Throughout the history of time, humans have been known to come together and celebrate for divine and spiritual purposes. We’ve seen these events manifest in forms of pow wows and rituals held by our Neanderthal ancestors and Native American counterparts to the massive assemblies and state gatherings at the Agora of Athens during the Roman Era. It’s what makes us distinctly human, collectively gathering for a common cause and shared purpose. Walking the same path, breathing the same breath, and beating along side the same heartbeat.
After attending Lightning In A Bottle 2015, I’m positive that this modern day music festival is one of our generation’s last and only attempts of tapping into this collective consciousness that has pushed the boundaries for so many past eras into new realms of experiential and spiritual consideration. But why music festivals? Because I’ve found that live music is the only incentive left that can motivate tens of thousands of people to temporarily suspend their busy lives and participate in this kind of organized mayhem and with this year’s line up, it was not a surprise that the people showed up in droves.
The DoLab team behind LIB’s production understands that the true beauty behind these gatherings is not the event itself but rather the people that fill the grounds. New friends are made, new limits are tested, and new passions are discovered as the event production exists to simply to facilitate and amplify the overall experience. With this year’s striking expansion in both numbers and size, new additions had to be made in order to expedite travel time between stages and continue to encourage conversation. Every installation, walkway, and feature had purpose. Ranging from the newly added bridges that were built to inspire both faster travel and high fives to the Temple of Consciousness and Meditation hill, both zoned off areas that forced you to look within, Lightning in a Bottle was filled with a diverse range of activities that one could purposefully get lost in.
After attending an essential oils workshop led by Peter John Swartz from the YOUnique Movement, he said, “We understand that this many people will never come for our specific set of workshops or knowledge. It’s impossible. But we consider our job well done if somewhere along the path to their favorite artist they wander into a workshop and expand their horizons about meditation, Native American culture, or simply living a happier life.” And that’s exactly what I did. On my trek to the immersive and clubby Woogie Stage, I stopped to smell the roses, and in this case, rose extract concentrated into the form of an Essential Oil leaving with my very own starter pack and a whole notepad of questions I wanted answers to.
At the end of the day, Lightning in a Bottle did a phenomenal job of casting a wide net with its eclectic and enticing lineup and attracting a large audience (over ~20,000 tickets sold) while still catering to its niche returning patrons revisiting for the musical and spiritual awakening. While standing in line awaiting for my vegan breakfast burrito, I asked, “How many of you have been to LIB before?” The response was surprising. Nearly three quarters of them were here for the very first time. No one really knew what they are signing up for, they were simply chasing the headliners and look for a good time. However, when they stepped foot into the festival grounds in Bradley, California, the DoLab team ensured an accessible yet mind-blowing experience that is guaranteed to keep you flipping through your Instagram pictures for weeks and pre-ordering tickets for next year. It becomes easily apparent through Lightning in a Bottle, that the only thing that continues to bring us humans together and keep us away from our ever-increasing To-Do lists is the power of live music and shared collective consciousness.
-ALEX ZHANG, DIRECTOR OF SPONSORSHIP, Cereal