography and videography policy?
Though we are creating a safe and sacred space at Ecstatic Forest Festival, this is also a public event in the sense that photos and videos will be taken of attendees at the event by official photographers and videographers as well as other attendees. Attendees do reserve the right to ask a photographer or videographer to not take a particular picture or video of them, but please be cordial to them as they are just doing their jobs.
Each ticket purchaser and attendee agree that their likeness can be used in future marketing for Ecstatic Forest Festival with no compensation or explicit permission. Ecstatic Forest Festival will not be responsible for photos or videos being shared on social media or otherwise that lead to another person finding out that you attended the festival.
There will be certain workshops designated as no photography workshops. These will be noted on the schedule as well as reviewed by the workshop presenters at the beginning of each workshop. For these workshops, there may be a photographer or videographer that comes at the very beginning of the session and asks to take a group photo or video prior to the presenter closing the container. You can opt out of these specific photos or videos.
What happens if the event gets postponed?
We live in very uncertain times, and many events have had to shift event dates for many different reasons. All tickets will remain valid for any new date set for the festival in the case that the event time changes. Please keep in mind that like any other large event, we have a no refund policy even if the event date changes. You can use the ticket on the new date if we postpone, or you can transfer the ticket to someone else (sell or give). We are planning the event as rain or shine, so please prepare accordingly.
What is your COVID policy and other health guidelines?
We believe in adults making adult decisions for themselves and their personal autonomy. That being said, we ask all individuals to take common-sense precautions. Please do not attend the festival if you have symptoms of any illness. Being an outdoor event, everyone is encouraged to make personal decisions about social distancing and mask wearing. We have a strong consent-based culture and therefore any individual’s space and personal autonomy must be honored.
Though this will be highly unlikely, depending on the state of COVID and other diseases at the time of the festival or any state or local guidelines that may be implemented between now and the dates of the festival, Ecstatic Forest reserves the right to check temperatures at the door, require recent negative COVID tests, or any other measures we feel are necessary to ensure the safety of our attendees.
No refunds will be issued for attendees that are unable to attend due to COVID or any other reasons or that refuse to abide by any policies we have put in place. However, tickets are transferable to others (sell or give).
Can I be nude at Ecstatic Forest?
We honor the right of full self-expression at Ecstatic Forest. However, since we will have photographers and videographers documenting the event for future promotional purposes, we ask that everyone take that into consideration. Also, stay tuned for the workshop schedule for possible clothing-optional offerings.
Can I bring my children?
Ecstatic Forest is an adult-only festival. You must be 18 and up to purchase a ticket and be admitted.
How come I see a few children at the festival?
There will be a few select children of personnel on-site at the festival. This does not invalidate our no children policy for purchasing tickets and attendance at the festival.
Can I bring my pet?
We love pets at Ecstatic Forest, but we also love an environment where people are free to express themselves. We prefer that you leave your pets at home. Pets will be allowed on a leash and owners will be responsible for picking up their pet’s waste. No one wants to step in your pet’s waste. Please bring your own waste bags. This policy will be reviewed each year. If pet owners do not collectively act responsibly, we will consider becoming a no pet festival in future years.
Tickets and Admissions
How can I buy a ticket?
The only official way to buy a ticket will be via the payment options available on the ticket page on the Unique Mindful Events website. Accepted forms of payment include major credit cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Venmo, and PayPal Pay Later. There will be no cash ticket purchases on-site or elsewhere. The box office is your phone or computer.
From time to time, there may also be some resale tickets made available on our Ecstatic Forest Community Facebook group by ticket holders who may have had a change of plans and are selling their tickets. These will be verified by Ecstatic Forest and a comment will be made under the post for your reassurance. Please be aware of ticket scams and do not buy any unverified tickets. We are also not on Eventbrite or any other ticket platform. If you see tickets on any other platform, please do not purchase from them as it is a scam, and make us aware of their presence.
The ticket checkpoint at the festival will only be to check people in who have already purchased tickets, so please purchase your tickets prior to arriving at the festival. Also, cell signal may be spotty on the festival grounds and there will be no wifi provided, so please plan ahead and purchase your ticket prior to arriving.
