2012 Lightning in a Bottle Festival, Oak Canyon Ranch, Memorial Day Weekend–Notes & Photos

LIB 2012

The Do Lab done did it again! Don’t let the Orange County address fool you. The lush scenic landscape of the Cleveland National Forest and the shimmering siren’s call of Irvine Lake set the backdrop for this one-of-a-kind play-fest that is truly a portal of possibilities.

Lightning in a Bottle is a celebration of Art, Music, Performance, Sustainability, and Life. From the minute the smiling Mad Max-inspired ticket person gives you your wristband and winks you their well-wishes you are in the embrace of the Do Lab and let me tell you they do you right!

This unique southern California festival brought out the mystics, beckoned the dance floor junkies, invaded Willy Wonka’s costume closet, and lined up an onslaught of indefatigable beats. The musical madness for this year’s LIB was ravenously eclectic and seductively diverse.

The line up featured familiar Los Angeles favs The Glitch Mob and KCRW soul brotha’ Jeremy Sole mixed with underground names like EOTO and Justin Martin. Friday night, Apparat delivered a beautiful set best described as compositional architecture—cinematic and minimal. Songs like, “A Bang In the Void” and “Ash/Black Veil” wafted over the crowd like the soundtrack to a slow motion scene in coming of age movie—at once epic and nostalgic.

LIB 2012

More words & an amazing photo gallery follow below.

Over at the Woogie stage, Pumpkin wove dirty feel good beats into a house party frenzy. With a stage full of his colorful entourage throwing their hands up in sync with his beats, Pumpkin commanded an ocean of good vibes and glowing souls to sweat out their woes on the dance floor. But electronic music is not all you can find at LIB. The Lumi Lounge provided a haven for more intimate acoustic music such as the sultry and poetic verses of Love in The Circus or the virtuosic folk funk band The Make Peace Brothers. There’s so much good music at LIB and so little battery life on my phone to stay on schedule.

If you stopped doing acid in the 90’s then LIB’s visuals have you covered with their groundbreaking visual mapping technology at the Lightning Stage, proportionally epic installation art like The Do Lab’s iconic rainbow tear drop sculpture Lil’ Squiggle and of course the myriad of costumed festival goers.

What can’t be described about Lightning in a Bottle can only be experienced. Somehow this event merges free play, personal growth, mindful practices, joyful expression and does so across generational boundaries with a definitive nod to the diversity of our contemporary times.

So, next time this festival rolls around don your best leather and feathers and head out to Lightning in a Bottle. I’ll be there! This year The Do Lab done did it to me good!

LIB 2012

Photos by the author.