LIB Story Ticket Winner #1 – A Story of Tattoos, Love and Transformation + Generosity
Our first featured winner is kind of a double feature of transformation and generosity. Cory, who wrote the poem below, offered her story with the knowledge that she would not be able to make it to LIB this year. But even still, she wanted to share her story, and offered to donate her tickets if she won. Tonya was one of our first submissions, but she had never been to LIB so instead of telling a story, her submission was more of a heartfelt request for a chance to experience her own LIB story.
So we matched the two up so one incredible story can help create another! Read below for Cory’s inspiring story of transformation followed by Tonya’s request for an amazing story of her own.
A story of tattoos, love, and transformation. With extra special thanks to Nick Warren.
By Cory Kantin
We had a choice.
We could break up
Or go to a music festival
Electronic. Yoga. California
Heaven. Here we come.
carrying all the confusion that is
4 months of losing
to the black hole
of our differences
Even if it was her trip, that she invited me one day when her arms wrapped round tightly.
But I’m a fighter
and a lover
and we needed
a vacation more than
we arrived on two rockets
aimed as far from the new york we were living
maybe there we could
connect the void,
And arrived she did
To this utopic make-believe
Forest of new friends, pretty lights
I saw it all
Through a tv screen
Divided by an ultimatum for joy
or bust heart
I knew no one, but her and I wasn’t sure
she knew me, my love as she watched me awkward
as a cut/copy image from
New York. Thrown into California
Pain is so obvious in the sunshine
And is especially unattractive
when it was once yours
Despite me. She was calm, charismatic.
Connected as a deep breath
She couldn’t understand
how I could acknowledge Disneyworld
Yet I could not enjoy the rides
She encouraged me, with polarizing grace
She had her whole life to find a seatmate.
But! I’m a lover and a fighter
A meditator. A yogi. A visitor
of the temple of consciousness
The dance floor. At the top
of the ferris wheel with an open mouth.
No hands. I begged my body to join the consciousness
But my energy collided each time the wheel
And I kept on spinning,
Further away. My frequency,
Out of sync. Vibration, Spectrum
Till it was obvious. I was vanishing from the picture
There she was Harmoniously
Blended within the costumed tattoo clad
Freaks, gasp. I sat alone.
Stirring, within a bottle of my own shit
Judgement. while the others, played
Alone I saw the strife was ME
Lurking deep in the roots of my eyes
I saw we were not losing to a black hole of our differences
I was losing love to judgment
She was a garden full of weeds
A body full of tattoos
A woman walking away
My love, I saw her as she was walking away in a beautiful crowd of freaks
Did I mention, she’s tattoo clad
But not looking for attention. Not silly. Not vain and immature.
Just expressing. I wanted to tell her,
“Babe! Come back! I get it”
But it’s not so easy this moment
you realize the problem. The rotten you smell
comes from inside of you
you have to touch it.
cut the diseased thoughts like a cancer
Without killing yourself
Skip shame. Find liberation.
I returned on the final night.
Pumpkin on the Woogie Stage
An ultimatum for my vibrance
I started dancing as hard
As I could to shake it out
into the songs I knew
I broke free beneath-my-sunglasses-tears-as –I- saw –you-see- me –return-and –dance. All-the-faces-recognized-me.
But, my love was sleepy
The all night before filled her limbs
And on this eve, she retired.
Me. Awakened. Released. Connected.
I needed no one. I danced
Everywhere I could feel everything
The highest high of a ferris wheel
How my vibration had been too low to connect
Too compromised. Now contrasted
like a sunrise
And then the universe itself greeted me
Outside the port-a-potty
“What’s up? Where are you from?”
“Brooklyn,” I reply.
“That’s so cool– do you want to come back stage? I’m a friend of Nick Warren’s”
Sidenote: Nick Warren was my favorite DJ at LIB
I wish I had a photo but it can’t be captured. Transformation. Raw energy.
The music emanating to the crowd, to the mountain
The crowd, the nature flowing back
filled my openness completely
This night. For me. The festival. The name. The lightning.
And the black man with heart shaped glasses standing beside me
As I danced watching the energy swirling the crowd into one
In the end. The last set of LIB.
Nick turns around. Picks me up
and spins me
into the whole world.
I shit you not. I let the negativity out
and lightning came
to release me
from the bottle.
On the busride home the next day. I looked at my love and thought.
She’s gonna break up with you now. She doesn’t see you yet.
You’ve stained her bottle and it will take time for her to see past it.
But don’t worry. She will. You’ll get her back
And you’re going to marry her.
Tonya Kinchen’s request for an LIB story of her own:
I don’t have a story, because I have never been to a festival quite like this. I am 31 years old. I am recently single. I have experienced great loss, as my Grandmother whom raised me has recently passed. I live alone, in a small town, and am a big promoter. It comes with quite a bit of angst as other promoters are constantly trying to take me out. I do my best to stand above it and push my events in a positive way. I work at a very small indie rock bar that caters mostly to UC Merced students, The Partisan. I don’t make much money, as I do it more for the passion, and to keep myself going through the months. I have never been someone that has experienced life on the right side of the tracks. I have never been on a vacation. I may not deserve to win with some really great story about my past experiences at Lightning in a Bottle, but I would be ever changed if I did win. I would be grateful and feel extremely blessed to be able to get out of this town, and experience new people, and a life altering music festival such as this seems to be the medicine to cure this wounded soul. I would really like consideration to win, but am happy for those that are chosen if I am not qualified. Thanks so much for your kindness and time.
