History of LIB
January 28th, 2019
1999 – LIB is born
Jesse and Josh Flemming unknowingly throw a birthday party in the woods of Los Padres Forest that will change their lives forever.
2004 – No longer just a birthday party
We were inspired to take what was a birthday party and grow it into something bigger so we could offer it to more people. The 24 hour gathering was such a success that we took off 2005 to search for a perfect venue to host what is now Lightning in a Bottle Arts and Music Festival.
2006 – The Woogie Stage appears
The Woogie has undergone more transformations than any other signature element at the festival. Originally, the Woogie was started by Do LaB and taken over by Sammy Bliss and Jesse Wright (of the Pocket Underground Crew), who had a beefy Pocket Turbo sound system and a laundry list of local DJs to bring the house party vibes.
2006 – Yoga classes are introduced
2007 – Om Shan Tea pours its first cup
Om Shan Tea brought a fully immersive ceremonial tea house to revive and rejuvenate the masses, which led to an outpouring of tea rituals at events all over.
2007 – Lightning in a Paintcan inaugural year
We brought a collective of live painters to the festival to showcase a wide array of visionary arts.
2007 – Talks and discussions by world renown visionaries, leaders, and teachers are introduced as part of the festival’s main programming
LIB’s learning hub—known as the Temple of Consciousness starting in 2008 which evolved into what is now known as The Compass—was created with the intention to activate bodies, expand minds, and open hearts. This area of the festival offers workshops and talks from world renown visionaries, wisdom keepers, master teachers, healers, activists, performers, musicians, and more.
2007 – Practical how-to sustainability workshops become a staple of LIB
Long time Burning Man icon, “Chicken” John Rinaldi, brought a gasifier to LIB to demonstrate alternative ways of producing energy that can power cars, homes, and more!
2010 – The Grand Artique at LIB is founded
The Grand Artique began as a roaming cart and quickly added a small general store and stage at LIB. The collective of artists and producers have grown the attraction into a small township that gets bigger and more interactive each year. Still true to its pioneering roots, the general store is the only place at LIB where barter is the key form of currency.
2010 – JiveJoint at LIB is established
Super Tall Paul and Ross “Rossome” Steeves at the JiveJoint started late night shenanigans in the shake down street marketplace row at LIB 2010 during our first year at Oak Canyon Ranch in Silverado. Widely loved as an oasis from the larger stages, their presence and talent has increased each year.
2010 – Lightning Stage established
2011 – The Squigs, Scrambled Eggs, and The Pagoda make their LIB debut
2013 – The Village is established
Started as a way to address the growing hunger for richer learning experiences at LIB, the Village was founded in 2013. The Village was celebrated as a space for hands-on education surrounding and array of ancestral arts. Workshops and presentations were offered here to cultivate curiosity towards lost cultural crafts, forgotten customs, and social change efforts. Since 2017, the Village has merged to be part of The Compass.
2013 – Treepees rise at LIB
2013 – Beatnest becomes the new Woogie Stage
2014 – Eeperts are erected
2015 – Thunder Stage replaces the Bamboo Stage
The structure that housed the 2015 Thunder Stage, named Big Fish, was built for Coachella but won the hearts of LIB lovers all over.
2015 – Favela and Pagoda Bars evolve into LIB’s late night dance party spots
Started as just your plain ol’ watering holes, both these bars organically became the place to be when the main stage music got quiet for the night.
2015 – Bridges are constructed for easy passage across the festival grounds
In 2014, our first year at Lake San Antonio, LIB goers traversed tough terrain across peninsulas and and down through ditches. We heard the feedback after the festival and instantly knew something had to be done about it. Fast forward one year, and we were building bridges that would become known for the place to go to give or receive a high five.
2016 – Festival goers enter the LIB gates on Wednesday for the first time ever with Early Arrival Passes!
It was always our dream to have LIB be a full 5 Day experience, so our community could spend as much time together at their favorite place. Now Early Arrival has become popular among attendees who want to snag a coveted camp spot and savor the LIB vibes for as long as possible.
2016 – Soap Box Derby introduced
One of LIB’s most beloved interactive activities, the Soap Box Derby Invitational draws spectators from far and wide to see the many departmental crews of the festival bring their A game and race down a steep hill for a chance at the gold.
2017 – A wet winter turns our barren lake bed into Lake LIB!
For the first time ever, attendees had a body of water to relax and cool off in. Shoutout to Mother Nature.
2017 – Talks and Discussions are enriched with the addition of content partners like Bioneers, Indigenous Environmental Network, Planet Experts, and more
Learn more about our content partners here.
2017 – 9 new structures are debuted: Beacon, Lilikoi, Wallapod, 2 Smallapods, Artichoke, and 3 Starpods
This was the most structures we have ever debuted at LIB! Our total structure count—including the Lighting Stage, Woogie Stage, Learning Kitchen and 2 yoga tents—came to 14!
2018 – Wapiti replaces Big Fish as new Thunder Stage, and becomes the largest structure at LIB to date holding a whopping 10,000 attendees
Read more about Wapiti here.
2018 – New hands-on art classes at the ArtClave are introduced
Started as a way to get more attendees to explore expression and get creative while learning, the ArtClave was born. Featuring an array of experiential art classes taught by artists in the festival community, this area invites LIB goers of all skill sets to come and activate the artist within.
2018 – Glitzern Grime designs the most colorful Woogie Stage thus far
All the way from Australia, our friends at the art and event collective Glitzern Grime unleashed a whole new level of Woogie.