A whirlwind of divergent and reverberating energies surrounded the behemoth festival, Lightning in a Bottle, during her 2017 incarnation, an alchemy that made the event’s cultural and artistic achievements all the more remarkable. Venerable LA conglomerate The DoLab is an ever-evolving force of nature — the minds, body, and soul of Lightning in a Bottle — realizing the festival and its ethos and vision into fruition each and every year. With a dedication to art, progressive social movements and justice, community, the environment, yoga, and education that rivals any other gathering of its kind, Lightning in a Bottle has established itself with such impact that The DoLab has pivoted to more contemporary, gen-pop events like their wildly-popular presence at Coachella.
Some chatter in recent times threw a little shade at The DoLab, thinking that its Coachella influence has invaded or pervaded Lightning in a Bottle. One cannot deny the sense of a community’s lowest-common-denominator, or maybe that’s just the radical inclusion that The DoLab mined from its Black Rock City genetic code and inspiration. The assembled twentyish-thousand ravers, hippies, revolutionaries, shamans, ex-patriots, b-boys, and b-girls certainly included some low-hanging fruit, and a brief peruse around the festival grounds revealed more than a few bros and sparkleponies, too. It seemed that the brand-new, shimmering lake filled with water for the first time since the festival has resided in San Antonio Recreational Area made for more than just an oasis in the formerly dusty expanse; it brought people together, along with their floaties and an abundance of good vibes. All things reconsidered, the congregation that decamps to Bradley, CA each Memorial Day weekend for Lightning in a Bottle is among the most compassionate, colorful, vibrant, open, forward-thinking, tolerant, sexy, and enjoyable festival communities that this writer has had the good fortune to enjoy.