Memories To Last A Lifetime: Reflections Of Lightning In A Bottle 2014

*written by Crystal Garcia for Electronica Life

It’s been a little over a month since the Los Angeles based event production company THE DO LAB, hosted their grandest Lightning In A Bottle festival to date. Lightning In A Bottle aka “LIB” to the devoted following of return attendees, is the ultimate festival experience unlike any other. Lightning In a Bottle is a celebration of music, art, sustainability and self-expression. Granted the focus is always the music for any event THE DO LAB produces and there is never a shortage of scantily clad girls and boys parading the grounds as any other music festival would have, LIB is a rare breed of festival that you can expect to discover a piece of your soul you never knew was missing.

LIB took place over Memorial Day weekend in Northern California at the San Antonio Recreation area, the ancestral home of the Native American Chumash nation. Over the next five days, every LIB attendee was encouraged to participate in a plethora of daily yoga and dance classes, educational and insightful workshops, ceremonies with the native Chumash Indians, a learning kitchen, and interactive art walks to name just a few of the sights to indulge  and experience.
Img-419333Each of the three main stages were set apart far enough from another that each stage gave the full experience and vibe intended. At the Lightning Stage, headlining act Phantogram performed a show unlike any other I’ve seen. Raw emotion flowed so freely and radiated throughout the performance, I understood the love,pain and heartbreak expressed throughout each song. Although there were a few thousand people in the crowd, I connected to the lyrics as if they were written just for me.Img-424798Also at the Lightning Stage was the Lucent Dossier Experience. A dance, fire, and aerial show so creative and elaborate it received a midnight time slot. Although I’ve attended LIB in past years, this was my first glimpse of the magic that is the Lucent Dossier Experience. The stage was complete with belly dancers, fire dancers, a human sphere, aerialist, DJ, and even a tribal orchestra. The entire stage was a production so pleasing to the human eye, it was impossible to take my eyes off the stage even for a few seconds. The experience is said to be “at its very core, a playground for the innovative genius child in all of us. It is a collective based on magic and inspiration, living by the ancient wisdom of choosing confidence over doubt, joy over pain and love over fear.”
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The Bamboo Stage hosted a multitude of acts showcasing various musical varieties from drum & bass to dirty, grimey, funky beats. The bass continued to pulsate while the drops brought the entire house down. As far as I could see into the crowd, heads were bobbing and bodies were grooving. With her interactive and engaging live performance qualities, Tokimonsta stays ingrained in my memory as the most memorable set at The Bamboo.
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At The Woogie Stage, tech house female DJ Duo Blond:ish took me on musical journey for the entirety of their set. With thumping bass lines and soulful melodies, I truly felt the music as I’ve never experienced before. I could literally feel the bass resonate in my chest, thanks in part to the Pure Groove Speakers that The Woogie was fully equipped with. The discovery of Blond:ish was partly accidental, as I had no intention of seeing them until I spontaneously decided to trek to The Woogie earlier than planned on Saturday night. I’m certain the stars aligned in my favor that night to discover one of my new favorite artist 🙂
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You will find just about anything you need here,but one thing you surely won’t find is a VIP area. LIB becomes alive and thrives each year as community of like minded individuals, a community in which everyone is encouraged to treat each other as one and the same. Artist roam freely on the festival grounds, and it’s not uncommon that you may casually engage in conversation with the person walking by your side only to realize they’re the new artist you just discovered last night.

Community really is everything at Lightning In A Bottle. While you may travel to the festival alone, you’re never actually alone. You see, there are no barriers at LIB. You’re invited to be yourself here, with no judgement or fears, anything goes. You’re encouraged to get outside your comfort zone and take actions you may otherwise not do outside of here, such as strike up conversations with people in line next to you. Who knows, maybe you will create new friendships that last long after the festival is over. A mentality of free thought dominates throughout, all you have to do is open your heart and free your mind.
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The founders of LIB strive to set a foundation for the ways in which we can begin to progress our daily lives from learning in a festival experience. Whether it’s through music, community, yoga, sustainability, art, creativity or love, the experiences had at LIB are those that will continue pushing our daily lives and the world forward. It’s impossible not to take a piece of your experience home with you, and let it guide you to remember the memories you made at LIB.

Until we gather again to make new memories at Lightning In A Bottle 2015, hold those memories tight and carry them with you.
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Photos by Daniel Zetterstrom