Lightning In A Bottle, a life changing experience in deed. On Memorial Day Weekend, May 21st-25th I made my way to the San Antonio Recreation Area in Bradley California. I remember arriving at the campground a little after 9 on Friday night. I was a bit skeptic of a festival of this magnitude, having only attended Coachella and with a group of friends. This time I was traveling alone and planned on staying only for one night. When I arrived I was faced with the dilemma of parking far from the campground I was to stay, there were no shuttles or trams to aid me carry my handful of bags and equipment…and so my weekend begins.
Struggling to find my way in the dark, through a strange place, full of seemingly strange people, loud music, crazy lights, I could help but wonder, what am I doing here? I walked through the dark ravines and bridges dragging my heavy bags, regretting every moment of it. There were a couple of times were I almost gave up, but a voice inside kept telling me keep going, don’t give up. At that moment I gazed up at the sky and realized that it was a beautiful night, a dark blue sky full of twinkling stars, so clear, I counted a handful of constellations. I regained the strength to keep walking and soon encountered a few caring and loving individuals that helped me make my way to my final destination.
I was happy to set up camp and too exhausted to join in any of the many celebrations going about around the campground. I felt asleep to the beat of electronic music fused with drums and the laughter of people. Since the initial plan was to stay for one night, I woke up early to make the most of my day and began my journey. First, I noticed that up on the mountain rested a nest, as I started climbing, I see big while letters among the tall brown grass that said “Create” was this a sign? Was I heading to create something or was it implying to recreate myself. The meditation temple was completely created and hosted by nature, quiet, peaceful, open, truly a mindful and serene experience with a majestic view.
Lightning In A Bottle you have intrigued me, I started to realize that Anything was Possible indeed. It wasn’t long before I realized that LIB was more than a music festival, there were dialogues & panels, yoga classes, group meditation, workshops, art and interactive areas. LIB was a transformation festival with a focus on sustainability, social cohesion, personal health and creative expression.
What started in 2000 as a small gathering to celebrate a beloved birthday 10 years later has turned into a gathering of over 20,000 likeminded individuals sharing in one LIB identity. An eclectic mix of music, art and culture, were live musical performances, guest speakers, visual and interactive art installations work in harmonious union to express the ethos and aspirations of this counterculture. The adventure bug kicked in and I decided to stay.
I began to merge in the world of LIB at The Lucent Temple of Consciousness, in the heart of the festival, there was a place that invited me to take part in the lighting of the collective fire of transformation and vision. A collection of world renowned visionaries, wisdom keepers, master teachers, healers, activists, performers, and musicians, captivated my mind, deepened my understanding of the universe, activated my body, expanded my mind and opened my heart.
Then there was The Village, a culture experiment born from the shared aspiration to explore what village life means and how to bring that into a contemporary context. At the village I learned to regenerate the world with permaculture, make seed ball, the significance of alternative energy and natural building. I learned about true nourishment and the importance of syncing with the water cycle and creating a sustainable living. Lightning in a Bottle is the only United States festival to win the “Outstanding Award” from A Greener Festival, five years in a row.
The festival was a paradise for art lovers, colorful installations were everywhere, air galleries, exhibition spaces, murals, paintings, live art work, and one of a kind work by some of the finest artists, such as, Aly Kourouma & Ngene Mwaura, Christina Angelina & EaseOne, Devin Liston & Gosha Levochkin, Hill Young & Caro Caro, Rachel Mandala & Dan Hampe, Van Saro & John Park, Daniel Bilmes, and Mear One, Evan Mendelson, Andrew Knights, Christophe Gausparro, Jordan Nice, Matthew Koscic “Lofti”, Shane Heath, Hans Walor, Anthony West “Sirios”, Stephen Williams, and Megan Stevens, to name a few.
As a music lover I was delighted by the line-up. The Main Stages, Lightning, Thunder and The Woogie offered great performances by some of the best musicians, with electro beats that had audiences dancing all night long. My favorites by far were Flume, Koan Sound, Danny Howells, Tycho, RL Grime and John Digweed.
Oh did I mentioned, LIB had some of the best shopping and food I have ever seen at any festival, the Martketplace offered community-made goods, clothing, jewelry, leather items, including a wide variety of vegetarian, raw, organic, and non-GMO options. A health foodies paradise!
Like my soul, there are many layers to LIB that I gracefully enjoyed to discover. Like a child I explored, experienced and gathered inspiration that will remain with me forever. The transformational journey that led me to this wonderful experience was rough but the end result was worth it. LIB created an environment of a collective humanity, one unified cosmic heart, a place to harmonically re-balance, to embody the energy of pure, divine love, peace and purity. Experiencing LIB has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, mentally, physically and spiritually. LIB to me was a magical experience, a gateway to a collective gathering of many beings of light, the awakened souls on this Earth, and for this I am grateful. LIB I will see you in 2016.
ABOUT DO LAB / LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE
Based in Los Angeles, Do LaB’s mission is to craft experience as art and bring communities together. Aside from showcasing musicians throughout Southern California, Do LaB is well known for creating unique art installations/stages and curating cuttingedge acts at Coachella in addition to producing Southern California’s premiere boutique music festival, Lightning in a Bottle, and the 2012 Winter Solstice event The Great Convergence, which took place at the pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Do LaB’s work has also been showcased at Virgin Music Festival, Global Gathering, Portugal’s Boom Festival and many more.
Next up, Do LaB brings you Woogie Weekend, a new festival dedicated to one of Lightning in a Bottle favorite stages. The new festival will take place at LIB’s old home at Oak Canyon Park in Silverado, CA on July 17th19th. 48hour discounted tickets go on sale beginning Saturday, May 30 at 10am.
All Photos by Diana Carolina for Gypset Magazine