What is the full general admission ticket price?
Full-price 5-day/4-night general admission tickets are $333 + taxes and fees.
Will there be any day or weekend passes made available?
Since we believe that transformation takes time and we are creating a container for those that wish to heal, there will be no single day or weekend passes offered at any point.
Preparing and Getting There
Where is the venue?
The venue is called Spark River Ranch at Spiderwood Studios. It is located on 140 Utley Road in Elgin, Texas.
How do I get there?
In Elgin, Texas, when you are on FM 969, do not turn onto the Utley Road entrance. From Austin or Dallas, you will most likely see the Ecstatic Forest flags before you get to Utley Road on your GPS. From Houston or San Antonio, you will most likely see the Ecstatic Forest flags after you pass Utley Road on your GPS. Turn in to that entrance and not Utley road itself.
What should I bring?
- Cash – for vendor or food purchases; cell signal might be spotty
- Battery – To charge phones and devices; there are no charging stations on site so please be prepared.
- Warm weather clothes
- Jacket (might get chilly at night)
- Swimsuit – for river
- Costumes and dance outfits – colorful under black light and summer of love theme are encouraged, but come as you want to be in your fullest expression
- Head lamp for walking around at night
- Earplugs – main stage will have music until 2AM
- Hand soap
- Food if cooking for yourself
- Dishes and utensils – help us minimize single use waste, even if you are purchasing meals from the food vendors
- Camping gear
- Sleeping pad or air mattress
- Sleeping bag or bedding (might get cold at night)
- Camp light
- Flow Arts Props – bring all your favorite toys, especially for the 4 flow arts workshops on the schedule (see below)
- Drums or other musical instruments
- Lighting – become a part of the magical lit up forest at night by wearing colorful LED lighting and/or environmentally responsible glowing items
- Yoga mat
- Water bottle
- Food (see below)
- Journal and writing utensils
- Toilet paper – porta potties will have toilet paper, but just in case
- Open heart
- Open mind
When should I arrive?
We highly encourage everyone to arrive as early as possible on Wednesday, April 19. The gates will open at 2pm. However, your first arrival to the festival must be between 9 am and 11 pm as those are the check-in hours. Once you are checked in and have received your wristbands and parking passes, you can come and go at any time.
What time do the gates open on Wednesday?
The gates will open for ticket holders at 2pm on Wednesday. This will give you ample time to park and set up your campsite prior to the opening ceremony.
What should I wear?
The theme this year is Summer of Love, so come at your full expression and dress up or down as much as you desire. The forest will be lit up with colorful lights at night, and we would love for you to add to that color with neon colors or clothes that shine under a black light while also wearing LED lights or environmentally responsible glow sticks. Body painting is also another fun way to enhance your festival gear.
Should I bring cash?
Food and other vendors at the festival will have their own payment methods and will be a mix of cash, card, and other digital transactions. We would suggest bringing some cash just in case vendors have difficulty connecting to the internet to run cards and other digital transactions.
Venue, Camping, Lodging, Cars, and Parking
Where do I go for information?
We will have an information booth conveniently located in the Vendor Village. Please look for the black tent canopy that says Ecstatic Forest Festival.
What are the parking options?
Currently, there are two parking options. All spots at the festival are first come, first served. If you arrive via a car service like Uber or are otherwise dropped off, there is no parking pass required. Please note that the front gate where you will get dropped off is about a mile from where the camping area and programming will be.
- Carside camping parking ($75) – All of our parking allows you to park near where you will be allowed to set up your tent.
- Oversized vehicle carside camping ($150) – If your van or RV is over 20 feet and you don’t need water, electric, or sewage hookups, choose this option. You will be able to park with all the other vehicles.
- RV camping with hookups ($300) – Unfortunately this option is sold out!
Do I need a parking pass if I'm getting dropped off with a car service like Uber or Lyft or a friend?
No. Camping is included in your festival pass, so you don’t need a parking pass if you will not have a vehicle staying on the property. Please note that the front gate where you will be getting dropped off is about a mile from the camping area and the field where programming will take place.
