BY: DJ Fizzi Pop
The sun was setting, the floats were floating, and the musical vibrations from the loud stages were pumping through our bodies. Not a single face in sight had a frown on their face, and pure bliss was in the air. This is my experience of Lighting in a Bottle 2018.
Being my first LIB, I had no idea what was coming my way. I had camped at smaller festivals before, but not for 5 days in a row (meaning I did not bring enough spare sunglasses). I had arrived Wednesday night for the Early Entry pass, and hundreds of people already had their campsites up and ready, music blasting and friends in the making. I had previously dreaded the rumors that Bradley, CA is blistering hot and would be suffering most of the time, but surprisingly the temp stayed in the mid 70s to low 80s the entire weekend and was thoroughly enjoyable to walk around the campsite the explore.
The drive was only a short 2 hours to the campgrounds, so we were ready to set up and explore by sunset. There isn’t much music on the bigger stages until Friday, but the Pagoda and Favela Bar stages were poppin’ with smaller (but big sound) artists. At night, the festival grounds turn into a blacklight wonderland, where all the art structures glow (and are even interactive!). It was nice to get a feel of the grounds before all the commotion started; I recommend to anyone to get Early Arrival passes to get the full experience because there is way too much to explore and you just might miss an Easter egg!
Friday was the first big wave of music to hit the festival. Before we ran to the stages, I got to experience a short but wonderful session at the Yoga Luna exhibit, where yoga and flow classes were held all weekend long. Not only were there yoga exhibits, but you could walk into a random structure and there would be a meditation session, a hooping class, a cooking class, you name it. If you needed a break from the music, there was always something else to experience. Around 3 o’clock we headed to the Woogie stage, which is one of the favorite stages of LIB. Surrounded by enormous neon butterfly structures that refracted lasers off of them, the overall vibe was welcoming and groovy. The main theme of this stage was house and techno music, where we caught the last part of Walker & Royce’s set.
On our way back to the main grounds, we decided to check out the Favela Bar, which is a stage that has interactive treehouses surrounding the dance floor, and a gigantic disco ball that twirls during the night. To our surprise, 2 members of the Glitch Mob were having a secret set at this stage (and we got to meet them after!).
Before getting dinner, we headed to the infamous Meditation Mountain to catch the gorgeous LIB sunset. As the sea met the sky, every attendee unleashed their fellow animal and let out a howl to the sun. Practically everyone on the grounds partook in this spiritual moment!
To start the night off, we ran to the Lightning stage to get front-row views of sets by Sofi Tukker, the ultimate party groove master Griz, and the almighty Glitch Mob (all 3 of them this time). This by far was one of my favorite consecutive sets I’ve caught at a festival. The party was nonstop!
On Saturday, I ran between the Thunder and Lightning stage to catch sets from Edamame, Partywave, Tokimonsta, Tipper, and Anderson. Paak. All their sounds are super different so I wanted to keep it within variety! Each stage has a certain theme, but I wanted to jump out of the loop and check all the different music out. My favorite out of this day was definitely Anderson. Paak for his funky vibes, but Edamame also had a beautiful chillwave sound to his set.
On Sunday, I got to spend most of the day on the beautiful Lake San Antonio which was right by our campsite. There were probably 300 different species of animal floaties bouncing off each other, and house music was bumping all day long. Sunscreen was passed around, and so were the laughs. Everyone was sun-drunk in love with the beautiful atmosphere the lake had to offer. By the evening we got to check out Dirtwire, the folk-rustic-electronica group that features members of Beats Antique. We also got to check out Monolink, Beats Antique (their 10th time playing at LIB), Clozee, Zhu, and Emancipator. This lineup was stacked, and I was so happy to see such a great mix of talented artists. My favorite had to be CloZee, for her beautiful world-influenced flow of a set. Not a single person danced like they cared.
Overall, this is a festival I will be returning to over and over again. The atmosphere is filled with bliss, and everyone you meet is in a good mood and willing to share a good story. The art structures are out of this world, and there are fire dancers, flow hoopers, talks, meditations….the festival is PACKED with things to enjoy and maneuver. There is even an art car shaped like a beetle driving around the festival blasting music. The music lineup is amazing in taste, and not a single set was disappointing. I could go on, but it really is something to experience for yourself. The one downside is that the food is a little expensive, but I am personally willing to pay $14 for an exquisite bowl of mac and cheese. I will be back, this time with more sunglasses to spare!