The Do LaB’s flagship festival, Lightning in a Bottle, attracts some of the weirdest people – in the best of ways – we’ve ever met. For two of us, this was our first time attending a “transformational” festival and it definitely won’t be our last. For years, we had to deal with all our other friends expressing how amazing the “vibe” was. We finally got to find out first hand at the 2014 installment. Check after the jump for how it went.
LIB truly is one of those festivals where strangers become friends in a matter of seconds. A welcoming smile and a truly heartfelt hug (there is no handshaking here) opened our souls to what would soon become a place of sheer spiritual beauty.
And utterly and inexplicably, acceptable weirdness; we saw ridiculous garb, purely animalistic dancing, and more things that would make a city slicker cringe. The strangeness didn’t matter though because everyone was undeniably happy. It came to me on Sunday as I sat in the dirt being enlightened by Chet Faker’s beard: LIB is great because everyone is comfortable in their own skin, there’s no need to prove anything to anyone. You’re free to open your soul to a complete stranger and they willingly share their soul too.
We trickled in Thursday night and set up camp underneath a beautiful art installation and energy bar, powered courtesy of Ecoboom, who definitely helped set the tone for the weekend by providing a space for communal meeting and sharing. Their vision: to replace diesel generators with efficient, clean energy sources. This would lessen a festival’s energy footprint and bring the transcendence associated with the festival ideology to higher ground. We’re all for it.
Friday morning was all smiles; the sense of wonder emanated from everything. Once we got past the hassle of the lay of the land, running through the deep trenches and breaching the ridges to new sights and sounds had an otherwordly effect. We did some exploring and soaked in the art before finding our way to the Bamboo Stage for Thriftworks. As soon as we arrived, the booming bass let us know that this was where people would be getting down all weekend. The beats kicked so hard that the entire stage looked like it was breathing. Later that night, Ryan Hemsworth and Baauer made that fact even more apparent. We’d seen these two multiple times before, but never like this. They played such eclectic and high energy sets full of remixes and unexpected cuts that earned them spots in our top acts of the weekend. At the Lightning Stage, The Polish Ambassador treated us to a sunset set of originals and remixes that had everyone dancing to an amber backdrop. Gramatik’s mixture of jazz, classical, and electronic was a welcome change of pace in the day. The energy of his sets is unmatched! Moby’s acid house set took us back to the early 90’s dance craze and had us bowing down to the legend.
Damian Lazarus’ set at the Woogie that same night also gets a “best of” tag. He played a set of deep, dark techno that just got to us. We closed out with Claude VonStroke singing Happy Birthday to J.Phlip. We must add: the sound at the Woogie was perfect. We have Pure Groove to thank for that. Their revolutionary systems provided crisp sound all weekend, the quality of which brought tears to our audiophile faces.
Saturday was a battle. It was hot and there was hardly any wind to cool us down. No matter, we put it past us to the music of Do LaB staple Pumpkin. His deep, indie-pop house skill will always hold a special place in our hearts. Tourist at the Bamboo Stage had us floating with his unique, chilled out vibe (check out the video we got!). We closed with our favourite: Cashmere Cat. And we’re glad we did. He brought his bass-game and some brand new remixes we’re still searching for. This was definitely our favourite day of music. We were bombarded with such a wide range of sounds and styles that we couldn’t help but be taken aback by the knowledgeable fingermen behind LIB’s lineup.
Sunday morning, I caught the sunrise with Mikey Lion and everyone else pushing 72 hours. I followed that set with a trek to Meditation Lookout to recharge my sleep deprived system. After people gathered their energy, a few of us decided to check out the speaker series going on at The Village. We sat in on Chad Hurley’s talk about dreams and making them a reality. From a businessman’s perspective, it was great but the Q&A session fell kind of short. We noshed on delicious potato kniches, falafel, and young coconuts before heading over to Sweater Beats. Sunday was way more of a sit back and observe the culture kind of day – we found ourselves chilling in the Do Art Temple enjoying the feel of fresh grass and watching the live paintings come to life.
All the dancing from the weekend had kicked up a huge cloud of dust over the festival. By Chet Faker’s set, it had started settling in. What So Not’s set at the Bamboo Stage only added to it. He – it was just Emoh – threw down our top 3 set all weekend. He dropped an insane remix of Benny Benassi’s “Satisfaction” (we’re searching) that had everyone bouncing. By this point, there was a whole new layer of dust forming on top of the already dried up layer of sweat and dust. It was only fitting that we close out the night with Beats Antique in such a form. Something about gypsy, ethnic electro blasting throughout a desert sandstorm with a backdrop of fire hoopers, light staffs, and gypsy dress just felt right.
As we all headed back to camp for the final night in the dust and grime, we ran into and joined tons of people letting out the last of their weirdness before heading back to reality…which just so happened to include a mandatory stop at In-N-Out.