The 20th edition of Lightning in a Bottle took place over the Memorial Day weekend and was an electrifying and fulfilling experience that brought together a diverse array of artists and attendees. Over the course of four days, the weather was comfortably warm during the days and nights as a community of like-minded people came together to “let their freak flag fly” for a weekend of music, art, and knowledge sharing. The performances by Diplo, SOFI TUKKER, Rezz and Zhu were packed with energy and celebratory. Diplo started off his set with a special remix of “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner, who recently passed. The set would then evolve into his signature dance-heavy beats befitting of the Woogie stage as fans danced along. SOFI TUKKER was charismatic and lively as they represented the ethos of positivity and acceptance through their music that had people smiling, singing and dancing along. Accompanied by fire dancers, Zhu was exceptional throughout his set that had people mesmerized throughout his set that was mixed with both new and classic tunes. Other standouts in the music lineup included the return of LiB veteran TOKiMONSTA who performed a bass set at the Thunder stage and then just a couple of hours later, a dance-heavy set at the Junkyard.
The festival vibe like LiB is always dependent upon the attendees and this year the sense of community was more than obvious. Perhaps it was the celebration of the twentieth anniversary or just that this year is a time where people really feel comfortable to be back amongst crowds, or both which made the experience amongst the crowd so joyous. There were so many friendly conversations overheard and relationships formed throughout the weekend that formed genuine connections. The array of unique costumes donned by festival-goers really demonstrated the creativity and individuality embraced by everyone, transforming the festival grounds into a vibrant and visually stunning memorable experience. Just seeing everyone dressed so differently than their “normal outside world” attire added an extra layer of magic to the celebration of self-expression and a testament to the community’s commitment to embracing diversity and embracing one’s true self.
Beyond the music and costumes, Lightning in a Bottle 2023 offered an abundance of workshops and activities that catered to both the body and the mind. The yoga sessions provided a rejuvenating escape from the festival’s high-energy atmosphere, allowing attendees to find balance and center themselves amidst the excitement. With renowned leaders in the space like Fianna Sherman and Dianne Bondy, attendees were treated to classes on various levels from Acro Yoga and Sukkah Yoga to Kundalini. There were many first-time attendees who noted how valuable the learning workshops were to expand one’s knowledge on a variety of topics, ranging from sustainability and permaculture to art and spirituality. The Learning Kitchen is a must-attend every year and this year the classes on plant-based foods was a standout, as well as the herbal medicine making and magical plant medicine elixirs.
Without a doubt, Lightning in a Bottle 2023 exceeded all expectations, delivering a truly unforgettable experience. With its stellar lineup of performances, unique costumes, and thought-provoking workshops, the festival showcased the power of music, art, and community to inspire and uplift. It was a celebration of creativity, self-expression, and personal growth, leaving attendees with lasting memories and a renewed sense of connection to themselves and the world around them.