‘Electric Forces’ launches to share stories of renewal for military veterans

June 17, 2014

Pat and Tim with friends at last year’s Electric Forest Festival.

ROTHBURY ­– Electric Forest and THUMP, VICE’s electronic music channel, announce the launch of “Electric Forces”  ­– a unique music festival activation where U.S. Military veterans and festival goers share their stories of renewal in festival culture for video documentation during the sold-out festival.

 The fourth annual festival is set for June 26-29 at the Double JJ Resort.


The creation of Electric Forces was inspired by the stories of Pat and Tim (their last names were not publicized), two young wounded veterans who attended Electric Forest and were deeply moved by the community they found there. Pat and Tim’s chance encounter with a THUMP reporter at last year’s Electric Forest resulted in the story “Electronic Music Saved These Soldiers’ Lives.”  As Pat explains, “My friends took me to Electric Forest in 2012 when I was still lost. It changed my life. Everyone at that festival became my family within a few days and I can honestly say I think it saved my life.”

In this spirit, Electric Forces strives to nurture healing and to build connections between U.S. military veterans and music festival communities. For its Electric Forest debut, the Electric Forces program will engage both military and festival veterans in advance of the event to consider the story of community they would like to share with the world.  During the festival, veterans will host a video storytelling area where EF patrons can stop by, share their festival stories of realization, inspiration, and community, and interact with the veterans to create new experiences. THUMP will be on site to document the program for later release.


During the past 13 years of war, 2.5 million Americans have served in Iraq or Afghanistan or in many cases, both. Nearly 1 million have served multiple tours of duty. A total of 6,640 American service members have given their lives, and 50,887 have been wounded, with 1,715 enduring amputations. In addition, 357,122 have been non-visibly wounded with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and traumatic brain injuries. Upon returning home, over one million veterans have sought and obtained care from the Veterans Administration, and of that number, 55 percent have been treated for mental health issues. Another 800,000 are eligible for care at the VA, and these numbers are still on the rise.

For the great majority of these veterans, they are having a normal reaction to a horrific and abnormal situation ­– war. “It is widely understood that the best medicine and the way through for many veterans suffering from mental trauma is by nurturing ‘connectedness’ and a loving integration back into our extended community,” explains wounded veteran and Electric Forces founder Pat.  “This is accomplished one precious being at a time. This Electric Forces program offers our veterans a place for opening and for joy within a positive and meaningful service to the greater good. They are us and we are them ­– simple. Our hearts beat as one, and all are welcome here.”

Photos courtesy of THUMP.
Read THUMP’s stories about the program:


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