Lightning in a Bottle is taking place in Bradley, CA (about halfway between SF & LA) on Memorial Day Weekend, May 23-28, 2018. This year will be my 4th LiB and I’m beyond excited. There’s not a lot of festivals that I want to go back to each year, but this is one that I buy my ticket for as soon as it goes on sale, every year, since that first time I went. Lucky for you, tickets are still on sale, so you can nab yours and join me on the adventure this year.
Each time I go I discover more at LiB, and this year I think we’re gonna head in a day early to make sure we’re able to fully take advantage of everything the festival has to offer. There’s lots to do, and this is one festival where you absolutely need to do your research before heading in. If you don’t, you’re gonna feel serious FOMO over things. That said, there’s no right or wrong way to do LiB. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure type of festival, where everyone’s journey is going to be unique -- and that’s part of what makes it amazing.
I’ve discovered that each year I spend less and less time chasing music acts, and more time exploring the lectures and grounds. I have some friends who went to the festival and only left their tent once the sun set, ready to rage through the night at a stage, but that’s really not what LiB is about if you ask me, you can do that at any rave around the country.
So as a LiB vet (I can say that now, right?), I want to let you in on 5 awesome things happening at LiB this year. Some are new, and some are old gems, but hopefully there’s at least something here that makes your LiB experience more magical this time around having read about it ahead of time!
This year, LiB announced this brand new interactive art area. LiB has always been an Arts and Music Festival, and I’ve personally enjoyed the live canvas painting that takes place all weekend, as well as the art structures hidden all around. This year though, they’ve stepped the art aspect up with an array of art classes! These include sculpture to mixed media to body painting and more! More details on this new experience can be found here.
The Learning Kitchen
This is easily one of my favorite spots at LiB. I get to snack, I get to learn, I get to hide from the sun…need I say more? Ancient and modern kitchen traditions are taught here, so there’s a mixed lineup sure to please all. This year’s offerings include Soulful Sprouting, Tantalizing Tonics, Make & Take Pickles, and Oyster Mushroom Taco Party and so much more! Check out the full lineup here.
This is no groundbreaking piece of information, but I really feel like I would be remiss if I didn't mention in a list of awesome things at LiB the sunsets each night. Every night the sunsets are celebrated. People gather along the edges of the festival, or at the highest point for the best views. We cherish this moment to unwind and refocus for the night’s adventures. As the sun hides behind the hills everyone joins in on some wolf howls and applause. It’s truly a magical moment each night. On the other side, I’m not much of a sunrise person, but maybe this year I’ll make it happen and catch one. I’m sure it’s just as magical.
The Soap Box Derby
This LiB tradition is one that I only just explored for the first time last year, and let me tell you, it was more than worth it to be out in the sun! People dress up and build their custom derby cars and hilarity ensues. I can’t wait to check it out again this year. It was a really fun way to get to meet and talk to a bunch of festival attendees as we are all hanging around watching the show.
The Grand Artique
This is returning to LiB this year for the 8th year in a row! It features a fully immersive Trading Post / General Store, hotel, gypsy encampment and an awesome lineup. It’s pretty much set up to look like a Frontierville town and I’m obsessed with it. There’s a section where you can play arcade games for various prizes (from whisky bottles to lucky rabbits feet), and the Sunday revival is something to not be missed.
Just sharing these things with you all has made me so excited for this year!! I think I’m going to have to do a few more articles to dive deeper into each area of LiB (for myself, and to hopefully help you as well!) so stay tuned!
Buy tickets here, I recommend getting car camping as well while it’s available.
All photos were taken by me, @festfashions