LiB // Neo-Hippies Unite!

Unicorns at the Thunder Stage. Photo courtesy of THUMP.

Unicorns at the Thunder Stage. Photo courtesy of THUMP.

I know what you're thinking: what the hell is a neo-hippie? The attendees of Lightning in a Bottle (LiB) were of all ages and walks of life but most were "neo-hippes," which can be defined as second-generation hippies utilizing modern technology to impact and change the future of this world. Produced byThe Do Lab of Coachella, this top-rated West coast festival is arguably the best congregation of said group as it fosters a culture of "let your freak flag fly" with an emphasis on consciousness, sustainability, education, and downright love. Much like my experience at Desert Hearts, I so enjoyed attending this Bradley, California based festival and can attest to the quality of all the crazy, awesome individuals I encountered there, and of course, the music. Ahhh the music. 

Flume at the Lightning Stage. Photo courtesy of Get Tiny.

Flume at the Lightning Stage. Photo courtesy of Get Tiny.

Drawing a crowd of 23,000, approximately 8,000 more people than the previous year, LiB was a gathering of artists, entertainers, musicians, DJs, master Yogis, vendors, and lawless yet spirited individuals actively making the world a nicer place. Some of the main acts that were featured at LiB included: ODEZA, Tycho, Flume, SBTRKT, Panda Bear, Zion I, John Digweed, the Lucent Dossier Experience and much more. A lot of the attendees traveled to LiB for more than the music however, and I can see why now, for this festival seriously changed my outlook on life. Others agree as LiB is often labeled a "transformative festival" because it has shown so many that this world can be ridden of negativity with a simple high five to that stranger also walking back to camp at 5 AM from the Silent Disco. Which by the way, was straight from the future.

ODEZA at the Lightning Stage. Photo courtesy of THUMP.

ODEZA at the Lightning Stage. Photo courtesy of THUMP.

Steampunk art cars, frequently spotted at Burning Man. Photo courtesy of THUMP.

Steampunk art cars, frequently spotted at Burning Man. Photo courtesy of THUMP.

In addition to renegade sound camps throughout the festival grounds, the stages were the main attraction at LiB and the infrastructure of each absolutely demanded attention. The main stages included: the fish-carcass shaped Thunder stage, the simplistic and classic Lightning stage, the appropriately named Pagoda Bar, the stone-hedge themed Favela Bar, and my personal favorite, the colorful and inviting treehouse that is the Woogie. All of these stages were beautifully designed with huge pieces of vibrant fabric and natural looking wood to create a tribal vibe all around the festival. Other main attractions at LiB were the Temple of Consciousness, the Yoga tent, the Village, the Meditation Lookout, the Android Jones Dome and various other art installations. 

Thomas Jack DJing at the Woogie. Photo courtesy of THUMP.

Thomas Jack DJing at the Woogie. Photo courtesy of THUMP.

The campgrounds at sunset. Photo courtesy of THUMP. 

The campgrounds at sunset. Photo courtesy of THUMP

I could continue to go on and on about this festival, but I'll sum it up here. Whether you are into the counter-culture offered at Lightning in a Bottle or not, this festival is a game-changer for the future and the next generation is leading the movement. The workshops, seminars, and classes encourage those to see festival culture as more than a party, and as a healing experience instead. If that isn't enough, I highly recommend going just to see the sheer beauty of the people that attend. Positive, creative and loving individuals will surround you and you'll absolutely want to spread the love when you return home. Which is what I'm doing right now. 

Much love, Stay Ugly.