Lightning in a Bottle 2013, July 11-15 @ Lake Skinner, Temecula—Notes & Pics


At one point during his DJ set perched in the trippy treehouse Woogie Stage on Saturday evening, Jason Bentley turned the music down and said to the crowd, “How fucking nice is this? Lightning In A Bottle, man, this is the shit!”

Amen. This year’s Lightning in a Bottle – a “celebration of Art, Sustainability, Music, Performance, and Life Itself” in Temecula, July 11-15 – was so good it made you want to curse like a sailor. We’ll put a dollar in the swear jar for you, Jason.

The Woogie Stage where he was performing was like a rainbow Ewok village, with the DJ booth up in a literal treehouse in a small cluster of trees. This was an awesome place to stay cool during the day under the shade of the trees, or swinging from a hammock amidst the branches. But, who could lay around when sets from DJs like Lee Burridge and Miguel Migs were bumping beats from up in the treehouse. A Woogie highlight was Gigamesh’s set where he had everyone dancing in the sun under water misters to his nostalgic remixes of songs like Fleetwood Mac “Dreams” and Deee-lite “Groove Is in the Heart.”

The Bamboo Stage in the middle of the festival grounds was the place to be for acts like LowRIDERz, An-Ten-Nae, A.Skillz, The Polish Ambassador, and GriZ. The Lightning Stage, the largest of the 3 stages, was the best at night when the headliners showed off why they got to have their names in such a large font on the flier. Purity Ring closed the first night with their beautiful synced cocoon lights and lush electronic pop sounds. Nicolas Jaar lowered the BPM for the night on Saturday with his experimental electronic set, silhouetted against bright projections. Then, Rusko sped the tempo to heart attack level with his drum ‘n’ bass dubstep set at the end of the night. On the final night, Tycho took the stage right at sunset and sent us off to dreamland with their beautiful visuals and ambient soundscapes.The final act of the festival, PANTyRAiD, blasted the crowd with a final dose of bass before packing up camp.

Beyond the 3 main music stages were a Splash Pad water park to cool off during the day, the Temple of Consciousness area for workshops, yoga, and speakers, and a number of other lounges and interactive pop-ups. Below the festival area was the campground. Nearly all the attendees camped on site, creating a big tent village with its own set of roads and rules (or no rules as we learned the first night — trying to sleep in our tents next to a renegade converted military bus equipped with a very loud soundsystem and insomniac DJs at the volume controls).

The entire LIB transformation of Lake Skinner was as impressive a feat of creative architecture, musical talent, and good vibes as the Do LaB has ever put on. The giant art installations that glowed at night. The Temple of Consciousness with its teepees, shade structures, and sacred sanctuaries. The three main stages – Woogie, Bamboo, and Lightning. Just truly inspired and inspiring spaces that the Do LaB created for the festival.

Thank you, as always, Do LaB. As Jason Bentley said, Lightning in a Bottle was “the shit.”