LbM @ LIB, a Wonderer’s Guide to Lightning in a Bottle
This last Memorial Day weekend, while many people were taking a break from reality, thousands of people arrived in Bradley, CA to augment their reality in a positive direction by attending the sold out lightning in a bottle festival. Lighting in a bottle (or LIB) is a transformational music festival that engulfs its participants into a community of artists, musicians, dramatic performance, as well as yoga, wellness, spiritual and healthy living demonstrations. How did this get started? Dede Fleming, one of the founding members of the do lab told LivebyMusic:
“The first LIB was a birthday party for brothers Jesse and Josh Flemming in 2000. For years we were always entertaining, decorating or throwing parties so this was no different. It was a popular party with a lot of like-minded friends that grew every year. In 2004 we decided to make it a larger event with more art, performers and music and decided to charge a fee. From there it evolved into a much larger event. With that we growth we decided that we wanted more than just a party for people but something with intention and meaning and a place where people could come explore a side of them they didn’t know existed yet and be exposed to things they’ve never seen before.“
As first timers we had to ask how to tackle this massive gathering and get the most out of it… Dede went on:
’‘As a first timer I would say that you have to shake off whatever preconceived ideas you have of LIB and what your experience “should” be and just let go and let yourself get lost. Don’t try and follow a schedule and just go where the wind blows. Oh and wear comfy shoes and stay hydrated.”
With that said I threw all (well ok most) of my plans and expectations away and became a lighting wanderer. I discovered communities within themed communities.
At every turn it seemed to be a completely different world. From the big name headliners at the Lightning Stage to electro-bluegrass/swing at the Grand Artique stage, I found something for every music pallet. The thunder stage and the Woogie was the spot to dance, dance, dance with musical acts like Cashmere Cats, AtYya, Pantyraid and Shall Ocin.
Wandering through the various communities I saw experiences that brought deep connection to the festival goers in places like 'the Village’, designed to be “a cultural experiment exploring the meaning of village life”. Also ‘Yoga Om’ and ‘Namaste Yoga’ which with “master yogis meditation and dance expert(s) [brought] a spectrum of teaching for every experience level and taste.”
For myself, some of my choice points of LIB were the Charleston and tap routines I stumbled across at High Love Elixir and the night time Fire Arts Flow Zone, and of course the hilarious Do Over clowns. I have to say though, I constantly saw myself gravitating toward the Lightning Stage where I found my favorite acts of the festival.
See our Top 4 Acts at LIB 2016 [HERE]
As I drove down the coast I meditated on the experience I had at Lighting in a Bottle. I’ve heard that LIB is a transformational festival. That I would be different when I left. For me this wasn’t the case. I couldn’t have been more me, in fact I had the strongest sense of 'me’, of self then I think I’ve ever had. I may not have changed per say, but I did learn a lot about who I am as a person. That was the lighting that I caught, that’s what I took home with me in my personal bottle.