Lightning in a Bottle 2012
By Benjamin Guest
I'm not exactly sure why, but I had more fun at LIB than I have had in a long time. It might have been the ridiculous crew of Santa Barbara "Galmazonians" that I camped with, maybe it was the pitch perfect Function One sound systems or the performers that kept them bumping all weekend long. It also could have been the ridiculous friend black hole creating "GLAM" sign that I carried around all weekend (yup, that was me)...
I've never been to Lightning in a Bottle before this year, I had heard about it, I guess I always ignored it as some kind of second rate hippy festival. And yes there are hippies there, but as I became fond of saying, "It takes all kinds of awesome." There were also plenty of Ravers, Burners, Hoopers, Yoga practitioners and regular old people who looked like they might just be a little lost. Kids are welcome and I applaud those parents who remembered ear protection for their kids, because it definitely wasn't quiet.
To me the vibe was somewhere between the extremely structured insomniac massives and the free for all that is Burning Man. Lots of the big art structures and many of the people in attendance had previous burn experience. LIB would definitely function as a good first step for anyone wondering if they can handle or even enjoy the weirdness that is Burning Man.
It was nice to have some of the creature comforts that are available at the more structured festivals. Free water was available on site and there was plenty of food for purchase. The DoLab set up some massive official stages and orchestrated a killer lineup.
Of the acts I remember I have this to report: Bassnecter failed, sorry, I'm just not that into dubstep and although funny, I'm not into classes on popping to dubstep either. Tipper on the other hand killed it. I'm not sure if you call it trip-hop or glitch-hop or just breaks, but whatever it was, it was done right. In electronic music pitch bending is usually a no-no, but tipper managed to pull it of with style, into dubstep and then back into dance. Just awesome.
If you haven't seen it, the Lucent Dossier Experience is really cool. Shpongle may have had the coolest light show of the festival, but his music left a little something to be desired. The Glitch Mob could have been good, but I didn't stay around long enough; What I really wanted to do was go back to the woggie stage.
The Woggie stage was packed with winners, So when they save the best for last, Justin Martin had a lot to live up to... He did not let us down. His bold and bouncy techno killed on the Function Ones and was just what the doctor ordered. His energetic music didn't leave a single stationary body in the whole venue.
Even the though there was a "Main Stage", the "Bamboo" and "Woogie" stages were no less impressive. I personally thought that the Function one sound system at the Woggie stage thumped the hardest. The Woogie was guaranteed to be going off from when the speakers popped to life to 2 am. Our parents may have had a lot of the same ridiculousness at their festivals, but one thing they didn't have is sound like we have, and it just keeps getting better. It will be a miracle if we are not all deft by the time we're old.
It was also nice that the DoLab allowed or even encouraged some of the more outlandish behavior that would never be allowed at one of Insomniacs massive. Camping at events like these events saves a ton of hassel. No need to worry about who is driving after a night of partying. If you need another beer, just go back to your tent and get one. If you need to take a disco nap after dancing all day, just go do it. Need to get more beer or supplies in town? Just go get them, the liberal in out policy allowed you to do what you want. I truly applaud the DoLabs openness to allow people to do the right thing. I didn't see any fights and I didn't hear of any stabbing. I'm guessing there's just to many people at Insomniacs events to have similar policies. If there was a noise policy/curfew, no on obeyed it. It was funny to hear the DJ's joke as they announced the end of the scheduled sound. "Yes it's over, but there maybe a renegade stage or two..."
For the record, The Renegare Stages (stages not put on by the DoLab) did not suck. I'm pretty sure that I had the most fun of the festival getting down and ridiculous at the wooden onion stage on Sunday morning. We kept that stage popping till 11 am. I don't know what I did, while I waited for them to turn the woggie back on, but it wasn't sleep.
Another plus of the more laid back atmosphere is that it allowed me to carry that ridiculous "GLAM" sign around with me through out the entire festival... If you happen to go to one of these things with thirty of your good friends, I highly recommend creating a elwire sign, aka friend singularity creator. Lost your friends, follow these simple steps 1) Go to stage with music, 2) GLAM ON! (turn on ridiculous elwire sign and start bouncing it into the air), 3) Wait ten minutes for your friends to be sucked over the event horrizon. If you haven't been connected with ten of your good friends, you're doing something wrong.
GLAM! GLAM! GLAM!
PS If you happen to be at BM or LIB or where ever and you see the Pink GLAM sign, come over and say BWATT.
PPS I was having way to much fun to take the quantity of pictures I usually would take...