LIB's First-Timer's Guide - Lightning In A Bottle 2020

What’s Inside?

Thank you for choosing to embark on your first LIB adventure with us! Lightning in a Bottle is more than a festival, it’s a community campout that’s over 15 years strong. Every attendee, artist, creator, presenter, and crew member contributes to make this gathering a truly unique experience. Camping out as a collective of conscious explorers is an essential aspect of the LIB magic, and together we create a welcoming and safe place to imagine, play, and create.

2020 is a big year for our entire community as we excitedly welcome everyone back to LIB’s home at Buena Vista Lake in Kern County, CA on Memorial Day Weekend. There is a lot to know before we get there so use this guide as a tool kit and resource of what to expect, how to prepare, and what is expected of YOU and each member of the LIB family.

Stay connected and informed on all things LIB by joining any (or all!) of the online communities listed below. We’ll be releasing lineups, important updates, and special announcements to help you prepare for your first LIB adventure.

We appreciate you taking the time to read through this guide and better understand what LIB is all about. May 20th will be here before we know it, and we cannot wait to share the magic of LIB with you very soon!

Join the Community

Get LIB news delivered straight to your inbox.  Subscribe to our newsletter here.


Connect with the LIB Facebook community by RSVP-ing to our Facebook Event and by joining our Lightning in a Bottle Facebook Group!

The 6 Ways of LIB are our community’s guiding principles that can be applied to all aspects of the LIB experience. They are simple, but when we all put them into action they are powerful. Let’s remember these Ways of LIBing and create magic together!

Celebrate Life

In every action and experience at LIB we cultivate feelings of fun, joy, and togetherness. We always remember that we are here to create and share the best time!


How we celebrate life at LIB:



  • Keep an open mind. You’ll thank yourself later!
  • Open your heart to the people around you. Let people in.
  • Explore and get out of your comfort zone. Say YES! LIB is the perfect place to do this.
  • Embrace challenges and focus on solutions. Let go of things you cannot control.
  • Spread and seek out good vibes. You attract what you put out.
  • Connect with your body. Know yourself.
  • Share your talents. This is important, the world needs to know!
  • Keep smiling. You’re alive.
  • Breathe. You are here now.

Create Community


Celebrate Life

In every action and experience at LIB we cultivate feelings of fun, joy, and togetherness. We always remember that we are here to create and share the best time!


How we celebrate life at LIB:



  • Keep an open mind. You’ll thank yourself later!
  • Open your heart to the people around you. Let people in.
  • Explore and get out of your comfort zone. Say YES! LIB is the perfect place to do this.
  • Embrace challenges and focus on solutions. Let go of things you cannot control.
  • Spread and seek out good vibes. You attract what you put out.
  • Connect with your body. Know yourself.
  • Share your talents. This is important, the world needs to know!
  • Keep smiling. You’re alive.
  • Breathe. You are here now.

Create Community

At LIB we act in accordance with a shared sense of belonging. LIB belongs to all of us and we are happy to share it with one another in all its spaces and interactions.


How we create community at LIB:



  • The Campgrounds: Share space, respect your neighbors, keep a clean camp!
  • The Dancefloor: Move carefully & calmly through crowds. Never push through people. If you want to be in the front for a set, arrive early.
  • Harm Reduction: Offer support to those in need. If somebody looks lost or unwell, help them find medical or security staff.
  • On Social Media: Treat others with respect & good will ~ don’t feed the trolls.
  • Waiting in Line: Waiting is a part of any festival experience. Stay positive, follow instructions & remember we’re all in this together.

Respect Yourself, Respect One Another

We recognize and respect personal boundaries. In respecting boundaries, we take responsibility for how our actions affect ourselves as well as those around us.


How we respect ourselves & others at LIB:


  • Take Care of Yourself & Be Smart: Drink water, take breaks, get sleep, be present, and know your limits. The future of this event depends on you!
  • Respect people’s bodies & boundaries: Keep your hands to yourself unless given clear verbal consent. Never assume & always listen. Compliment kindly not crudely. Approach every person respectfully.
  • Take Responsibility for Your Actions & Words: What you say, the costumes you wear, and the things you do can impact those around you. Check yourself regularly, educate yourself, be open to constructive feedback, and when in doubt ask.

