Of all the magical experiences that 2013 had to offer, hands down – my weekend away at Lightning in a Bottle was hands down the best five days of the year. From the creatively costumed concert go-ers to dance and yoga workshops, right on down to the live musical acts, live art and live entertainment – Lightning in a Bottle expertly tantalizes each and every one of the senses and left me both searching and yearning for more out of myself, my life and the community I surround myself with.
Between last year’s fiasco with the outlying community of Riverside County and a desire to please their loyal fans up and down the coast of California, The Do Lab knew that they had to switch something up about the location. When the festival was still in it’s early years, it was held in the Santa Barbara mountains and over the last four years has been bouncing between locations around Southern California. The weekend deserved a location as unique as the culture it emanates, and with it’s new location in the Central Coast – that’s exactly what it’s getting. This year, Lightning in a Bottle is migrating up to the San Antonio Recreation Area in Monterey County and I couldn’t be more excited. Not only is it equidistant from the amazing music communities in San Francisco and Los Angeles, but the new venue boasts more space than at the Live Oak Campground in Santa Barbara and the Lake Skinner Recreation Area in Temecula. To boot, rain permitting we’ll be able to frolic in the lakes of the recreation area in the sweet heat of Memorial Day weekend; a stark contrast from last year when my friends and I got to tell folks to ‘Nama-stay off the lake!’ while trying to stay out of the immense Summer sun.
During the day, your mind is opened in so many directions with the plethora of enigmatic speakers and workshops. They’re on everything from urban foraging, sustainability, sexuality, your infinite potential, inter-species communication and much, much more. last year, speakers for the weekend included visionaries like Alex and Allison Grey, John Perkins and the author of one of my favorite books ‘Breaking Open The Head’ Daniel Pinchbeck; workshops ranged from ritual movement, hooping, sacred dance and slacklining. Scattered throughout the festival grounds are amazing, living works of art that evolve with the weekend with phenomenal artists from across the country and some of the most fun I had was routinely stopping by my favorites to see how they’re coming along.
As the sun starts going down, the beats begin to pick up and the community truly comes alive – spinning fire, gathering to admire live art and dancing to the infectious, underground sounds that are throbbing through the epic sound systems of the three main stages (the Woogie, Bamboo and Lightning) or one of two smaller stages at the Lumi Lounge and the Temple. Each stage boasted a different assortment of acts, community and culture – at the Bamboo stage, you could get your grime on with gLAdiator, Griz, Kastle, Andreniline and the mud people (like, really though), the Lightning stage held the more theatrical productions like Emancipator and Nicolas Jaar and last but certainly not least, the Woogie got you to boogie with deep house DJs like Lee Burridge, Pumpkin and Marques Wyatt.
I went to Lightning in a Bottle with an open mind and no expectations; what I left with was an enhanced world view, self confidence and an amazing support system of friends new and old.
With a little something for everyone, this is an experience that I truly want all of my friends to be part of. Tickets for this amazing five day experience go on 24 hour discounted sale on 2/18, and on 2/19 they’ll go on sale for full value. Make sure to get yours quickly, this is one weekend not to be missed!