1005149_691018687581252_957689313_n

From July 11-15, thousands of people were brought together by the Do LaB at Lake Skinner in California for of camping and music at a five day celebration known as Lightning in a Bottle. The festival has something for everyone, with exotic music, interactive attractions, incredible art pieces, and philosophical speeches. There was always something new and incredible to be found each day of the festival.

The festival featured three main stages: Lightning, Bamboo and Woogie. The Lightning stage was the biggest, featuring four color-changing pillars and two gigantic LCD screens. This behemoth hosted the most popular performers and brought the biggest crowds. The Bamboo stage was just as it the name implied, a huge stage designed entirely out of bamboo. It hosted a more bass-heavy lineup of trap and dub throughout the festival. The Woogie stage by far showcased the creativity of the stage designers for the festival, its design being basically a huge rainbow tree house. All the stages were fairly close to each other, so there weren’t any problems going from one to the next to see all of your favorite artists.

45780_410969032356755_129733438_n

Friday had some great sets. Blockhead, Emancipator, and A.Skillz stood out particularly, but the creme de la creme of the day were the Polish Ambassador and Purity Ring. Saturday’s lineup blew Friday out of the water. Jobot and Blackbird Blackbird got everyone dancing early in the day. Gladkill, Eskmo, Lowriderz and Nicolas Jarr all killed their sets, but Rusko and Griz came out on top with their spectacular performances leading out the night. Sunday started out strong with dancing at the Woogie stage with Gigamesh, Tim Green, and Pumpkin, but the spotlight quickly moved over to the splash pad (think children’s water park), as people from all corners of the festival ran over to be a part of the wet dance party that broke out as the water turned on. After that, Gladiator and HeRobust took over with some grimy trap at the Bamboo stage. The night continued over at the Lightning stage with Tycho and Paper Diamond. Then, for the last set of the night, Phutureprimative completely managed outshine Pantyraid back at Bamboo. It seemed that bass music held it’s grip on a willing audience over the course of the festiv

al. The daytime life was fun, but as the heat reached temperatures over 90 many were left burnt and apathetic. Fortunately, this only made the night life all the better as everyone found their energy at sunset and danced until dawn.Whenever you heard an 808-track, or a sub-bass ridden wub, it was sure to be followed by the visual of hundreds of people just getting down with it.

Splash Pad

Splash Pad

What really set this festival apart was the numerous art installations set up all over the grounds. Some of t

hese were unique live canvas paintings and huge attractions like the 3D Altervision tent, a massive 3D UV-reactive paint playground. My personal favorites were the Pineal Playground and Portal, something most Burners have experienced in the past year, which seemed to be a giant egg with spider legs. You can find all the live paintings on the Lightning In A Bottle website here.

1075826_410969945689997_606040315_n

There were two unique areas to the festival that you won’t find anywhere but LIB: the Temple of Consciousness and the Village. The Temple of Consciousness was the spiritual center of the festival which featured yoga, meditation, and philosophical speeches throughout each day to help you get in touch with your mind, body, and spirit. The Village was the cultural center of the festival and

had an archery range, medicine wheel, and various ceremonies to help you experience the aspects of certain Native American Cultures.

1069215_410970835689908_501918232_n

The food, which tends to be a make or break for prospective returning festival-goers, was excellent. Crepes, pizza, sushi, and liquid nitrogen ice cream were just a few of the great foods offered. Not one vendor left me feeling unsatisfied whatsoever, but try to bring some food with you because living off of the vendors will cost you at least $40 a day; that being said, it was worth every penny.

The camping was great for everyone who came early on Thursday and claimed the best spots, but for those like me who didn’t make it there until midnight after waiting in an atrocious box office line for hours on end, finding a spot was difficult and many of the latecomers were left uncomfortably close to the fire ant hills located throughout the campgrounds. Luckily the neighbors just so happened to be incredibly nice and helped me set up my tent in the middle of the night. The weather played a major role in the camping experience. The heat woke everyone up at around 7am every day and was relentless until sunset. Anyone who didn’t put on a nice suit of sunscreen daily became a lobster by the end of the festival. Camelbacks were also necessary equipment to keep from dehydration and heatstroke and I don’t know how I would’ve managed without one. However, the campground really came alive once the sets stopped for the night.  There were countless “renegade stages,” as they so called them, that kept the party going until sunrise.  The music honestly would not stop until 6am or so.

61709_410970035689988_205454917_n

The location had its pros and cons. The festival grounds were grassy and comfortable with plenty of shade, but the camping area was the opposite ,making for very uncomfortable sleep if you were not prepared with an air mattress. The lake taunted everyone all weekend and numerous hours were spent waiting for the unpredictable splash pad to turn on. All in all, the Do LaB did a fine job picking this year’s location, but if they happen find a grassier one for next year I won’t miss it much. If you missed this year’s LIB and don’t want to wait until next year for the Do LaB experience, look into the Symbiosis Gathering. It’s another fantastic Do LaB festival and this one actually has a usable lake! For details on the Symbiosis Gathering click here.

More than anything else, the people were what made LIB such a mind-blowing experience. Everyone was friendly and cooperative and many felt the environment had a strong similarity to Burning Man. Unlike most festivals, at LIB most of everyone was social and happy to meet new people on their journey. LIB also lacked the usual festival conformity of everyone doing the same thing, whether it be clothing, attitude, or dancing, during performances that is often seen at festivals like Coachella and EDC, simply because you don’t feel the same social pressure. The festival itself could pass as above and beyond, but with the energy and mindset that everyone embodies, LIB truly sets itself apart from the rest.

Lightning In A Bottle is more than a festival, it’s an experience.  The Electric Sloth team spent the weekend exploring the festival grounds to find thousands upon thousands of ridiculously loving, friendly people, incredible music, unparalleled dance parties, amazing food, and artistic prowess the likes of which you would see in a Soho gallery.  This is one experience you absolutely cannot miss, so for all of you who are wavering on whether or not to buy your ticket for next year, I will tell you this: Take the leap of faith.

 

Contributing Writer: Hunter Louis