Seeing the sprawling hills of Bradley filling the rear view with colorful sunsets and enchanting memories, the 11th glorious Lightning in a Bottle concludes as one of the West Coast’s premier camping, arts, music and yoga festivals. LIB continues to ascend as a kaleidoscope of adventures and life-changing experiences that will successfully surprise even the most seasoned revelers.
Returning to the San Antonio Recreation Area for the third time, LIB 2016 proved to be the biggest and best gathering to date as Do LaB cemented a major pre-event milestone in its rich, colorful history, hitting max capacity at 20,000 tickets weeks before the gates opened.
Monumental and captivating art installations, melodies of pink and red sunsets, playful animative performers and the natural, eye-catching rolling hills landscape served as the backdrop for the affair, providing an enchanting portal for intimate moments and aural discoveries alike.
Early risers were treated to daily yoga underneath the light, airy throes of the Lightning Stage, which hosted an array of practices including a set with music curated by Marques Wyatt and yoga under William Close’s renowned Earth Harp. After yogis stretched their limbs and opened their hearts, the Lightning stage showcased the festival’s top acts from early afternoon into daybreak of the next day with performances from sensual and soulful Chet Faker, gripping and emotive post minimal sounds from Moderat, an intoxicating and meandering set from Jamie XX, jazz saxophonist stylings of Big Gigantic, an ethereal Grimes, hip hop vocalist and producer Lafa Taylor, who invited a bevy of dancers onstage, and a trippy, otherworldly live afternoon performance from Russ Liquid Test, plus many others.
Sunny skies brought daytime dance parties, where The Woogie stage shone brightest. As temperatures turned up the heat, house and techno worshipers flocked to the prismatic awnings of the stage, which featured a fanciful entanglement of neon piping winding and wrapping around the DJ booth. Afternoon sets laden with misters and good vibes regaled audiences, where progressive producers such as Sacha Robotti, Justin Jay, Jonas Rathsman, Lane 8 and Lee Burridge took turns spinning long after the sun rays had fallen beyond the horizon. The Woogie also hosted an early Saturday morning memorial tribute honoring the late resident favorite Pumpkin, as many friends and family gathered to celebrate and dance under the magical canopy Pumpkin had played so many times before.
Twilight beckoned wanderers in search of the wonderfully weird and bass-centric beats, those who ventured into the evening found themselves fully immersed in the mystical offerings of the night, each stage brimming with late night sets. The festival’s other main stage, the Thunder, an amped up version of Do LaB’s Big Fish at Coachella complete with the 2016 addition of visual screens, lived up to its namesake with show stopping, mesmerizing sets from the world’s preeminent bass music aficionados.
Day and night, the Thunder unfurled a fury of innovative sound, culminating with long-time LIB’ing Legends Pantyraid closing out the gathering with an unforgettable Sunday night set. Supporting acts over the weekend included Cashmere Cat, Ekali, TOKiMONSTA, Eprom, Dimond Saints, Mija and an incredible b2b by G Jones and Minnesota, who delivered one of the most dynamic sets of the weekend.
Courtesy of The Confluence | Eric Allen
Keeping the tunes pumping throughout the day and long after the main stages went quiet after 2 a.m., were the Favela and Pagoda bars, which helped to ring in the weekend festivities by starting off the music on Thursday before the main stages coming to life on Friday and continuing into dawn on Monday. Surprise sets were key aspects of both stages, with LIB artists Patricio, Autograf and The Glitch Mob’s Boreta all stopping by for late night thrills.
Roamers found themselves stumbling across the many immersive environments of Lightning in a Bottle, which features music, art and interactive installations. Environments such as The Grand Artique boasted a large-scale, reenvisioned stage for late-night frivolity, the mysterious Lightning Inn was a labyrinth of secret rooms requiring finding clues, passwords and improvising with the hotel’s wild staff to enter, while The Lost Hotel churned relentless beats and played host to an interactive dining experience. Other dining experiences could be found across the festival grounds with The Village hosting The Last Supper Club and Amori’s hosting one ripe with tantalizing food and saucy burlesque.
The festival’s spiritual epicenter, The Temple of Consciousness, featured an enlightening Cacao Ceremony to open the weekend with intention and purpose, and later welcomed headliner Chet Faker for a secret surprise set. Prince Ea also shared an inspiring Q&A session at The Temple moderated by Dream Rockwell for those looking to bathe in his wordsmithery that challenges preconceived political, social and environmental ideals. Those in search of educational forums hit The Village and The Learning Kitchen, where pioneering luminaries such as Cherie Rae Russell, Marza Miller, Jennifer Dumpert and many others enlightened open ears.
Catch Do LaB upcoming festivals with the Dirtybird Campout from Oct. 7 to 9 in Silverado.