After a couple of years off due to the pandemic, attendees of this year’s Lightning in a Bottle were more than eager to get out to the growing event. Curators Do LaB pulled in notable music acts in Glass Animals, Griz, Kaytranada, Big Wild, Chet Faker, SG Lewis and numerous others to provide the soundtrack for the five-day Memorial Day weekend event. Just as strong were the carefully curated Yoga activities highlighted by Kundalini Yogi Jai Dev Singh, meditation with Anjali Deva and the captivating talks at E.R.A(Ecological Renewal Alliance) highlighted by Darren LeBaron whose ‘You Are a Mushroom Having a Human Experience’ generated much buzz.
The campgrounds were laid out in separate areas and the “street” markers made it easy to meet up with friends new and old, while many off-shoot gatherings took place to create a stronger sense of community. Within the festival itself, the Woogie was a hub of letting loose for many during the day and night to suspend the realities of ‘real life’ and dance and bond with others within a psuedo-Utopian environment. Four Tet performed a multi-hour set at Woogie that enveloped the audience into another sonic sphere, while Black Coffee, VNSSA, Seth Troxler and Votto were other standouts that kept the free-spirit vibes flowing.
The experiences throughout the event at the Thunder stage were diverse, ranging from familiar festival names as Clozee, Big Wild and Goldlink to the unique live sets put on by Mr. Carmack and Goldlink, whose sets featured downtempo hip-hop and R&B to the more bass-heavy music. Meanwhile, Ekali wasa a major standout whose trap bangers and at times aggressive and bombastic melodies set off rounds of euphoria amongst many while assorted LED accessories, hula-hoops and outfits lit up the night.
The return of Lightning in a Bottle was a welcome one after the hiatus for the attendees that provided a safe space for all to be their true selves. With the strong music element, many first-timers were brought in without knowing what to expect and left with a new outlook on their approach to life, while others thrived in a familiar sense of a like-minded community. Bolstered by the other immersive areas of art, culture and learning, there wasn’t a better event to take place at the current moment of where society is considering the state of the world. Lightning in a Bottle is back and once again helped spread the good vibes for all to capture and bring back with them into their daily lives.