Need a Refill: Lightning in a Bottle Recap

Lightning in a Bottle was not just another music festival, it was an experience. In 2015, the event sold out (for the first time) within 24 hours of the first bass drop as only 200 tickets remained when doors opened Friday morning.   Organizers celebrated that victory with a weekend full of sexy electronic melodies, bass vibes and sculpted artwork and bodies.  The soundtrack included sets from Odesza, Flume, Tycho, SBTRKT, Pumpkin, Stwo and so many more.  The landscape was peppered with beautiful people, wild installations, structured bridges, the traditional festival merchants and the spectacular view of the dried up riverbed.   Brave explorers found fish carcasses charring in the beating sun on the lake’s floor where, less than ten years ago, boats were once cruising.   With the death of the river, comes the opportunity for The Do Lab to take over Bradley, CA and a take over is what happened. Roaming the grounds on Thursday and early Friday, the event was putting its final pieces together – from signage to final decorations.

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Before too long on Friday, the festival was in full swing.   With lines backed up at the Kombucha Dog tent and the Healing Sanctuary, it was around that time that Pumpkin took to the main stage; the event was officially sold out, the crowd sufficiently swollen and the energy was palpable.  A gang of dancers, a clown and a man with two women on leashes joined Nicholas “Pumpkin” Alvarado for two hours of throbbing house and good time jams.   In the words of his Burning Man affiliated crew, Pumpkin had got the party hearted…

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Jason Bentley took to the Lightning Stage next, but The Woogie was the hot destination with Thomas Jack and Bakermat going back to back.  Jamming in the shaded arena as the sunset to the first full night of LIB – the atmosphere was perfect.  Odesza stole the crowd for their set at the main stage – although their performance was unfortunately less inspired or intense as their Coachella plays.    Where they lacked the heat, Griz made you sweat as he headlined the Thunder Stage and delivered a sax-ified experience of electro-funk.  Post 2 am – pop up stages, art cars, and the Favela Bar kept things moving until sunrise.

Saturday morning brought Everyman‘s vibes to The Woogie to wake every man up with a little positive hip-hop vibrations.  A keg backstage and free flowing GTS Kombucha kept the former Sinning in LA crew hydrated as Evan Shafran recruited all the early risers for some sunshine beats.    Shortly after he finished spinning, the spiritual might of Rising Appalachia subdued an ever-expanding crowd at the main stage with their burner folk.   The heat continued to reign supreme as Govinda, Little People and Lindsey Lowend provided the rest of the afternoon’s soundtrack at the Thunder Stage — where vibes waned from mystical to trap-tastic and bass heavy.  Nighttime brought attention to the Lightning Stage with the happy stylings of Goldroom, the aerial tricks of Lucient Dossier Experience and the sonic dope-ness of Flume.    The Silent Disco, satellite jams and pop-up camp site parties continued thru sunrise.

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The swan song of Sunday spun out at Pagoda Bar and Thunder Stage.  Several days in meant Street Ritual Artists and part of Distinguish Talent Agency’s roster took over Pagoda with tracks from hip-hop (Little Giants) to house (Matt DiMona), while Thunder shook from the likes of Stwo, SNBRN, Snakehips, Hermitude and closer RL Grime.  Grime raged on as Tycho brought things to a close on the main stage.

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Packing up on Monday proved to be a process.   Early risers got a jump on traffic, but the line stretched to a couple of hours by midday.  We stuck around to help break down and load, watch the de-construction commence and help ensure we left no traces by the SUPERGOOD campground.   Each year is more amazing then the last and we are already counting down the days until next year…

 

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