Thanks so much for sharing your stories and congrats to Tonya for her pair of tickets to LIB 2013. Stay tuned and keep those stories coming as we still have 3 more pairs of tickets to give away!
Tell Your LIB Story and Enter to Win Tickets!
Lightning in a Bottle is not just an art and music festival. LIB is really about being a catalyst for change; for triggering transformation in peoples lives so that we all may have a more positive impact on the world. For 5 days of magic we gather together to create, celebrate, smile, and love in a space that elevates the connection and wonder our everyday world often lacks. And we’ve heard many stories now about how the space Lightning in a Bottle creates changes peoples’ lives in beautiful and powerful ways.
We have heard stories about people meeting, falling in love, and getting married. People discovering the creative spark to leave a corporate career and embark on a life the produces sustenance from art and independence. Or people finding creative partners for new endeavors that take them on journeys they never thought possible. Transformation. From the normal to the beautiful. From the broken to the mended. From the dull to the shining brightness of a new dawn.
We’ve heard many of these stories, but we want more people to hear them. We want these stories to wake people up to what’s possible when we take a chance and believe in ourselves and each other. Please tell these stories to the world! Share your stories of love, creativity discovered, and positive transformation catalyzed. This is why Lightning in a Bottle exists. This is the crazy spark of electricity we are always trying to capture for a weekend and share with the world.
We want to hear your story. The world wants to hear your story. It can be a written story, a short video, a painting, a photo essay – however you feel best expresses the story of transformation you need to tell. We will read all your stories, share them, and every 2 weeks through May, select a story to be featured on the LIB website. All featured stories will receive 2 full weekend passes to this year’s festival. That’s 4 chances to win! So tell us your LIB story and tell it beautifully. Share it in a way that inspires and connects us all to that powerful spirit of positive change within us all!
Share your story
Tell Your LIB Story
Tell Your LIB Story: Smash LeFunk Tells His Through Power of Film
Since first shooting video at Lightning in a Bottle in 2010, Smash LeFunk has continuously grown as an artist and become one of the most sought after video producers in underground festivals and beyond. Smash’s experiences at Lightning in a Bottle have greatly inspired, resulting in the most ambitious and beautiful LIB video to date.
“It’s those irreplicable moments of pure beauty and bliss that keeps us enamored.
That dream that drops you in Never-Never Land where all your worries and troubles are left behind – leaving us no other option than to learn, to play, and to love. We are all dreamers at heart. This is where the magic lies. ”
Tell Your LIB Story: Josh AKA Ooah 1/2 of PANTyRAiD and 1/3 of Glitch Mob
Josh (Ooah) here, 1/3 of The Glitch Mob and 1/2 of PANTyRAiD. Memories of LIB are of plenty filed away in my brain, it’s just a matter of sifting through and picking out the best. One of my fondest memories of LIB would be the first time Marty and I ever played music together as PANTyRAiD in a little pop up shade structure with about 75 of our closest friends. It was a random late night renegade party that we just created out of thin air after the Do Lab boys told us not to, haha, sorry guys but we were making history! Marty and I had met down in Costa Rica about a year before that on a beach somewhere in Mal Pais and found ourselves talking obsessively about bass music, even more refined, about sexy hip hop bass music and how we both come from different parts of the world that can both be called “the south”. Marty from South Africa and myself from New Orleans. From there once we got back to the states we started sharing music sessions that we both had started messing around with on our own, compiling the best ones and flushing those out which would end up becoming our first PANTyRAiD album called The Sauce.
That night at LIB while the festival creatures were crawling around in the dark Marty and I found ourselves blasting all of these new songs we had been working on for a few months now, having the biggest smiles on our faces because this was literally the first time we had ever played any of these songs on a big sound system. It was a real late night party, sexy, fun, filled with whiskey and coconut water with god knows what else mixed in there. It was the essence of why we do what we do, why we make weird dance music, why we spend endless hours slaving away in studios in front of computers. It was love at first sight for all of us, the love of spontaneity, the love of freedom to dance under the moonlight, the love of community and the love of dirty fucking bass music.
Thank you Do Lab, thank you for doing what you do so passionately and letting us music makers share our hearts.
Tell Your LIB Story: Marty Folb aka MartyParty – 1/2 of PANTyRAiD
I first met the Flemming brothers at my music festival on the beach in Costa Rica in 2007. Lightning In A Bottle was their vision at that point and was all they could talk about. In 2008 Ooah and I both went to LIB but didn’t know each other yet. I will never forget how they had manifested their vision exactly as they had dreamt it and described it. Truly impressive. So impressive that I actually volunteered and was part of the crew – and got to experience the incredible Do LaB family and their magical community. In 2008 – I met Ooah at the same festival in Costa Rica where I invited him to DJ. We hit it off immediately! That was the beginning of PANTyRAiD.
In 2009, we both went to LIB as friends and as PANTyRAiD but we had only written music at that point and had not performed. We decided to throw our first PANTyRAiD show in an underground art gallery tent past curfew at LIB. We didn’t know what to expect but when we arrived at the army style tent where the gallery was it was PACKED. We threw down as we do, a sexy dance party, and people loved and it and we had the time of our lives. The rest is history. In a strange way, LIB and the Do LaB inspired and facilitated the creation of PANTyRAiD.
Through the years, as my careers grew, I got to perform as MartyParty at LIB, got to throw some historic backstage parties after curfew but still hope to reunite with Ooah at LIB for a proper PANTyRAiD set.