Mention the three letters ‘L-I-B’ to any seasoned festival junkie and you’re in for a smile and some serious reminiscing. Lightning in a Bottle (LiB), taking place this Memorial Day Weekend, has made a name for itself over the past couple years as the best kept secret in California’s stacked festival lineup and with good reason.
Put on by The Do LaB, a name you might recognize by their Coachella stage of the same name, Lightning in a Bottle is best described as equal parts Coachella and Burning Man but fortunately manages to rise above the stereotypes of both festivals and create it’s own special weekend.
With a stacked music lineup including Flume, Odesza, Tycho, RL Grime, Panda Bear and GRiZ among many many others, there’s something for everyone sonically. Unlike Coachella however, LiB offers up much more than just music including yoga and meditation exercises, sustainability workshops and the list goes on.
“It’s a unique experience,” notes Do LaB co-founder Dede Flemming. “We love Burning Man, we love Coachella. We have a tremendous amount of respect for those organizations but at the same time when we come out to the land here we just think about us and how we can make this space extra special. What we can we offer to the people that come here and create this with us.”
For the past five years, LiB has been evaluated by an organization called A Greener Festival and has earned the title of “Greenest Festival in America” in the process.
Sustainability remains one of the festival’s most important elements. Flemming elaborates, stating that “it was part of our mission from day one. It was important to us that we throw a festival with the least impact on the planet and the communities around us as possible and we go to great lengths to do that.”
The festival’s location bounced around Southern California for a few years, with homes near Lake Irvine and Temecula, before finding it’s semi-permanent new home at the San Antonio Recreation Area near Bradley, CA last year. Flemming was enthusiastic. “The venue’s awesome. There’s not a single place you’ll look where you’re not surrounded by nature and rolling trees. It’s just gorgeous.”
No venue is without it’s drawbacks however as Flemming notes that, “it’s big and challenging and everyone that came last year knows this. We spent a lot of time getting feedback this year and added some great features like bridges and really put a lot of energy into making the festival more manageable and easier to navigate for the attendees.”
When asked if he got a chance to cut loose himself, Flemming laughed and replied with a simple “no,” further stating, “for the people that put this event on, this is their enjoyment. This is how they let their hair down. Coming out here and spending weeks building this thing and then running it, that’s fun. That’s why they do it. It’s not an easy job but they do it because they love it. People get to walk around and see what they created and it puts a smile on their face. That’s the ultimate enjoyment.”
And you’ll be unlikely to find anyone without a smile at Lightning in a Bottle. The festival’s combination of art, yoga, and of course music, is a concoction powerful enough to charm even the most jaded among us. Cancel your plans next weekend and head to Bradley, you won’t be disappointed.