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Lightning in a Bottle

Everything You Need to Know About Everyone’s Favorite Up-and-Coming Music Festival

Written By: Jilli Joffe

Photography Provided By: Watchara Photography

Nestled in the heart of Central Coast California is a transformational festival unlike any other, and it goes by the name of Lightning in a Bottle. Much more than just a music festival, LIB sets itself apart by offering attendees a consistently fresh, rewarding experience that’s as much about self-realization and spiritual experiences, as it is about music.

If you’ve ever been to Coachella and wandered into the Do LaB, then you’ll have an inkling of what Lightning in a Bottle is all about. (The Do LaB actually founded LIB). In fact, there are many who’d tell you that the Do LaB is their highlight of Coachella. But if you aren’t familiar, then just imagine yourself immersed in a mystical wonderland of total acceptance and bomb-ass music, and you get the general picture. The festival’s ethos is perfectly summed up in The Do Lab’s mission statement – to promote sustainability, social cohesion, personal health, and creative expression. With LIB, they have achieved this and so much more. At this point, they’ve managed to reach near cult-status, and it should seem clear that Lightning in a Bottle should be on everyone’s festival-going bucket list this summer.

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And if Coachella could be considered ‘festival lite, ‘ with its VIP tents, glamping, and mainstream music, then think of Lightning in a Bottle as the full-fat festival experience for the true festival lover. On the festival spectrum, Lightning in a Bottle would probably sit closer to Burning Man, with its inspirational mix of music, art, and culture. Attendees are encouraged to camp on-site, and the festival even offers ‘boutique camping’ options for a more convenient and luxurious stay.

Visit the Lucent Temple of Consciousness for a yoga lesson taught by a master yogi or a mind-opening workshop. Eat local food in The Marketplace, a health foodie’s paradise. Immerse yourself in any of the visual and interactive art installations. And just enjoy the eclectic lineup of world-class musical acts. There’s so much going on at LIB that it would be impossible to cover it all in this one article. But I will say this: your LIB experience will be what you make of it, and as with most things, the more you put in, the more you will get out of it. Everyone’s experience will be different. The best way to enjoy it is just to sit back, relax, and let the day take you where it will. Don’t plan too much in advance and be open to any and all experiences that may present themselves. At Lightning in a Bottle, spontaneity is the name of the game.

In case you aren’t quite sold, it’s also worth mentioning that Lightning in a Bottle is an environmentally friendly festival. In fact, it’s the only festival in the United States to win ‘A Greener Festival’s’ Outstanding Award, which it’s managed to nab for the past five years. This is not only good for the environment, but also translates into free water for all attendees (no $6.00 water bottles at this festival!)

What to Wear:

Unlike some other festivals that can, at times, feel like an outfit contest (cough, Coachella, cough), LIB is NOT a fashion-centric festival. In fact, this festival is all about embracing authentic self-expression. So do go crazy, and do let that freak flag fly! Just keep one thing in mind – as with any festival – COMFORT IS KEY! LIB is all about enjoying yourself and creating a memorable experience. You want that experience to be a positive one, and not an uncomfortable one because your shoes were giving you blisters, or you felt like you were suffocating in some crazy polyester costume.

Temperatures can reach well over 80 degrees, and terrain can be rocky, so do make sure your clothes and especially shoes, are practical for the weather and location. I would suggest packing a good arrangement of things that you can mix and match depending on the weather, which will change throughout the day. Must-bring items include comfy shoes(!), bathing suits, some combination of shorts and t-shirt/tank. A big scarf that you can stuff into your bag for warmth and protection against an impromptu windstorm (happened to be a major concern at last year’s festival). And sunscreen!

Must See Acts:

I know I’ve been stressing that this festival isn’t strictly about the music, but with such an incredible lineup, it’s hard not to get caught up on all of the musical talents. Here are some acts you should try your best to catch:

Flume: Australian beatmaker whose sound brings together R&B, Hip hop, and pop music in a fresh new way

SBTRKT: A musical project led by Aaron Jerome integrating R&B with distant beats and silky female vocals for a post-dubstep sound

ODESZA: Seattle based duo making etherial electronic-pop fusion music you’ll have no choice but to dance to…

Griz: Electro-soul for the EDM lover

Thomas Jack: rising star from Australia, whose music is praised for its positive vibes

Bob Moses: duo of Vancouver natives who meld somber vocals and indie rock influences for a dark and dreamy result

Mikey Lion: San Diego native known for owning the dance floor with his tribal tech tracks

Koan sound: electronic music production duo from Bristol whose music falls under the category of glitch hop – drum and bass – neurofunk

TastyTreat: San Luis Obispo native whose sound has been compared to Bassnectar

John Digweed: Long celebrated English DJ who spins progressive house

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