After attending our 3rd year in a row, the one thing we’ve learned is that it does not get any easier to answer the question “How was Lightning in a Bottle this year?”
When you go to a festival of this nature, you come to an understanding that there is no way you can have the same experience each time if you do it right. What made a substantial difference this year is the formerly dry lake bed finally being filled with water, something that the founders of LiB have stated they will stick around for back when they first brought the festival to Lake San Antonio. For it to happen this year obviously made it a no brainer for us to return.
Photo by Get Tiny
Throughout the weekend you can gaze onto the lake to see people on floaties having a blast, a couple of floating installations with DJ’s bumping tunes and people dancing, and even speedboats and jet skis careening past the stages. I didn’t even know that was a possibility for this festival! Sign us up for a boat camping pass for LiB 2018.
Photo by Phil Sanchez
Experiencing Early Arrival was one of our first resolutions for this year’s festival. For an additional purchase we were able to race right up to the front of the festival gate as opposed to waiting in a 3 hour line of cars had we shown up on Thursday. The quick entry was ideal but what was even better was getting first pick on camping in the High Grounds site, a camping location perched above the hill overlooking the festival. Being within walking distance of the Meditation Lookout as well as near all of the Compass workshops made our entire stay at LIB that much more convenient.
This may come off as a little odd, but we were not very focused on the lineup this year. The last 2 years were absolutely stacked and there was nothing wrong with this year, but I got the impression that the newly built structures and more centered focus on the lectures, yoga, cooking classes, and various other activities led us to spend more time exploring and getting lost in the festival rather than racing between stages to catch sets throughout the day. This resulted in a much more relaxed time where we spent the majority of our time bonding with our closest friends and making new ones.
The amount of pure and genuine interactions that you come to witness and or be a part of also makes LiB unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. You can walk into a little tea room and find yourself having a conversation with a random person who also stumbled upon it and learn a ton of things about them, all while enjoying as much tea as you could sip on. There were also a lot of random quirky events being put on, such as speed dating and a costumed 5K run. I even randomly witnessed a group of people wearing all white who walked into the lake singing prayer songs, and beckoned people to join them to get ‘baptized.’ It was both humbling and hilarious to watch.
Photo by Watchara
To touch up on the music though, there were many artists that I saw perform for the first time that blew me away. To start with the Woogie, I thought that Nic Fanciulli played an outstanding tech house set to end the first night. Weval was also an act that caught me by surprise, their set at the Lightning Stage was everything that my inner analog synth nerd ever wanted, paired up with some really unique visuals.
Some other memorable acts include Eagles & Butterflies, whom if you haven’t heard before probably makes the most unique sounding techno you’ll ever hear; and Elohim, a wonderfully talented singer and musician who blew the Thunder stage away with her originals and remixes of popular hip hop songs like Waves by Kanye West and Controlla by Drake.
This was another very successful year for Lightning in a Bottle. Everything was well done, and the entire experience as a whole has filled my soul (as well as thousands of others) with love and admiration for my fellow human beings. We are thankful for The Do LaB and their hard work in putting this together year after year, and continuing to invite us to come out to share the experience with our audience. Cheers to another great year, and for many more to come!
Photo by Get Tiny
Cover Photo by Aaron Glassman