Many are aware of The Do Lab stage at Coachella Music and Arts Festival which highlights lesser known electronic acts. Lesser known is the fact that The Do Lab hosts their own yearly festival called Lightning in a Bottle.
On the beautiful grounds of the San Antonio Reservoir Recreation Area, thousands flock during Memorial Day weekend to experience a festival saturated with love and community.
Being an all camping excursion, Lightning in a Bottle adopts an open mentality towards its crowd. Camping grounds are located surrounding the festival as well as within the main grounds allowing attendants to be immersed in all the music and art.With a “Leave it better, leave it beautiful” approach to their surroundings, the Do Lab encourages participants to respect their campgrounds by taking all of their trash upon leaving. After setting up our own campsite, we were greeted with the friendly vibes we have heard so much about as our neighbours welcomed us with smiles and beer.
Lightning in a Bottle hosts three main music stages, the Thunder Stage, Lightning Stage, and the Woogie. With each stage showcasing different genres of music, it is not hard to find something to appease all of your group’s tastes. At the Thunder stage, bass-heavy beats were the main attraction and with the actual stage being brought over from Coachella, it was nice to see this familiarity at the festival.
The highlights from Thunder included TastyTreat, Little People, and LA native SNBRN. Featuring at the Lightning Stage, which was the biggest stage, were the headliners and live musical acts. The stage was massive with pieces of white fabric providing shade and covering most of the dance floor. Some of the stage’s memorable acts were Pumpkin, Lucent Dossier Experience, Dream World Cirque, and Zion I.
Lastly, the Woogie is furthest of the stages and focused its music on house and tech-house. The Woogie is very unique in that the DJ booth is located in a tree much like a tree house with pillars of light sprawled across the dance floor. The Woogie’s notable sets were Atish, Âme, Lee Curtiss, and John Digweed. With these three stages bringing most of the festival’s music, you could also find live music and dj sets throughout the grounds at bars such as Favela and Pagoda as well as the Grand Artique and the Temple Stage. Lightning in a Bottle serves to be a place where all is welcome and it shows by the diversity of its entertainment.
Aside from music, the Do Lab wants to support creativity in other mediums as well including art, philosophy, and spirituality. Throughout the weekend, the many smaller stages (OM Yoga, Temple Stage, The Village, Namaste Yoga) would play host to a variety of speakers, presenters, and yoga instructors allowing participants to learn new movements and perspectives and to grow from these experiences. In addition, the art that surrounds the festival is absolutely beautiful with installations and galleries spread across the grounds.
It is hard not to notice this pain-staking attention to detail as the Do Lab prides itself in creating an all-encompassing experience. With this being said, the festival would not be as much of a success with the amazing people that attended. Everyone that I encountered were all radiant in their own way and with smiles on their faces, enjoyed each other’s company and the magnificent environment that surrounded them. Lightning in a Bottle truly sets itself apart from most music and art festivals with their pristine production, their dedication to the environment, and fostering one of the most welcoming atmospheres I have ever experienced.
(All Images Courtesy: Lightning In A Bottle/Facebook)