11 Tips to Make the Most of Your First LIB

With Lightning in a Bottle Right around the corner everyone is getting ready for the Memorial Day weekend festivities. With a lineup that ranges from trap to techno, and workshops that stretch the mind and body. There’s lots of planning that goes into your campsite, outfits, and stage scrambling adventures. Like many things, preparation is key to make sure you have a great time at the Lake San Antonio Recreation Area. Meeting new friends, dancing till the sun comes up and growing your community are just a few parts that makes LIB special. Whether this is your first or your fiftieth festival we’ve got 10 tips to maximize your enjoyment for all the first timers joining us at LIB this year.

Bring a Wagon – When traversing the hills at the Lake San Antonio recreation center make sure to bring some sort of wagon to help carry your camping supplies and gear for the weekend. It’s not an essential for everyone but it will help you get your campsite setup faster. A small radio flyer wagon, or a luggage cart work anything to reduce the load on your back when getting dropped of near your campsite. Don’t forget rope or bungee chord to hold your things in place!

Leave No Trace – The infamous Burning Man mantra rings true at Lightning in a Bottle as well. As stewards of the earth, we respect the land we play and celebrate on. The notion of leave no trace encourages attendees to keep the venue beautiful, so that once we’re gone it’s as if we were never there. This goes for trash on the dance floor, packing in and out all of your gear and supplies, and taking the time to clear any matter out of place (MOOP) along the way. There’s nothing better than a clean venue, and a space where everyone respects the land they dance on.


Photo Credit: Daniel Zetterstrom

Check Out New Music – Lightning in a Bottle’s lineup has something for everyone from trap to techno. Take sometime to see artists you’ve never seen before. Try to see at least five new acts in a festival weekend that you haven’t seen before. You’re guaranteed to have a whole new playlist to live by come Monday.

Don’t Forget Your Floaties! – Now that LIB has a lake, be sure to take advantage of that by bringing floaties & other fun lake toys! We can’t wait to cool off with you from sun up til sun down! Please leave glitter, rhinestones & other MOOP out of the lake and don’t trash your floaties & leave them behind! We also ask no bathing in the lake.

Bring an Altoids Case – The best portable ashtray out there is the handy Altoids case. Remembering not to flick those cigarette butts can be a challenge, but there’s a certain pride from being a part of this effort. The Altoids case is a small sealable tin container that will be essential in keeping the venue clean while sparing you those long walks to find a nearby trash can.

Go with the Flow  Try to be as present in the moment as possible. Give the texting, Snapchating, and other technology driven activity a rest and soak in some art. Try to let inspiration and curiosity guide your experience; allow yourself to be immersed in the daily occurrences, new adventures, and other learning opportunities as they present themselves. If there’s an act you want to see or an art installation that catches your eye, allow yourself to respond to the calling. If you meet a friend that you’re hitting it off with, hang out with them for an extra minute. You never know where your next step will lead.


Photo Credit: Daniel Zetterstrom

Join the Community – Lightning in a Bottle is known for it’s amazing community and attendees. From festival curators, to veterans and first timers the community is one of the best parts of festival. Meeting new friends from your hometown, or forging bonds with visitors from far away, is part of the magic. Taking the time to extend a conversation or do yoga with a new friend use the experience to grow your friendships and forge new ones.

Be yourself! – Self expression is a huge part of the experience. From costumes to dance, flow toys to gifting, the radical culture of self-expression permeates throughout the festival. Take the time to create costumes that accentuate the inner peacock, and highlight your style. Express your thoughts, feelings and opinions. LIB is a place to celebrate you and your unique abilities. Be authentic and share your magic with fellow attendees!

Bring Yoga Mats, Totems, Fans, and Canteens – Lightning in a Bottle has some of the best workshops and music offerings on the west coast. Bring a yoga mat to loosen up during one of the many yoga classes that are offered during the day, or bust out the flow toys to light up the dance floor at night. Totems are often a great idea to help you find your squad in a crowd or have a unique way to identify your squad. To keep you cool during the days, bring a canteen to refill at one of the many water refill hubs.


Photo Credit: Daniel Zetterstrom

Be Open Minded – Prepare yourself to be amazed. Transformational festivals are containers to expand your scope of knowledge, music taste and sense of self realization. There are opportunities to listen to world class speakers, boogie with the worlds top DJ’s or learn from a fellow festival goer. Try to forget about what you know and allow yourself to be immersed in the experience. If it’s your first Lightning in a Bottle prepare yourself to be astounded and awe struck. There is nothing better than being surprised by a workshop you never thought you would be interested in or a genre of music that you aren’t too familiar with.

Bring Lighting – It can get dark on those late night excursions from camp to camp. Leading your squad to a new stage can be both exciting and hilarious without lights too. Make sure you bring a headlamp, flashlight and other lights to see in the dark. It’s a bit of an extra challenge to setup a tent at night so if you’re looking to save yourself some trouble bringing a few extra sources of illumination may be a bright idea.


Featured Image Credit: Daniel Zetterstrom

by: Jonathan Akbari

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