Over the course of my time in Los Angeles, I’ve become a firm believer that if you don’t push the boundaries of your comfort zone – you’ll never truly understand how far it goes.
Retrospectively, this can all be traced back to my mystical, magical, eye opening experiences at Electric Daisy Carnival in 2006 and I’ve simply refused to look back ever since. Over the course of the last eight years, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing the following epically amazing festivals – Monster Massive (back when it was still a collaboration between GoVentures and Insomniac, mind you), HARD Haunted, Together As One, The Love Festival, How Sweet It Is, Nocturnal Wonderland, HARD Summer, Beyond Wonderland, HARD 13 and Coachella. Suffice it to say, the folks over at The Do Lab, Insomniac Events and HARD Presents know what the hell they’re doing. But, after enough time the events, lineups and people watching blurs together until they’re more or less indecipherable – and that’s how I knew it was time for a change.
The Do LaB started throwing the event as a private birthday bash back in 2000 – it wasn’t until 2004 that they transitioned the evening from a private event into a festival open to the public. Though they’ve taken a few hiatuses, The Do LaB brought Lightning in a Bottle to the Live Oak Campgrounds in Santa Barbara in ’06 and ’08 while I was still in college. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, I still wish I’d have known about this amazing community of tremendous artists and beautiful souls back then, but I know for a fact that my current appreciation for both runs deeper now that it possibly could have then.
In the strangest sense, LIB has always been my unicorn – my unattainable vision of the real life Venn Diagram where beauty, music and nature intersect. In 2010, I had a ticket but couldn’t go due to extenuating health issues; 2011 was my Best Friend’s bachelorette party and last year I’d simply given up on the notion that I wanted to go. In 2012, the EDM community watched as our brand exploded into the mainstream – at first, it was liberating: the masses were dancing to our beat! But after a few months, if you weren’t hit over the head with redundant, blase and boring festival lineups then I’d love to know what rock you were hiding under and if there’s space for me. No joke, you could essentially predict the Progressive House, Trap and Dubstep lineups at each and every festival. So we got to thinking, if you don’t like your scene – chance it and change it; so we slowly began looking into other opportunities to grow and thrive – low and behold, Lightning in a Bottle popped back onto our radar. By late February, Early Bird tickets were released at a price that my friends and I couldn’t refuse and without a lineup to catch us, we took a leap of faith.
Accuse me of being an urban hippie all you’d like, but one of the reasons that I’ve been gravitating towards Lightning in a Bottle is that simply put: it’s much more than a festival. Lightning in a Bottle boasts a community of people that want to leave the world a better place and a group of artists willing to gather the collective unconscious and proudly put it on display. Beyond simply being about music, camping and the friendships you form – Lightning in a Bottle is a personal exploration into your psyche, ego and superego; you have to set aside your propensity to be focused on the material possessions at your finger tips for a desire to be connected to the metaphysical world around you. There are there are ways to better every aspect of your life with workshops on yoga, meditation, artistic expression, sustainability and more. My friends that have gone before say it’s like a miniature Burning Man, and if so – I’m sure I’m in for the ride of my lifetime.
There’s a little something to get off my chest about LIB – I haven’t been camping since I was 5. So when I realized that I’ll be camping for fives days in the middle of Temecula, I got a tad nervous…but when the lineup was finally released, my heart skipped at least three beats – so many amazing artists that I have the honor of seeing! I’ve gathered some of the best podcasts and mixes from around the web to get in the mood for the festival; for the next few months I’ll be posting, raving and getting myself mentally, physically and spiritually prepared for one of the most exciting journeys of my 20’s.