Can a festival exponentially grow in size and scope throughout the years and still continue to maintain the same vibe? If so, how is such a miraculous feat possible? Ever since my first Lightning in a Bottle in 2008, I have considered myself a huge fan of The Do LaB. In 2008, I had the opportunity to watch a still relatively unknown Bassnectar and The Glitch Mob to a festival with less than a few thousand attendees. Although the festival has grown in size over the years, the vibe remains the same. Its magic is more alive than ever. LiB’s conglomeration of music, art, workshops, diverse vendors and family-friendly activities set to The Do LaB’s unique aesthetic and design creates an experience unlike any other.
I had the privilege of camping with Camp Boogaloo. Nightly parties at Boogaloo featured musical talent from some of LA's premiere underground DJs and producers including bass music queen Madison Orange and the camp’s own organizer Lou E. Bagels. The Boogaloo also competed and won first place in this year’s official Lightning in a Bottle soapbox derby race.
This year’s Lightning In A Bottle kicked off with the option for early entry on Wednesday afternoon with the majority of the programming starting on Friday morning. This year’s Lightning in Bottle brought together some of today’s best music including artists from genres such as indie, electronica, bass, house, glitch, and experimental electronic. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all featured full musical lineups including fully curated programming at the festival’s three central stages – The Lightning Stage, The Thunder Stage, and The Woogie Stage (often referred to as the house music stage).
Friday featured a multitude of excellent performances. Giraffage dropped an emotive electronic sundown set helping to start the weekend on a high note. Modeselektor then delivered a pleasing tech house set on the newly designed Thunder Stage featuring The Do LaB’s newest design known “Waipti,” dreamt up by LA-based architect Ben Lloyd Goldstein and Do LaB owner Josh Flemming. The Librarian (promoter for Bass Coast) delivered a crunchy, enthralling bass music set at The Pagoda. The Lighting Stage’s Friday night lineup featured a stellar performance from all-star bass and funk artist GRiZ and the iconic Glitch Mob, who have performed at the festival almost annually since the first Lightning in a Bottle. Renowned techno producer and dynamic DJ, The Black Madonna closed out the Woogie Stage with an upbeat and progressive set. To end the evening, Too Many Zooz delivered a vaudeville-style performance featuring fantastic saxophone at The Grand Artique.
Saturday night’s lineup was especially strong on the Thunder Stage, which featured a plethora of wobbly bass including sets from some of the west coast’s finest producers such as Partywave, Nominus, X&G, Mad Zach, Zeke Beats, Bleep Bloop, and Tipper. Monolink’s enthralling house set at the Lightning Stage was followed by a tasteful electronic set from iconic producer TOKiMONSTA. Indie R&B singer Nao showcased her musical talents with her powerful performance followed by Anderson .Paak who brought the hype as this year’s headliner.
I rounded out my weekend with a next level, forward thinking, and theatrical performance by experimental indie band Fever Ray who headlined The Lightning Stage on Sunday night. Soundpieces promoter and bass music demigod Bogl kept the vibe high when he played a mixture of the best new west coast bass and glitch. The crowd went wild for rising bass phenomenon CloZee’s set. Electronic producer Zhu performed to a packed house delivering the perfect mix of pop, electronica, and glitch.
In addition to the wonderfully curated and diverse musical lineup, Lightning in a Bottle also delivered numerous other offerings. This year’s festival featured an incredible vendor village with something for everyone, a nightly fire circle, a Ferris wheel, next level art installations, a roller skating rink, wandering performers, a lake, live painting, incredible yoga classes, live comedy, and much more. My personal favorite accent to this year’s festival was Meditation Hill, the perfect place to steal away for a few moments of quiet to catch a meditation workshop with a scenic backdrop of the festival grounds. This year’s Lightning in a Bottle strengthened my own belief in the power of music festivals and the transformational festival scene at large.
Photography By Lizzie Rose Media.