Location: Temecula, CA
Dates: July 11th-14th, 2013
Size: 18,000 per day (estimate)
Lightning in a Bottle (LIB) is not just a festival for its participants, it’s become more like an annual family reunion. LIB combines music, art, human connection, and four days of freedom which all come together to be one of the best festivals you will ever experience.
Stages: LIB features three main sound stages that are all great places to catch a show. The Lightning Stage has pillars that wrap around the stage to give an extra dimension to the experience.The Bamboo stage is surrounded by trees and made for a real wonderland to watch a performance. As fun as the first two stages were, the Woogie Stage stole the show. The stage was built around a tree, so it was like you were watching the DJ play from a tree house. This was definitely the most creative stage I have ever seen.
The sound at all of the stages was flawless all weekend. Truly a perfectly produced event.
Crowd: The crowd at Lightning In A Bottle was the best of any festival I have ever experienced – EVERYONE dances and is fun to be around. There is definitely a Burner vibe to the crowd, which is great because everyone picks up after themselves and contributes to making it a better experience for everyone around them. People were courteous, open-minded, and simply happy. The campgrounds were filled with art, music (sadly only until 12 on two of the nights), and good vibes.
Organization: The organization started off as a complete fail, as it took up to 7 hours of waiting in line to get your wristbands. I heard that it was the ticketing companies fault because they were using 3G connections and not a wifi, so the ticketing process took a long time. Once you made it into the festival, you quickly forgot that experience because everything was PERFECT. The fairgrounds were clean, there were no bathroom lines, everything was on time, and every single employee had a big smile on their face the entire weekend.
Food: The food this year at LIB was great. There are still not any meat options, but there are plenty of fish dishes for you to get your protein. I had sushi that was not just good for festival food, but really good sushi in general.
Art: Art is just as big a part of LIB as the music is. The fairgrounds have art installations all over the place. During the day they match the look of the festival, and at night they glow and exude every color of the rainbow. There are also 50 or more live artists that stand among the fairgrounds throughout the weekend to paint one of their pieces.
Greening: LIB is the world’s greenest festival. They encourage their attendees to take out whatever they bring in. There are water refill stations all across the fairgrounds where attendees can refill their own container. They even sift through every bag of trash to make sure it has been sorted properly. They also keep the fairgrounds super clean throughout the weekend.
Overall: This was the best festival I have ever been to. The combination of gorgeous stages, perfect sound, the crowd, art, and a beautiful location turned this into a weekend I will never forget. A big thank you goes out to The Do Lab for all of their passion and hard work.
It is worth noting that there was an unfortunate issue with the Temecula Police for busting people, but there is a lesson to be learned here. If you have illegal substances, do not under any circumstances show or share them with people you don’t know. EVER! For your safety and the safety of others, I hope the Do Lab returns to the same spot next year and informs the crowd ahead of time to be more cautious.
Long live LIB!