Lightning in a Bottle 2012 Review

As with many profound experiences, words cannot express the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that culminated from the 3-day fantasy land, Lightning in a Bottle. After attending, I realized what it was that motivates a company to be committed to “the highest levels of art, production, and aesthetic to always challenge people’s preconceived notions of reality and what is possible.” (website) There are countless festivals and music events in the world, but it is clear that Lightning in a Bottle is in a class of it’s own because of The Do LaB‘s determination to create an event that encompasses music, art, spirituality, and culture.

Read our take on LIB 2012 after the jump!

There are many aspects to Lightning in a Bottle that make it a truly unique festival, and one of which is a very important aspect to any music event, the attendants.

The population of hippies, gypsies, and other weirdos (who’s normal these days?) are quite prevalent on the festival grounds, but it is that avant-garde appeal and embracing of the unconventional by people from all walks of life that brings together the thousands that made up LIB 2012. Living in Orange County and West LA has proven to be pretty traditional, but little did I know that beneath the surface of this subconscious status quo was something you definitely don’t encounter everyday. Dreadlocks were common, extravagant bohemian clothing was not out of the ordinary, tattoos and piercings seemed to be as normal as a suit and tie on a business man, not to mention the array of various costumes. Despite all of these different and unique characteristics, everyone was able to come together under the ideals of The Do LaB. The attendees of LIB were a sight to see in itself, but so too were the works of art.

Everywhere you look there is art. Even when you’re watching an artist perform, the stage is a work of art (most notably, this year’s Bamboo stage). The art installations of subtly moving objects, bugs, and other trippy things, as well as canvas paintings and sculptures, were all placed strategically throughout the festival grounds to create an immersive experience within the realm of creative visual expression. Walking through the festival was kind of like taking a tour through a modern outdoor museum with some of the most imaginative pieces I have ever seen. To bring the sensory experience into fullswing, there was of course, the music.

Overall, we couldn’t have asked for a better Do LaB curated lineup that was as eclectic as it was quality. On day one, we were welcomed with mellower music during the day, and as the sun went down, a more party type of atmosphere arose. One of my most memorable moments was when Gaudi closed with Bob Marley’s “Jammin'” and suddenly rain began fall. It was an incredible coincidence, and it took me back to last year’s short rain during Pretty Lights. Later on that night, Shpongle, Minnesota, Tipper, and Justin Martin stole the show with excellent sets all around.

Day two delivered many more awesome acts including one of our favorites, Eoto, and several others such as Goldrush (pictured above), An-Ten-Nae, and a new discovery, Alexi Delano. The party on-stage during An-Ten-Nae was a sight to see, and Alexi Delano closed our night at the Woogie Stage with a perfect set that we wished went on till sunrise.

The last day proved to be an appropriate closing to the whole festival with the heavy hitters that we caught: Bassnectar, Big Gigantic (pictured above), Salva, Lee Burridge, and Nick Warren. Other notable acts included El Papachango, Pumpkin, Govinda, and Idiot Savant. As you could imagine, we, along with the other festival go-ers, had an amazing time with everything Lightning in a Bottle had to offer.

We wouldn’t have wanted to spend Memorial Day weekend any other way. We want to send a big thank The Do LaB for their continued efforts in creating something different, and The Confluence Group for their assistance.

Check out these recap videos and some other photos from the festival!