Last weekend we went to Lightning In a Bottle music fest in Bradley, CA and it blew our mindz. If you’re thinking about going to LIB next year, or ever, here are the most important things to know (IMO):

  1. The best shows happen from around 8PM-3AM, and the fest REALLY gets going the most in those wee hours of the night. You will not get much sleep.

  2. People get WEIRD. I saw people dressed as rabbits, people dressed as insects on stilts, people doing every drug, a Native American-esque seance around a pit of fire, and a slew of equally bizarre other things. You will stand out if you roll up in a tank top and jean shorts.

  3. Get involved! The great thing about LIB is there is a whole lotta stuff happening, and the best way to experience it is to put yourself out there. This year we found ourselves in situations that included roller skating, twerk-offs, and trading at Frontierville. Some other fun things you could do are compete in the soap-box derby or maybe talk to one of the live painters who paint a canvas before your very eyes.

  4. The lake will probably be gross. Last year after it had just rained, the lake was wonderful. Lot’s of the LIB ads still show THAT lake. Just be aware that unless it has just freshly rained a lot, the lake will likely be nonexistent or extremely scummy and gross.

  5. The food options are really good. Most of the fests I have been to don’t have the best food selections. But, LIB has a lot of really amazing food, and a lot of really good veg/vegan options as well. Of course they’re still sold at high festival prices, but I think it’s worth it to bring a little extra cash to be able to try a couple of them out.

  6. It is DUSTY. You may already know this, but if you don’t bring a bandana to LIB you will have black boogies from all the dust. Just remember to slip a trusty bandana in your fanny pack so you can bust it out whenever you need to cover your mouth/nose.

  7. You might not last the entire festival, and that’s okay. The fest goes from Weds-Mon, with music Thursday-Sunday. We went Friday-Sunday and I barely made it. This was one of the most fun weekends of my life but also one of the most tiring. Staying up till 4AM, getting almost no sleep, and walking/dancing constantly is rough.

All in all our group had a really great time. The only thing I would do differently was our camping location. We ended up pretty far from the fest, and while we had tons of room to camp and a nice area, it ended up being a lot of walking and kind of a hassle. Next year I would love to be closer to the Woogie stage. I would also warn you that because of how big the festival is and because of the shitty reception, don’t go in a huge group. It will be next to impossible to find each other and even harder to meet back up if you get separated.

Highlights of the fest were definitely Sofi Tucker, Tune-Yards, California Honeydrops and Anderson Paak. The best thing about LIB though is that there is so much to explore. I think it would be impossible to see every nook and cranny of LIB in just a few days. Every day we discovered tons of new things: art, hidden shows, classes, games, etc. There is always so much to do and see that it can even be hard to choose. In the end, the best part of the festival is meeting all kinds of kind, funny, talented, or generous weirdos.