Lightning In A Bottle 2019 has had a set change, but The Do Lab’s dedication to magic and art has ensured that the Lightning we know and love hasn’t gone anywhere.
The location reset forced LIB to take a fresh look at the what makes their festival so great, and in the process knocked it out of Lake Buena Vista.
Walking through Lightning in a Bottle often feels like the experience of transforming into who you want to be, as well as observing where you’ve been.
It’s a forgiving space for first time festival goers, as well as a cultivation of high end art and entertainment that will stimulate even the most jaded festival pros.
It feels like throwing it back on a Tuesday and listening to your favorite band from high school – you still know the lyrics and it feels comfortable, but you might pick up on some new meanings behind the words.
Navigating the LIB grounds with your shoulders held high, you have the ability to choose how to play with your reality. Strangers and friends swirl around you as thousands of adventures and communities overlap.
The name of the festival itself pays homage to the light that can spark in a container, or the realizations and new perspectives we experience when we take the steps to be in a creative and intentional environment. What elements add to a container, or in this case, “the bottle?” LIB’s extremely recognizable stages have grown over time, but have remained authentic and cohesive.
With the addition of The Stacks stage this year, all of the stages remained true to the energy they held in Bradley. It has officially been proven that a Woogie is a Woogie, no matter what part of California that Woogie might lie.
The Lightning stage’s new design cleverly wove it into the art pieces on either side and the Thunder stage remained a cocoon that enveloped festival goers in bass throughout warm nights.
The new location notable left behind one piece of landscape that most LIB veterans won’t miss: hills. The massive bridges and elevation change at the old San Antonio site might have been great for high fives, but your legs would pay the price for a jaunt across the grounds. Conversely, the new location offered a welcome reprieve from hiking it across the sprawling fest and added to the feeling of ease and flow that many felt throughout the weekend.
Adding to the hype of the weekend, LIB’s musical talent went above and beyond with a blend of local and global artists that hit every sonic sweet spot.
Incredible sets throughout the weekend included a 6 hour Woogie Stage stretch of OMNOM followed by Walker & Royce b2b Ardalan, and Shiba San. Lane 8 and G Jones dominated Saturday night, in addition to an incredible throwback set for Santigold‘s 10 Years Gold tour.
Sunday’s artists closed down the festival with the melodic sounds of Rampue contrasted by Clozee playing one of the most talked about sets of the weekend.
Lightning In A Bottle has always curated a highly diverse and exciting lineup, one that finds this veteran stopping to enjoy new artists around every corner. Artists we discovered and can’t get enough of include Spectacle, SwinGrowlers, Jan Blondvquist and Live Band, Balkan Bounce, and Megan Hamilton.
Echoes of Disclosure’s older hits carried through the campgrounds from the main stage, with the final lyrics drifting through the venue ringing of significance:
“You help me lose my mind, And you believe something I can’t define”.
At events like LIB, the most powerful things are not thought, they are felt. They are undefinable and they are best described with broad terms like magic, connection, and progress.
That’s not to say LIB 2019 didn’t have it fair share of setbacks, including fires, floods, and actual lightning.
My heart sank as I woke up Friday morning surveyed the scene beyond the comfort of my tent flaps. Water. Mud. And tons of it. However, the grit and love of longtime LIB fans couldn’t be held back by the momentary monsoons. With the sun came the magic, and LIB’ers found themselves dancing on solid ground again.
The carefully curated workshops and talks lend to LIB’s reputation as an incubator of new thought for those who seek out knowledge and inspiration.
The Learning Kitchen, a LIB staple, was busy all day long with hands on workshops on food and herbs. Seminars on yoga, breathwork, meditation, and expression through the arts turned attendees into students.
The focus on transformation fused with such an enticing lineup, makes LIB such an important player in the festival community. Transformation on site is accessible without being overbearing, palatable to the general public and still powerful.
The spirit of intention and education is what made Lightning In A Bottle present. It’s the magic and influence LIB brings into each and every attendees life – that sense of childlike curiosity imbued with ancient wisdom. The playfulness, the wistfulness, the sounds, the crying and the laughs.