Two words: No rules.

That's all you need to know about Lightning in a Bottle. Free your inhibitions because it's all one big playground of bliss.

There isn't any other festival where you can play Psychedelic Friendship Bingo at 3am, attend a chocolate sextacy elixir workshop class and dance all night at renegade stages in the campgrounds. It's a vacation wrapped into a 5-day adventure - one of Southern California's best kept secrets.

Yes, there's hype and expectations that now come along with any music festival, but entering into Lightning in a Bottle and being greeted by The Woogie Stage was impressive. The first intricately made structure that you notice when entering the festival grounds is wrapped around a tree amongst the vast amount of lanterns and hammocks that surrounded what seemed like an impromptu dance floor. It's where I caught crowd favorite Miguel Migs twice and Acid Pauli, who closed out the last night by including a respectable remix of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" during his set.


There were no hassles trying to make it back at a hotel or stumbling amongst a mass amount of other festival attendees. LIB was the extreme opposite. If you wanted to wake up and do yoga and maybe rage later to Rusko at your own pace, this was the festival. Check out the art and maybe swing dance? Meditate and trip out on 3D art? You got it.

The second main stage, Bamboo was centrally located to be the designated stage for bass-driven DJs. Both emerging acts and dancehall vets moved the crowds all throughout the weekend. Griz spun classic R&B, Herobust debuted a fresh set and The Polish Ambassador and PhuturePrimitive were the ideal acts to close out the nights.

Make your way to the Lightning Stage, beautifully setup mirroring The Do Lab's now famous, multicolored cone tent that was the focal point at Coachella this year and you were thrown intoPurity Ring's set at the perfect setting. The breeze picked up Friday night as "Fineshrine" and "Obedear" chronologically transitioned throughout the rest of Shrines echoing in the background as the night's soundtrack.


The following day I made it a point to catch Blackbird Blackbird's set that was unfortunately not what I was expecting. Mikey Maramag struggled to keep up during his live set as his vocals strained on the high notes. Quickly transitioning it seemed as though he prepared a default mix that included every trap and dub step track you could've possibly heard by now. Thankfully I had the night to look forward to as a slew of solid acts were to consecutively take the stage. Wiliam Close & the Earth Harp, an act not to be missed as its the world's largest string instrument.

You were for sure bound to experience something special at the Lightning Stage if the Earth Harp hadn't closed the night, so Nicolas Jaar was to follow with possibly the best set I saw all weekend. The New York native has an allure that has intrigued the public as he produces unexpecting, intelligent compositions all while captivating a crowd through its ups and downs. You'll get a big beat, a lot of bass, a Daft Punk remix then want to stop and think in the middle of his set - very rare. An added surprise as Jaar performed some of his latest tracks, he momentarily sang and danced, more of what he should do often, having the majority of the crowd not even realizing it was actually live.

Though Rusko closed the main stage Saturday night, he didn't close the festival. Tycho, Paper Diamond and PantyRaid were the appropriate headliners to showcase as emerging favorites who had more than enough to offer with solid remixes.

LIB is a festival built around a community of experiencing everything and anything, so one shouldn't come with expectations. Travel to the Temple of Consciousness and you can do yoga or watch projected visuals in a dome set to the sounds of Lucent Dossier Experience.


Aside from the heavy dose of electronic acts, LIB made room for multiple blues, rock and folk acts at the Lumi Lounge and The Grand Artique stages. LA-based bands Blac Jesus & the Experimentalists, The Wild Reeds, Sadie & the Blue Eyed Devils and Them Howling Bones brought in a different dynamic the moment you stepped foot into their sets.

Whether it was dancing in a field at Silent Disco, enjoying after hour campground parties and the casino, there was plenty to keep festival-goers entertained.

We can only hope the festival caps it at 20,000 attendees every year so LIB can continue to be more than just a party, but a weekend getaway from reality. It was the entire vibe that made it because you can't just boast about the performances or the crowds. It was about a time for being conscious, alive and appreciative. By the end of the weekend, you just wanted to live there and play.