The Many Moods of Lightning in a Bottle

Article by: Lexie Kieu|@lexiekieu

Wed May 30, 2018 | 12:30 PM

With an endless list of things to do and see, you’ll never be short on stimulation at Lightning in a Bottle. There’s a good chance you might not get to do it all, but whether you’re looking for something wild and outrageous or something a little more zen, LIB has any mood covered.

If you need a moment to yourself or just need to reset, go for a sound bath.

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Photo by: Andrew Jorgensen

Everyday, the Gong Sanctuary holds space for festival-goers to become more present with a healing sound bath. Everyone is invited to come, take off their shoes, lay down, and immerse themselves in the sound waves serenely ringing from the crystal bowls, didgeridoos and gongs. A form of mindful meditation, these sound baths give you a moment to yourself amongst all the fun and beautiful chaos of the festival.

If you want to learn how to eat well and live a healthier life, go to the Learning Kitchen.

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Photo by: Eric Allen

Throughout the weekend, you’ll find a stellar lineup of community leaders and chefs ready to help you live a more vibrant life, starting with the way you eat. You’ll learn easy, tasty recipes that you’ll want to take home and try for yourself. Whether it’s savory or sweet, you’ll find that these delicious eats are full of superfoods to fuel your body and give you more energy. Vegans and vegetarians will especially love the Learning Kitchen because most of the workshops encourage a meat-free diet. After one workshop, you’ll be hooked to attend more sessions, and become inspired to nourish your body with real and wholesome foods.

If you want help reduce the environmental impact of a festival, leave no trace.

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Photo by: Galen Oakes

Sadly, there seemed to be a lot of trash this year, despite Lightning in a Bottle being a Leave No Trace event. The fest even provides bins throughout the festival for compost, recycling, and trash. If you’re a veteran, please tell your first-timer friends to pack it in and pack it out, and properly dispose of anything they may have. The wind can pick up loose and light trash (like paper napkins) and carry them away, way off the festival grounds, where it becomes even less likely to get picked up and disposed of. If you can, keep a bag in your backpack to pick up any trash you see along the way. If you're a cigarette smoker, carry a small tin (such as an old Altoids container) to contain your butts and keep them off the ground.

If you want to keep dancing but need to cool off, go to the Woogie.

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Photo by: Phil Sanchez for Lightning in a Bottle

With a stacked lineup of popular deep house and techno DJs, the Woogie is hands-down one of the most popular stages at Lightning in a Bottle. The weather was cooler this year for the first couple of days, but if you find yourself heating up from all the boogie-ing, dance on over to the back of the stage. Someone there will readily and happily cool you off with a giant hose that sprays tons of mist into the air.

If you want to be inspired by something beautiful, check out some of the art.

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Lightning in a Bottle is full of beautiful art installations and hosts a number of artists who live paint at the festival. Climb all over or chill inside the large art sculptures dotting the grounds; you'll find new friends who are doing the same. Walk through any of the open air art galleries and you’ll be in awe; their work will speak to you in ways words can’t describe.

If you want to relax, chill by the lake.

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Photo by: Galen Oakes

Four days (or five, depending on if you signed up for Early Arrival) is a long time for a festival. With any multi-day festival, it’s important to remember that it’s a marathon, not a race. Take some time to take moments for yourself and chill out by LIB's lake (or on Meditation Lookout!) and soak up the sun. Trust us, your feet – and mind – will thank you.

If you want to be surprised, head to The Do Over Salon.

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Photo by: Andrew Jorgensen

Spin the wheel if you dare. Or just watch other festival-goers come up for a makeover. You’ll never know what the stylist will have in store!

If you want to learn about other cultures and traditions, go to Memory Palace.

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One of the most impressive things about Lightning in a Bottle is its respect for different cultures. Not only do organizers enact a strict policy against cultural appropriation, but they also hold space for people who want to share their cultures and traditions with open-hearted attendees who want to listen. The aptly named Memory Palace is a hub for sharing ancient cultures and traditions. Over the weekend, festival-goers have the opportunity to learn more about things like kava and cacao through tastings, or get a brief history lesson on the Aztec calendar from Grandfather Mazatzin.

If you want something that will make you smile, watch the kids parade.

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There’s something so darn cute about kids playing and running around at a festival, laughing and smiling with their families and friends. While there’s a designated play area for kids, you might catch them parading with a theatrical troupe of performers, their families in tow, through the crowds at some point during the festival. This year at the Woogie, they came through with their glittery, painted faces, grinning from ear to ear and excitedly waving at everyone in the crowd.

If you have extra energy but need a break from the music, try yoga, the 5K race, or the roller rink

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The festival has plenty of opportunities to blow off steam. On Friday at 9 am, the MustDash 5K Run kicks off, full of costumed festies ready to start the day out with a sweat. This year, the Rink A Dink Roller Rink was new, and it brought 80s-themed silliness to the mix with infectious jams, nachos on the sidelines, and The Bijoulette singing clown troupe bringing surprises. And, of course, there's always yoga classes from seasoned experts to help you stretch it out.

If you want to treat yourself, find a masseuse.

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Photo by: Galen Oakes

One of the best things about Lightning in a Bottle is that it invites everyone to share their talents and passions. And while that’s mostly music and art, festival-goers bring unique gifts of their own as well. Occasionally, you’ll stumble upon some incredible human being who’s taken the time and liberty to lug a massage chair or table out onto the festival grounds and offer massages to everyone. After dancing all night and day and walking for miles over the course of the weekend, these people are true saviors.

If you want somewhere with good vibes, incredible memories with friends and a weekend you’ll never forget, go to Lightning in a Bottle.

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Until next year, everyone!