This was a very important year for The Do Lab, creators of southern California’s Lightning In A Bottle Festival. After outgrowing their Orange County home in 2012 they moved to Riverside County in 2013; the festival itself was beautiful, but the politics associated with an overly aggressive police force drew really bad reviews from the audience. This forced them to move again and this time The Do Lab really went for it by moving 240 miles North of Los Angeles to Bradley, California. This was a bold move for a company that worked so hard to build a loyal LA fan base.
Upon arrival the fans were treated to an easy and organized entrance routine. LIB offers shuttles to help festivalgoers move their festival gear from the parking lot to the campground. On the bus the driver explained how the camping worked, where the different camping lots were located and how many ravines had to be crossed. Ravines? Yes.
This was the LiB where the organizers trusted that their crowd had more Burning Man in them than Coachella. The Do Lab wagered that their crowd could handle four days of climbing hills and walking long distances between stages in order to have a venue that offered everything they were looking for. They were right. The crowd responded and didn’t let the extra walking prevent the best festival experience possible.
The venue really worked great for Lighting In A Bottle. The biggest benefit was that the venue could now keep the main stages going until 2am, and then they had sanctioned sound camps handle the 2am-5am music shift. When a festival offers music all night it immediately transforms from a festival where everyone is on the same schedule, like work or school, and instead turns it into a never-ending community based on freedom. You are on your own schedule and can do anything you want to do.
What else is there besides music?
Music is just the beginning. LiB has yoga classes that run all day long. They have talks by new age thought-leaders that will inspire the audience to live up to their potential and help them realize that potential is limitless. This message is really driven home by the festival attendees who all seem to love life a little more than any other festival crowd you will come across.
The final ingredient to The Do Lab’s perfect festival masterpiece is to turn the entire event into an art. Every last detail from standard structures like coffee shops and stages were designed with beauty in mind. Their use of light at night turns the venue into a true wonderland that brings out your inner child as you explore from place to place. You even get to explore the art that is created by dozens of live artists over the course of the weekend.
Just as quickly as the weekend started it seemed to have come to an end. LiB was one of those festivals that was a shame to have to leave. LiB 2014 is going down as huge success and it seems that it has found a venue that offers everything they need including room to grow.