Actively Participate

We all take an active role in creating the LIB experience for everyone. We stay off the sidelines (and our phones!), exploring the possibilities of being the best versions of ourselves.


How we actively participate at LIB:


  • Put down the phone! Turn it off, leave it at camp, let it go. Instagram will still be there when you get back.
  • Dress to self-express! It doesn’t matter what you wear, just put some love and creativity into it and let yourself shine through.
  • Lead by example: Pick up some trash and watch the person next to you do the same. Kind acts are contagious, see how many you can create!
  • Share your creativity! Create an offering, take a drawing class, or explore participatory art. Just don’t deface or damage someone else’s art! Create with respect.

Honor the Land

We have gratitude for the land and community where LIB is held. We strive to leave the land better than we found it and make a positive impact as part of the community.


How we honor the land at LIB:


  • Pack It In / Pack It Out: Manage your camp trash, take all your camping gear home, and leave a spic and span space where your camp once was.
  • Respect the native plants and animals: Don’t trample the plants unnecessarily, and don’t unnecessarily disturb the wildlife at the park.
  • Respect the local community: Drive the speed limit. Don’t leave trash or anything by the roadside. Be friendly and courteous to everyone you meet in or out of the festival. Thank them for hosting the festival in their community. We all appreciate it!



Be a Citizen

We keep the wonderful experiences and learnings of LIB with us after the event so they can guide us in exercising our citizenship in our wider communities.


How we Practice Citizenship outside of LIB:


  • Vote! The most basic and important civic responsibility of all.
  • Accept the call to Jury Duty: Jury Duty is a chance for all of us to experience and contribute to justice in action.
  • Know your rights: to exercise your rights you must know what they are. Oppression loves ignorance.
  • Respect the rights and opinions of others: Democracy is built upon reasoned debate. It is our best chance to find solutions and common ground. So don’t feed the trolls. Respect and compassion wins in the end.



Over the next few months leading up to the festival you can expect weekly newsletters from us chock-full of lineup announcements, highlights, and important updates. Some of the terms and names we use are unique to LIB, while others may just be standard festival lingo, either way, this list will give you a brief explanation of some key phrases you’ll likely be seeing in your inbox very soon!

The Compass: The learning hub of the festival, the Compass is made up of 6 programmed areas offering talks, workshops, and classes.

Learning Kitchen: an educational area dedicated to food-focused workshops and culinary classes in a variety of both ancient and modern kitchen traditions.

ArtClave: LIB’s interactive creative learning space, offering art classes, hands-on workshops, and LIB art tours.

Lightning in a Paintcan: aka LIP, over 50 live painters transform blank canvases into incredible murals and paintings throughout the festival, concluding with an art walk and silent auction Sunday evening.

Interactive Areas: micro-environments within the festival offering unique programming, games, shenanigans and more

The Marketplace: Your go-to destination within the festival for community crafted goods made by some of the best local and international artisans.

Boutique Camping: Ideal for out of state travelers or camping newbies, Boutique Camping offers onsite camping services that include pre-pitched luxury tents for an extra special LIB experience.

Pack It In, Pack It Out: LIB is a “Pack it in, Pack it out” event, meaning everything you bring to LIB, including your camp waste, should be taken out of the festival with you or brought to a Waste Collection Station on your way out.

Green Team: We are all Green Team! The Green Team educates attendees on recycling, composting, and keeping the grounds clean for a greater festival experience.

MOOP (Matter Out Of Place): Watch out for MOOP and if you see it, pick it up.

Waste Collection Stations: We ask everyone to pack it in, pack it out, but if for some reason there is less room in your car on the way back, you can take sorted waste to the Waste Collection Stations.

Harm Reduction: LIB is a drug-free event. That’s the law of the land. Harm Reduction is a set of practical strategies and services where the goal is to ensure a safe festival experience. We work with several partner organizations, such as MAPS Zendo Project and DanceSafe, to make sure our attendees stay safe and informed.

Cultural Appropriation: Cultural Appropriation is when someone inappropriately adopts aspects of a culture that is not their own. Cultural appropriation refers to a particular power dynamic in which members of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group. (Johnson, M.Z.)

Arrival Guide: Sent with your wristbands and festival credentials in the mail, the Arrival Guide gives you detailed instructions on getting to LIB including ingress tips, where to go, and what to expect on arrival day.

