Lightning in a Bottle – Setting The Stage for Art and Creative Expression

By  | 

Many music events and festivals in America these days and around the world are putting a heavier focus on the creative and artistic aspect rather than solely focusing on the music. Throughout major metropolitan areas such as New York, Los Angeles, and Miami, partygoers are now starting to witness their favorite DJs play along with visual artists as well as promoters booking live painters and putting more focus on aesthetics and decor rather than just sound.

Although we all know that the music and sound is one of the most important elements for any good party, it is not the only factor or ingredient necessary to set the mood or tone for an event. Whether the setting happens to be in a glacier or volcano in Iceland at Secret Solstice Festival, an ancient fort in Croatia at Dimensions Festival or the numerous structures in the arid desert of Nevada at Burning Man, visually pleasing environments for mesmerizing sets by our favorite iconic DJs are imperative.


First made popular at Burning Man, art installations, interactive environments, and workshops are now becoming standard at many music festivals and events. The Do LaB has been at the forefront of creative and innovative events for over a decade now. Playing host to one of the best stages at Coachella, The Do LaB has also assisted with the production of Pemberton Festival in Canada, Boom Festival in Portugal, and Envision Festival in Costa Rica. In addition to Lightning in a Bottle, they have also put on Woogie Weekend and Dirtybird Campout at Oak Canyon Ranch in Southern California.

This year’s Lightning in a Bottle will play host to more immersive environments than ever. The focus has always been to create a strong communal atmosphere that promotes self-sustainability and creative expression ever since LiB began as a private birthday party from 2000 to 2003. Since the creation of the festival in 2004, LiB has changed locations 3 times from Live Oak Camp in Santa Barbara, California to Oak Canyon Ranch to Lake Skinner in Winchester, California and finally to the San Antonio Reservoir Recreation Area in Bradley, California.

Each year LiB has grown in size and stature. The art installations are becoming larger and more complex. Artists such as Dylan Blackstone, Shrine, Linka Odom, Michael Christian, Davis McCarty will create geometric patterns, interactive light box installations, large playful structures, and functionally-integrated architectural sculptures at the 2017 rendition of Lightning in a Bottle. There will be a total of 10 new structures debuted with the addition of aquatic art installations.

A lush and inviting lakeside atmosphere will play the foundation for a multitude of technical and creative designers, engineers, drafters, fabricators, and project managers to create a utopia like environment. Josh Flemming and Heather Shaw of Vita Motus will design The Beacon, inspired by the art of origami and the papers shifting planes and hard edges. Josh Flemming, Josh Fritz Friedensohn, Xavi Panneton, and Sica Lyn will design Lilikoi that will be an add on to the Pagoda Bar area and make for the tallest structure at LiB 2017 at 76 feet, 6 inches. The Woogie will be getting a facelift with an entire new structure design and new location and be designed by Heather Shaw of Vita Motus who has designed every Woogie structure thus far. This year’s designed was inspired by the triad design from 2012 and influenced by the look of a unique parametric kite.

Created by Josh Flemming and his structures team, The Haven, LiB’s area to receive bodywork and healing sessions will be made up of three new structures called Star Pods and The Crossroads within The Compass will be made up by a trio of structures called Wallapod and Smallapods. The Artichoke will be LiB’s new and improved Merch booth location.

This year will be the first time that Lake San Antonio will be open for swimming and feature Acquatic Art. There will be interactive experiences on the lake that include The Imagine Nation’s Floating Garden by Kirill Simenchik, The Bell Tower by Prescott McCarthy, The Mazar by Reincarnature, and Tall Ships by W.C. Thornton which features a jungle gym and a plank.

In addition to these many art installations and structures, there will also be a live painting artwalk, a 360 immersive art experience, casino and burlesque, an improv theater, an observatory, a psychedelic hip-hop puppet show, a living art installation, and much more! There will also be a trading post/general store and gypsy encampment, a beauty salon and barber shop, a jive joint, a tea temple, and elixir lounge. There will also be world class cuisine and juice bars as well as meditation areas and yoga classes. The LiB Invitational Soap Box Derby will also return for it’s 2nd year making for a slew of fun, exciting, creative and entertaining environments.

This year’s musical lineup will consist of three main stages and The Grand Antique stage as well as The Favela Bar and The Pagoda Bar. Talks, panels, morning rituals, and experiences will be hosted at The Beacon and workshops and panels will take place at The Crossroads at The Compass. Craft, Haven, and Landing will also be at The Compass and feature various workshops about paleo and folk arts, botanicals, experiences, astrology, magic, tarot reading, meditation, relationships, environmental concerns, and much much more. The Learning Kitchen will feature cooking lessons for everything from Chocolate Aphrodisiacs to Sushi. The Compass will also feature a variety of music and performances in addition to the various workshops, panels, and discussions. Amori’s Casino and Burlesque will feature live burlesque and variety shows every night with The Mothers of Pearl, Jilly Evyn, Surka Noelle, Amber Porter, and more.

The Lightning Stage this year will play host to artists such as Nicola Cruz, Bob Moses, and Bonobo while The Woogie Stage will feature Stephan Bodzin, Joel Mull, and Eagles and Butterflies. The Thunder Stage will play host to Claude von Stroke’s alias, Barclay Crenshaw, as well as Machinedrum and The Grand Artique, will play host to an eclectic array of live bands and performances.

The Favela Bar will see sets from LA promoters, Human Resources, Freddy Be, and Anton Tumas as well as SAAND, Dadon, and Jimbo James from the Musicis4Lovers.com team. The Pagoda Bar will see a lineup that is more privy to Trap and Bass Music and The Beacon at The Compass will see some hidden musical gems such as Mark Farina and KMLN.

For the full lineup visit lineup.lightninginabotle.org and for tickets and more info visit www.lightninginabottle.org.