Is there a lost and found?
Please be respectful of the property of others and bring lost items to the information booth in the Vendor Village. Please also check here for found items.
Will there be a first aid station?
Ecstatic Forest Festival believes in safety first. We will have a first aid station in the Vendor Village with an on-site festival medic. Please look for the bright red canopy that says First Aid +.
What is the restroom and shower situation?
We will have an amazing 6-stall shower trailer along with 5 porta potties and an ADA accessible porta pottie and wash stations. They will all be in one central location right between the camping area and workshop area.
Where can I set up my tent?
You will be able to set up your tent in the clearing near where your vehicle is parked. There will be signs that state no tents beyond a certain point. There will also be no tents allowed down near the river. You are welcome to add a hammock to the Hammock Valley near the river, but any tent seen outside of the proper areas will be promptly removed without notice.
How do I get around the festival grounds?
The main parking area is very close to where all the activities will be. From that area to the river, which is about the furthest distance, will be about 2000 feet or less than a 5-minute walk. Since all camping is car-side camping, your gear will also be very close to your vehicle.
Can I see a map of the festival grounds?
The main page and ticket page will have a festival map once all details have been completed.
Will the front gate close at night?
The front gate will be monitored after 11 pm to 9 am each night but will be accessible. Please make sure that your first arrival is between 9 am and 11 pm as those are the check-in booth hours.
What kind of animals and critters can I expect at the venue?
Spark River Ranch at Spiderwood Studios is on 150 acres of pure nature. That means we will be possibly sharing space with our animal friends. Though most are not very common, please be aware of your surroundings for these animals as well as others:
- Ants, especially fire ants
- Feral hogs
Neither the venue nor the festival accepts any liability for your interactions with wildlife.
Programming and Entertainment
What can I expect as a daily schedule?
On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (the 3 full schedule days), the daily schedule will be as follows:
- 10 am – 11:15 am – Workshop 1
- 1 pm – 2:15 pm – Workshop 2
- 3 pm – 4:15 pm – Workshop 3
- 5 pm – 6:15 pm – Workshop 4
- 8 pm – 9 pm – Soulset Hour
- 9 pm – 11:30 pm – Music Set 1
- 11:30 pm – 2 am – Music Set 2
During the workshop times, you will be able to pick from one of up to 4 potential workshops (see below).
What types of workshops can I expect?
Our main workshop themes are movement and interactivity. There will be 40+ workshops divided into 4 workshop tents, so at any workshop time, you will have 4 options to choose from.
- Danceshop Tent – Individual movement
- Playshop Tent – Partner or group movement or movement with flow props
- Thinkshop Tent – Meditation, presentations, miscellaneous
- Createshop Tent – Make art, crafts, music, writing, and more
- Minishops – Short but informative workshops in the Vendor Village
All workshops will be 75 minutes in length with plenty of transition time from one workshop to the next for you to socialize, get food, shop at the vendor bazaar, or rest mindfully with what you just learned. The detailed workshop schedule will be released on March 19.
What type of evening entertainment can I expect?
Each evening will feature 2 DJ’s or live bands performing 2.5-hour deep dive sets with an ecstatic dance format or vibe. The vibe will be broad with spiritual, world, Afro-Latin, electronic, and trance influences. The first set will be from 9 PM to 11:30 PM and the second set will be from 11:30 PM to 2 AM. We will have one set on Wednesday evening after the opening ceremony, so please come early. Check out the lineup at EcstaticForestTX.com.
What types of ongoing experiences can I expect?
- Flower Power Lounge – Hang out and have conversations and play connection games at our summer of love themed lounge.
- Psychedelic Speakeasy – Enjoy the lights in this immersive lounge atmosphere, especially at night.
- Hammock Valley – Bring your hammock and hook up to some trees for a relaxing nap by the Colorado River.
- Fire Pit – Honor the fire element by the fire pit and enjoy the drum circles that form.
- Vendor Village – Interact and shop with our amazing vendors.