Name: Lightning In A Bottle
Location: Bradley, CA
Dates: May 22nd-26th, 2014
Size: 18,000 (estimate)
Lineup: The Lightning In A Bottle lineup always features a well-rounded lineup of electronic acts with a few outliers that never cease to fit the vibe perfectly.
Stages/Sound: The music viewing experience at LIB is spectacular. With three large stages, three smaller stages, and at least five afterhours stages the crowd got to choose their own adventure as they explored the festival. Every stage had it’s own design; each one felt like it was crafted with the artist playing it in mind. The sound quality was perfect with thundering bass and crisp highs.
Greening: Lightning In A Bottle should laugh at the fact they are being reviewed for how much they try to be green; the festival is the epitome of doing everything to throw the greenest festival possible. They start by making it a ‘pack it in-pack it out’ festival, meaning the LiB attendees actually leave with their own trash at the end of the weekend. The festival also does not sell individual bottles of water, which really helps keep the fairgrounds clean. LiB is the cleanest festival you will ever find.
(Photo By Watchara Phomicinda)
Crowd: The crowd at Lightning In A Bottle is unlike any other crowd I have seen, outside of Burning Man. This crowd is as into yoga and self-improvement as they are into the music. The 24-hour a day schedule really allows the festival vibe to be transformed into more of a community feel. You are not consumers at LiB; you are the festival along with everyone else around you. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda)
Sponsors: The LiB sponsors did a great job of staying out of the way. I know New Belgium Brewery was on site with their absolutely delicious beer selection. I can’t name another sponsor, which means that they were not doing anything annoying.
Security: Getting into LIB was a breeze. Security did a quick search and you were good to go.
Food: The food at LIB offers a wide variety of vegetarian dishes. They also offer a couple sushi options, which were my personal favorites. The one downside is the fact that the vendors are not allowed to sell any meat products. However, It’s probably good for meat eaters to realize how dependent they are on meat if they can’t go four days without it.
Art: Art is Lightning In A Bottle’s specialty. Everything there is art. The coffee stand, the stages, the crowd, the dozens of art installations. LiB even brings in dozens of live artists who paint a painting over the course of the weekend. At the end of the festival they line up all of the paintings for a silent auction. This project is put together by LiB’s own non-profit called the Do Art Foundation which helps support artists in the community.
Organization: Considering the fact that this was a completely new venue, I don’t think it could be any more organized. The venue stayed clean, the acts and speakers were on time, and I did not see a line that took more than five minutes to get through all weekend.
Camping: The camping at LIB was a bit of an adventure this year. It was a lot of work to get gear to the campsite and even more work to get it out. There is not really anything that LiB could have done differently; it was just the way everything was worked out. If you plan on going in the future make sure to bring a wagon with you. It will be a real big help.
Overall: Lightning In A Bottle is the best overall music festival experience I have ever had. When you combine the lineup, the art, the cleanliness and the happy crowd with the fact that the festival runs 24 hours a day for 4 days you end up with an experience that crushes any other festival. I don’t have enough stars to give this festival a proper rating.