This Memorial Day weekend, the Lightning in a Bottle festival will be returning to Bradley, Calif., to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The five-day camping event will take place May 21-25. LIB has emerged as one of the premiere events in the country, boasting a truly immersive experience that leaves mind, body and spirit revitalized and feeling part of a collective whole.
This year’s artist lineup features some big names in the music scene – Flume, Goldroom, SBTRKT, GRiZ, among others – but it’s the other parts of the experience that have garnered the reputation of LIB being far more than a music festival. Below you’ll find highlights of some of the things they’re offering this year.
The Temple of Consciousness
Here you’ll find speakers and workshops centered around the topics of relationships, culinary creations, yogic practice, permaculture, collaboration techniques, spirituality, sustainability, personal health, art and transformation.
The Learning Kitchen in The Temple provides hands-on nutrition classes and demonstrations, incorporating both modern and ancient techniques to cooking and nutrition. There’s two separate locations offering a variety of yoga and movement classes from the wee hours of the morning to late at night. There’s also group meditation classes, and The Meditation Nest above The Temple, which offers an area to retreat and enjoy a view of the sunset.
The experience at The Temple promises to realign, rejuvenate and be a catalyst for growth and ideas.
The festival grounds will be covered with unique works of art to marvel at and draw inspiration from. Art installations both big and small will be scattered throughout the festival, while live painters will be showcasing their skills throughout the weekend through Lightning in a Paintcan. A silent auction will be held at the end of the event for the pieces created at the fest.
In addition, you’ll find a number of “immersive environments” with a variety of interactive areas to channel the inspiration around you into new creations.
The Village is described as a cultural experiment, to give people an opportunity to experience what it would be like to live in a sustainable village and gain some understanding of this way of life. From the LIB website:
“The Village consists of multiple micro-environments, including the Sacred Fire, Ancestral Arts Arbor and Community Lodge. Within these spaces, participants will have the opportunity to experience many aspects of this way of being, such as wisdom transmissions, song and story sharing, ceremony and practical applications of earth-based concepts. We will be providing varied forms of ancestral arts classes such as carving, fire making and weaving, as well as councils and presentations of traditional stories and prophecies with Indigenous Elders and lineage holders. The Village will function both as a site for learning to occur and as a hub for the promotion and networking of other organizations and projects that are aligned with our mission.”
Given our understanding of the various ways the modern Western lifestyle has fundamentally altered our health, mindset and relationship with the planet, this kind of experience can be potentially transformative. Firsthand experience is difficult to replace.
Beyond its offerings, LIB has gained recognition as the Greenest Festival in America. The festival won the Outstanding Award the past five years after being evaluated by A Greener Festival, a nonprofit that audits festivals and events to help them adopt environmentally sound practices. Some of the initiatives that have landed them this title include offering free water all weekend, not selling or allowing plastic bottles and contributions to carbon offset programs to achieve zero-net energy usage. The Do Lab, the creators of the festival, are certainly making waves.
Tickets are $260 for the whole weekend or $205 for Saturday/Sunday. Camping passes are sold separately. The festival also offers buses from San Francisco, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Los Angeles ranging from $78-92; note that you can bring your camping gear on the bus, so this includes the price of camping. Ticket prices will go up closer to the festival dates, as soon as the current tier sells out. Because it’s a holiday weekend event, it’s best to plan ahead and get your tickets now.
The experience at Lightning in a Bottle is hard to match. One avid attendee shared, “LIB is great because everyone is comfortable in their own skin, there’s no need to prove anything to anyone. You’re free to open your soul to a complete stranger and they willingly share their soul too.”
If you’ve never been to this kind of festival before, now might be the time to open your mind up to the idea. It’s an environment that facilitates personal growth, positive momentum, creativity, new connections and simply enjoying the moment.