Lightning Bus: Offering one way and round trip tickets from Los Angeles, San Diego, and Oakland, the Lightning Bus is the easiest and greenest way to get to and from LIB.

Ingress: Flow of traffic into the festival on arrival days

Egress: Flow of traffic heading out from the festival on departure day

Loyalty Program: As an attendee of LIB 2020,  you will have the opportunity to join this coming year’s Loyalty Program by simply registering your wristband. Loyalty members get early access to the following year’s ticket sales and first grabs at the lowest priced tickets offered.

Ambassador Program: Join our Ambassador Program, sell LIB 2020 tickets to your friends, and earn points to go towards prizes like Festival Passes, merch, and once in a lifetime experiences unique to LIB!

The Essentials

  • Wristband, Vehicle Stickers + Gov Issued ID
  • Earplugs ~ for safety and sleep
  • Headlamp or Flashlight (plus a set of backup batteries)
  • Refillable Water Bottle
  • Heavy Duty Trash Bags
  • Sturdy, Reliable Footwear + extra socks & bandaids
  • Plus much more!  

Dive into the full LIB Pro-Packing List HERE

Bring This, Not That

Permitted Items 

  • YES Enclosed Propane Stoves
  • YES Good Vibes
  • YES Backpacks
  • YES Cameras
  • YES A Reasonable Amount of Alcohol for Personal Consumption
  • YES Coolers in Campgrounds
  • YES Floaties and Inflatable Rafts
  • YES Paddle Boards
  • YES Solar and Battery Powered Generators

Prohibited Items

  • NO Fireworks, Fire Tools
  • NO Propane Lanterns
  • NO Charcoal Grills
  • NO Drones
  • NO Public Nudity
  • NO Portable Gas-Powered Generators
  • NO Sound Systems
  • NO Illegal Drugs/Substances
  • NO Weapons of Any Kind!
  • NO Dogs/Pets
  • NO Coolers in Festival Grounds
  • NO Glass Bottles/Containers in Festival Grounds
  • NO Kegs
  • NO Motorized Watercraft, Boats or Jet Skis
  • NO Fishing or Fishing Gear

The use of gas-powered generators is no longer permitted

Due to safety and fire concerns, the use of any portable gas-powered generators inside the festival and campgrounds is now prohibited.  We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this causes our attendees. We appreciate everyone’s support and understanding as we work together with the Kern County Fire Department to keep LIB safe.

Attendees will be able to bring and utilize solar and battery powered generators.

The festival will have safety staff monitoring the campgrounds to enforce all safety regulations. 

Protect Yourself From the Elements


Hats, sunglasses, bandanas, sunscreen.

Make shade for camp with an EZ-up or tarps.

Stay hydrated! Bring a reusable bottle and sip water regularly.


Protect your feet! Closed toe shoes and extra socks are essential. Save your flip flops for camp.

Win with wheels ~ Wagons, carts, or dollies will help you conserve energy.

Do a daypack! Save yourself trips back to camp, and bring snacks, cash, and extra layers.


Swimming permitted sunup to sundown at your own risk.

Keep the water clean. Absolutely no bath products in the water.

Swim in designated areas only and bring a buddy.

Do not abandon your floaties!


Dust protection: bandanas, buffs, sunglasses.

Stake it down! Secure tents, EZ-ups, tarps to avoid flyaways.

Layer up. Expect chilly nights.

Attitude & Vibes

  • Don’t be afraid to talk to your neighbors at your camp. You never know who you might meet, and they can have a huge impact and influence on your experience.
  • With an open heart and zero expectations, your transformational festival experience will go exactly as it should. You’ll leave with no “what if” this or “I should have” that. There are always going to be people around you who are seasoned festival veterans, full of knowledge and wisdom. Let them bestow that info upon you; ask questions, take their advice, follow their lead. They know secrets that will enlighten and heighten your fest experience.
  • Some of the best times I have had at festivals is when I choose to leave my group and go off by myself for the day. Not only is it nice because you get to do EXACTLY what YOU want and when you want to do it, but it almost forces you to meet new friends. LIB and most festivals are full of some of the most welcoming people on this planet, you just have to let go and allow yourself to meet them.
  • No matter what, it’s going to change your life. The good vibes will take over and you will feel like everyone is on the same level. Don’t overthink it, just be you, and enjoy the ride!
  • Don’t try to do everything or stay with your group at all times. Everybody has their own pace for how they want to go about the day, so don’t try to keep up with everyone around you and instead go at your own pace or else you’ll get exhausted. Do what you want to do and make sure to rest and eat while you’re at it.

