Capturing Lightning (In A Bottle)

The festival explosion over the last five years saw the emergence of a variety of festivals on American soil – from the tiny, intimate and locally curated, to the cookie-cutter, carbon-copy, box-office bangers, and every variation or amalgamation imaginable in between.   Many festivals have found success in their formula — including the emerging league of transformational festivals — but no tribe other than The Do Lab has built an event that seemingly captures the best that each festival type has to offer.    And fittingly, that festival is called Lightning in a Bottle.

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Blending the best ingredients from Burning Man and Coachella at a picturesque landscape in Bradley, CA – the founding Flemming brothers and The Do Lab employ thousands of hands to make the magic of Lightning in a Bottle strike with a raucous spiritual thunder even louder than the sounds emanating from the massive speakers.    And 2016 brought their largest installment yet.    Somewhere between 25,000 and 30,000 attendees graced the sold out 10th year event I would imagine — living in a temporary, leave-no-trace spiritual metropolis filled with beautiful music, art and souls.

The crowd trickled in with early arrivals on Wednesday before the landscape exploded with tents and pods and canopies on Thursday and Friday.  Curated art installations could be seen all over the property, as well as a handful of Pumpkin shrines and unexpected pop-ups like Pasco The Great‘s guerilla “Proceed With Passion” traffic signs.    The crowd swelled to camping on both sides of LIB’s main road — changing the walking landscape of the temporary town.   Self-expression manifested itself in flared out campgrounds, as well as the diverse dress of the costumed candy ravers, painted bodies, leather-clad OG Burners, and the hippie mafia.

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That melting pot of culture, and the spread of the experience, is just what the Flemming brothers imagined when they built LIB.  ”The more people that come here, the more that get to go home with real stories and share them with people…it enables people to go home and share this newfound energy.  And it’s a magical thing” said DeDe Flemming.

Lightning in a Bottle is magical.  Everyone brings their own vibe with them to the annual transformational event, but the music at its centerpiece certainly helps get everyone on the same frequency.  Female artists cast their energy far and wide in 2016 – with riveting performances from Grimes, TOKiMONSTA (whose “Steal My Attention” is in the featured wrap video) Clozee and Marian Hill highlighting the weekend.   Jamie xx, Pantyraid, Chet Faker and a few other big names brought their signature vibes too, while emerging artists like Gilligan Moss, Lafa Taylor, and Everyman reminded listeners why its important to check out those mid-afternoon sets each year.   Other favorites included Autograf, as well as Pimps of Joytime and The Funkhunters funking out The Grand Artique!  Enjoy the photos and the wrap video — and start making plans for next year as well as The Do Lab’s Woogie Weekend in July!

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