LIB brings music to the soul, love to the heart and knowledge to the mind.
For the week of May 8-13, the Buena Vista Lake was transformed into the Lightning in a Bottle festival in Bakersfield, California. There to capture every moment, our team joined in to explore the expanse of workshops, live music, talks and activities. This years LIB was testing the waters at a new location, and packed its stages with headliners like Big Gigantic, Gramatik, Disclosure, Flying Lotus and more! Hands-on classes, unique vendors, and incredible displays of art and talent could be seen in every corner of the festival. The curating efforts by DoLab productions created an unforgettable event that shined with unconditional love, a deep sense of community and vibrant displays of artistic creation.
So much more than a music festival.
Attendees with early arrival came in and set up camp on Wednesday with time to explore and meet neighbors. On Thursday the campgrounds filled, each with plenty of space and close access to water stations, showers, ice vendors and info booths. Through the gates, the festival grounds sprawled out along the edge of the Buena vista lake. At the waters edge were perfect beaches for relaxing and out in the water were wooden structures hang out on. Food options are organic/locally sourced and primarily vegan or vegetarian, with only 5% of the options including meat. The carefully chosen community of merchandise vendors also reflect the beliefs and ethos of LIB. It delighted us to see recycling and compost options as well as free charging stations and a family playground area with a packed week of classes and activities for little ones.
Every morning there were a multitude of yoga classes, meditations and healing sessions that continued through out the day. Of the healing sessions, some that caught our attention held themes geared towards self-love, herbal healing, and energy work. Workshops took place every day as well, including things like pine needle weaving, and natural rope and arrow head crafting. Similarly, the learning kitchen held classes on how to nourish the body through ancient practices, Ayurveda and yummy recipes. The Artclave tent was a host to classes to teach every skill level through a wide variety of mediums. Some of the classes included a body painting class, hair crafting, jewelry making, and paper metamorphosis. Various other tents also held informative talks and lectures on every topic from intimacy to the mycoverse and from nature to astrology.
Large art pieces dotted the landscape like ‘Contemplation’ by Matthieu Dagorn and a ‘Vortex’ instillation by Chromaforms Collective. For some playful fun the roller rink was up and running with groovy tunes. To keep warm at night, the Victory of the Surreal brought their Firecups installation. The Artwalk and Auction allowed you to meet and watch artists painting live, with the chance to take artwork home! Music began flowing from the speakers at around noon every day while each stage created its own unique vibe. The Lightning Stage was home to some incredible headling sets like Santigold, Khruangbin, and a 3D set by Flying Lotus. The Thunder stage, another main stage, held space for explosive acts like Opiuo, The Polish Ambassador, and Clozee. Full lineups packed the four other stages while smaller stages scattered around to offer their own unique sounds.
LIB also provided an unspoken degree of community, safety and acceptance. Dance Safe offered earplugs, water and info while the MAPS Zendo project offered trained therapists to help through difficult experiences. Likewise, the ‘Lightning without a bottle’ project created an alcohol free space with daily meetings. For effortless relaxation, Om Shan Tea was always open for herbal tea time and the gong sanctuary offered immersive sound healing. Friendly medical staff and dedicated LIB rangers roamed the grounds as well, eager to help when needed. Above all what shined the most was the sense of love and community from every individual there. In every soul there’s a friend, in every piece of art there’s passion and every sound echos a universal rhythm. LIB invites us to learn more about ourselves and the world around us, so we can learn and grow together.
Photo Credit: (Featured Photo) Don Idio & (all other photos) Jess Bernstein