Every so often, a hero comes along to remind us that vigilant personal work and big dreams can have incredible results. From the Electric Forest family, hundreds reach out each year with hopes of achieving something miraculous. In their aspirations, we saw hope for the future and a chance to make small differences in the places where support, some love, and a little change are needed most. Leaders at Forest HQ got to talking about ways they could ally more with those who show up with such courage, and a short time later, the Wish Machine was born. The Wish Machine challenges The Forest Family to take action to turn their wish into reality. With it, several wishes are granted annually to inspire positive impacts to people and places all over the world, as well as back “home” at Electric Forest. To showcase and celebrate some of the most marvelous and dedicated among them, we’re sharing the most inspiring wishes, one-by-one, in a new series called Wish Machine Dreams.

Project Title: Superhero World Record with Odai & The String Cheese Incident

We all have heroes, but sometimes it’s easy to forget the simple fact that we all ARE heroes, too—or at least we all have the makings of one inside us, itching to come out! That’s what Odai impressed upon his friends and the Electric Forest community when he announced a flash mob of sorts for anyone who wanted to meet him at the Ranch Arena wearing a superhero costume. The effort was both a way to make friends and an opportunity to play a part in elevating the vibe on the dancefloor. The resulting experience was unlike any other in the history of Electric Forest, that’s why today it’s fondly recounted as a one-of-a-kind moment etched into the memory of all those who were there, whether they were there to participate in setting a world record or they simply happened to be a passerby at the time.

What’s the origin of the Superhero World Record with Odai & The String Cheese Incident? Where did it all begin?
Since I was a little kid, I always admired superheroes—specifically Batman, because he has no special powers, but he put in a lot of hard work and training to get to the level he’s at. So when my friends and I decided to go to The Forest, I suggested to do a day where all of us are dressed as superheroes. But then I thought maybe we should go bigger and get more people to wear superhero costumes. Once I saw that we were getting a lot of messages from The Forest fam saying how excited they are for the idea, I decided to reach out to the Electric Forest headquarters and see if they would sponsor the event. They were very helpful and got back to me very fast.

Why did you bring your wish to Electric Forest? What was your goal?
Electric Forest is the perfect place for such an event, because The Forest family are very positive people and very helpful. My goal was to prove that everything is possible if you put in the hard work. Also, my message behind this event was that everyone has a hero in them; they just have got to believe in themselves.

How did the Wish Machine inspire you beyond The Forest?
To be honest, I didn’t even know there was a Wish Machine before I came up with the idea, so I went ahead and sent an email with my idea. Then, I was instructed to go ahead and submit it through the Wish Machine.

How did The Forest help support you?
The Forest Family were very supportive from the beginning. I received a response to my email in a timely manner, and they were open to the idea and very excited about it. They helped me spread the word, and I don’t think I would’ve been able to achieve what we achieved without their support.

What was your favorite part of the Wish Machine program?
Seeing other people contributing and making my wish become a reality. Also, I was able to make a lot of new friends because of that event.

What unexpected challenges did you face?
My only challenge was that I’d never been to Electric Forest before, and I didn’t know what to expect. I also didn’t know a lot of people that were going, so I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough numbers. So, I started connecting with people via Facebook groups and Snapchat. That helped a lot!

How did folks respond to the Superhero World Record?
The responses I got were very positive. Everyone was encouraging me to go through with the idea.

What does the Wish Machine mean to you?
The Wish Machine is living proof that everything is possible. It’s such a great idea and a way to make people feel they are part of this big event. The Wish Machine certainly helped me achieve one of my all-time dreams, and that was to break a world record.

What advice would you share with someone pondering their own Wish?
Believe in your wish, and don’t hesitate to reach out to the good folks at Electric Forest—they are very helpful, and they will do whatever they can to help you get your wish! Also, don’t let negative people keep you from reaching for a dream.

Learn more about the Superhero Flash Mob and how to submit your own Wish to the Wish Machine.

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