Yet another festival has concluded itself last Monday, as over 35,000 attendees (half of them new to the event) find their inspired selves back home to their showers. Lightning in a Bottle boasts a very particular festival experience, combing aspects of burner culture from events like Burning Man, with the familiar music festival vibe that we are all accustomed to. I felt thrust into a communal environment of openness, gratitude, and acceptance, where everyone is willing to learn and share their ideas and resources, making for an unforgettable weekend.
The activities were endless. After waking up with the sunrise, a festival goer is able to explore yoga, meditation, permaculture, various speakers, live painting, and a host of authentic food and merchandise vendors. The three main stages had music acts that range from techno, at the Woogie stage, to big artists like Chet Faker, Grimes, Big Gigantic, Hayden James, and many many more lesser known artists presenting their talents to eager ears. Builders and visual artists spent an entire week before the festival’s beginning on Thursday to create sculptures, paintings, and small activity venues that each had it’s character. It took me at least two days to simply see everything there was to offer on site, let alone actually participate in everything there was to do.
My experience was particularly interesting because I went solo. I found a ride through LIB’s rideshare page, and made my way through the festival with entirely new friends. I ended up camping with several burner veterans, who invited me in with love and benevolence. I found visual art that captured me more than ever before, and discovered a culture that benefits on the collective compassion that each member shared, leading to a beautiful impromptu weekend.
One hand on the head, one on the chest – a sculpture highlighting the conflict between the mind and heart.