This year the festival culture is experiencing many 10 year reunions. This scene has been around for years now, and of the events that have presided over this auspicious period, perhaps no other festival offers such a dynamic lineup, and eclectic infrastructure as Lightning in a Bottle. This Festival has thrusted itself into new territory this year, bringing in at least 5k more people than it ever has (20,000 as opposed to 15,000 last year) and putting in more meticulous care into making the stages and art installations more next level than they ever have.
For those that have attended LIB before but missed this year, there have been some pretty awesome additions. The infamous Bamboo Stage has been ousted and replaced by its more impressive (and shadier) descendant the Thunder Stage. This new stage is more massive, more colorful and most importantly more hard hitting sonically than the Bamboo Stage ever was. Moreover, the the entire festival now boasts more shade and easier passage to all different areas of the festival, probably in response to complaints from festival goers last year.
The entire grounds of Lightning in a Bottle are riddled with art installations, from Burning Man famous steampunk teapots, to Android Jones’ signature visionary explorations, to things that are so out there they’re futile to try and describe – LiB is truly a place to let your imaginations run wild.
Take a peek at our photographer Ashley Andronowitz’s gallery to get a better feel of just how deep the rabbit hole went last weekend!
One of the most appealing things about Lightning in a Bottle is there’s literally something for everyone – If you’re not feeling a certain stage, there is always a tasteful contrast of music offered at the other stages at any given time. Even if you want to listen to music but want to keep it more low key, there is always more folk-y, acoustic alternatives at LiB’s boutique stages, such as the Grand Artique or the Jive Joint, curated by the infamous Imagine Nation.
Music aside, Lightning in a Bottle features a wide array of Yoga and workshops designed to stimulate and expand the mind in the periods when your dance floor stamina has been taken to its limit. Workshop highlights for me in particular were David Block’s “Anatomy of Creativity” and Dennis Mckenna’s “Plant and Human Co-Evolution.”
If asked to describe my experience at Lightning in a Bottle, the most succinct and accurate label I could come up with would be pairing the best parts of both Burning Man and Coachella, wrapped up into one weekend of mayhem and knowledge. The magic behind LiB lies in its afterglow – You leave expanded, fulfilled, and able to tap in to undiscovered realms of creativity inside your mind. Only something with the perfect combination of community, weirdness, and a collective desire to have the best damn party of your life can make something like LiB possible, and that’s what we like to call magic.