By: Summer Luu

Take the personality of Burning Man, stir in mind-warping musicians and talent acts, sprinkle a giant size skeeball arena, add a dash of morning yoga and progressive eco-friendly workshops, mix it all up and what do you get? LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE.

The pilgrimage to this year’s Lightning In A Bottle festival was both spiritually rejuvenating and one hell of a hot rollercoaster ride. LIB is only in its infancy and it has already attracted the likes of artists such as Flume, Tycho, and SBTRKT this year. Last year, they had Moby, Little Dragon, Phantogram, Beats Antique and Gold Panda. Musicians aside, this festival is all about the experience. The experience of the people, the scenery, the music, the yoga, the workshops, the market, the art installations, the artists, the amusement and the list goes on…

The lack of security made me feel as if I wasn’t entering into a corporatized music festival like bigger named festivals do. To be honest, there wasn’t much security and I felt happier going into it because of that reason. The cost of freedom was none at this festival. Out of all the festivals I’ve been to on the West Coast (Coachella, Sasquatch, Outside Lands, FYF Fest, etc…), LIB was a new awakening. I have never been to a festival before that shook me raw to understand the conscious collectiveness that is in us all. Signs hung up all around the grounds: “Pack It In. Pack It Out.” reminding us to think progressively and reduce our carbon footprint.


There was 1 thing missing from the scenery….the lake! What happened to the lake? Oh, right. California is bone dry. The missing body of water left us all in deep thought about how you don’t fuck with Mother Nature and to stop wasting water as if it were pocket change. Water is vital to life. Water IS life.

Besides no lake, the rolling hills stretched on for miles. Dede Flemming, one of the founders of The Do LaB, told us that LIB could host up to 1 million people on their plot of land in the middle of Bradley, CA. Can you imagine 1 million people doing yoga at the same time? …I can too!


We all know who were the main acts this year: Flume, SBTRKT, RL Grime, ODESZA, Tycho and AlunaGeorge. What about the other artists and music groups you ask? Most of them were smaller DJs that you’ve probably never heard of. We had the amazing chance to go to the Woogie stage and woogie it out to DJs like Smallpools, Pillowtalk and FKJ (they sound like if Bassnectar and ODESZA had a baby….if you’re into that). The Thunder stage housed epileptic laser shows, art murals lined up on the sides with artists doing LIVE art, and of course, a lot of heavy bass. We saw smaller acts such as Ellie Herring and Big Wild but didn’t miss the bigger acts such as Hermitude and Les Sins.

Surprisingly there were only 3 stages for this festival, compared to the 4 or 5 stages that you would have at Coachella or Sasquatch. Lightning stage (main stage) was tucked inbetween the skeeball arena and footbridge to the Temple of Consciousness with hundreds of floating white sheets waving above your head. We were sure not to miss the Lucent Dossier Experience and if you don’t know what I’m talking about…well, check out the video and you’ll understand. Lucent Dossier Experience was by far the most awe-inspiring shell-shock show done by a troupe of beautiful, extremely fit and euphoric performers.


There were 200 people at a time doing yoga under the Yoga OM tent. What’s better than that?


Speakers. Film. Art. Spiritual healing. Educating yourself on bigger global and cultural issues. The Temple of Consciousness is a sacred refuge for those who seek enlightenment but do not expect it. It is a bridge between your body, mind and soul to the other world of LIB speakers, innovators, visionaries and healers. I honestly can’t describe it well enough so you will have to experience it yourself next at LIB.


The experience that sticks out in mind came towards the end of the night for me, right in-between 2:30 AM and 5:30 AM at the Jive Joint. The Jive Joint is a comedy routine that is half improvised and probably half-scripted, similar to SNL but in a festival setting. Did I mention that we saw a woman getting proposed to on stage at the Jive Joint? Yep, that happened.

I can only give you a gist because I don’t want to ruin the surprise by describing the entire experience and you need to go and live your own LIB experience! Mark your calendar for Lightning In A Bottle 2016!

Stay tuned for ListenSD’s exclusive video coverage of LIB 2015! 


Check out the amazing events our friends at Lightning In A Bottle are sharing!:

The Debut of Woogie Weekend!!!: Do LaB’s next festival!!! Woogie Weekend held in LIB’s previous Oak Canyon Park location, in Silverado, CA July 17-19, 2015.  Early Bird tickets on sale THIS Saturday 5/30 at 10am for 48 hours on the event website.

Herbert Bail Orchestra drops new single!!!: Their new single, ‘You Are Beautiful’ is a contagious, uptempo ballad with the joyful spirit of the Wild West. If you aren’t familiar–they’ve drawn comparisons to Edward Sharpe, Lord Huron, and Devotchka. We are offering a free download through Soundcloud to share with everyone! More info on them here.