Lightning in a Bottle

Article by: Art Gimbel

Fri July 19, 2013 | 00:00 AM

That wristband? It’s got adventure written all over it. No, literally. It says “adventure” right there on the band.

Adventure was a bit easier to come by the last time we attended Do LaB’s Lightning in a Bottle Festival (aka LIB), back when its home was intimately nestled high in the Santa Barbara mountains. Apparently word has spread and the venue has changed. No matter, we were ready to fight for our right to party.

Apparently everyone was eager to settle in to DoLabLandia. After navigating through Los Angeles traffic to Lake Skinner, we were greeted with yet more gridlock in the form of lines to get in. Despite a nearly seven-hour wait, spirits were surprisingly high. What kind of fairytale adventures did we find with this magic ticket that people were willing to wait all night to obtain?

Gearing up with Good Vibes

The Sound Healing Gongs of the Alchemical Fusion of Sacred Sound. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in the middle of a cathedral of gongs under the shade of a sycamore tree. Now place a couple of vibrating sound bowls on your belly. We could tell you more, but we’d prefer for you to experience it yourself.

The lakeside meditation temple provided welcome shade from the mid-summer sun... 

Getting the Party Started

Once we were fully relaxed, the party got started with the debut of the Lightning in a Bottle Party Anthem, performed by the legendary Bongo Brothers.

Nicolas Jaar’s performance was beyond beautiful, weaving a delicate tapestry of sound with an ever-changing video panel of moving art. In the drowned-out festival world of dubstep, this is music for the soul. Lend an ear to this ethereal sonic voyage from XLR8R.

The ecstatic dirty dance party.  Happy hippies got down and dirty in the afternoon light as they swooned to Gladkill’s heavy beats. How dirty? So dirty that the shower attendees wouldn’t even let them in unless they pre-showered. In a scene you might expect of a UK summer festival like Glastonbury, the cooling mist transformed the bamboo stage into a muddy mosh pit of playful joy.

Rolling the Dice with PantyRaid. Ooah and MartyParty threw their best show to date in a group formed right here at LIB. They threw the dice and rolled big in a moment of collective effervescence as the entire crowd rolled with giant dice. 

Yoga for the People

Day Yoga: getting our namaste on.

Night Yoga (our favorite): shown here at the Pixel Heart.

Ambient Art

LIB really shines at night, with the Do LaB’s attention to ambient lighting.

Art in Motion: It was fascinating to watch art develop over the course of the weekend, canvases blending in with the trees and crowd.

Artist: Hans Walor

Music & Food to Feed Your Soul

Pumpkin’s LoveHop. The feel-good event of the weekend at the Woogie Stage rocked treehouse platform with love and sunshine. Check out Pumpkin's LIB set from 2012.

Lots of cold watermelon juice and delicious organic food helped to beat the heat. 

Despite stories of undercover police, garbage and midnight noise curfews, we still found adventure. We're all visitors at LIB and need to remember to take personal responsibility for our waste, respect to nature, and good vibes--which radiated through the weekend. 

On that note, we'll leave you with the transcendental Earth Harp


Thank you to Do LaB, the artists, yogis and festivalgoers for spreading the love during this warm SoCal summer weekend. See you next year!

All images copyright Art Gimbel