Prep & Packing

  • Pre-made frozen foods, like soups or pasta, double as an ice pack and make for easy meals. Bring foods that create minimal waste and aren’t individually wrapped
  • Bring enough trash bags to hold recycling, landfill, and compost, and start sorting/separating as you go instead of waiting until the end to clean and pack your waste. Arrive with enough space in your car to leave with your bag of trash.
  • Bring a bandana, scarf, ventilator, or dust mask to protect yourself from the dust.
  • Wear comfy shoes ~ hiking boots or something with good ankle support.
  • Freeze jugs of water as your ice source. Save money and use the water. Very minimal waste.
  • Unpacking food into tupperware at your house reduces the trash you bring in, which helps us leave it better. Planning out your meals will make meal time less chaotic.
  • Make your lock screen a photo of someone’s contact so that if the phone gets lost, whoever finds it knows who to call.

Camping Tips

  • Put lights on your tent or on a pole outside of your tent to help find it at night.
  • Spring clamps help for hanging things on EZ-ups without wasting zipties or putting holes in the things you’re hanging.
  • Line the inside/outside of your tent with emergency thermal blankets to help block the light and heat from the sun. Packing tape helps hold them together to shape them to the tent. Hold them down tight or pack with another material to minimize the crunchy noise they make.
  • Bring vitamins and protein powder to easily get nutrients throughout the weekend.
  • Look out for future you ~ set up your tent and have everything ready for bed so when you get back from your day and you’re exhausted, you don’t have to worry about anything.
  • Throwing a tarp over your tent before you go to sleep will help a lot with the heat when the morning sun comes in.
  • Day one, learn landmarks to use to find your camp because once it’s dark, it is very easy to get turned around.

General Advice

  • Dry ice at the bottom of the cooler, more water than you’ll need for the time you are there, hand sanitizer, coconut oil, high fidelity ear plugs, sunscreen, a heart filled with love, wagon, Polaroid camera, double the socks you think you will need, Yerba mate/coffee/tea, an insatiable appetite for adventure, yoga mat, a big inflatable raft (for you and the lifelong friends you are about to meet), soup, goggles, TP, literally the softest pillow in the world, and radical vibrations. Catch ya on the d floor.
  • Water canteen or camelback. They provide all the water. Cash for food if you aren’t cooking. Cash for showers if you want to clean up. Whatever helps keep you cool during the day and warm at night. The LIB site covers a lot in the FAQ section too. Bring beer in cans so it’s easy to crunch and saves room in your trash bags. Bring trash bags to bring your trash back with you and leave no trace. Open mind, fun attitude, and you’ll do great.
  • Best plans are no plans at all.
  • Get there as EARLY as possible (3 hour wait time is normal), especially if you and your friends are setting up a big camp.  Make sure you stay hydrated, check out ALL THE THINGS, and make sure you fill up your gas tank BEFORE you are close to the festival!!! Cause you’re going to have the long wait to get in, and the long wait to get out. <3
  • Listen to your body to avoid burnout by the last day of the festival. Take it easy, rest, eat real food, drink plenty of water, don’t overdo it. It’s a marathon not a sprint.

Lightning Team

Our Lightning Team serves as a massive support system with thousands of dedicated team members working in areas like build, production, artist hospitality, merch, green team, and MUCH more. If you want to get involved at LIB, this is the best way to start.

Learn More

Ambassador Program

Join our Ambassador Program, spread the LIB love on socials and sell discounted tickets to your friends and fam! Stack up on points and use them towards Festival Passes, Car Camping Passes, Merch Packages, and more! 

Learn More

Participant Applications

We are seeking doers and dreamers to collaborate with us in creating the most magical LIB yet! Whether you’re a seasoned event worker, or looking to get involved at a festival for the first time, we urge you to submit an application!

Learn More

Got Questions? The best place to reach us for general festival questions is on  messenger

You can also reach us via email: [email protected]