If you went to or read about Coachella then you remember this year’s Do LaB stage…
So imagine my immense joy when we drove into this scene.
Welcome to Lightning in A Bottle.
One of my best girls Dom is a writer for Only The Beat and wrote this preview article before we headed down, which gives you a nice overview of what the weekend offered. Her boyfriend Rob was a champ and came straight from a week in Chicago and naturally chaffeured us the three hours from SFO to the “Lake San Antonio Rec Area” which is funny because the drought dried up the lake so it was actually a massive field of nothing. People were true desert dwellers and camped way the fuck out there where it definitely wouldn’t have been possible before, so that was kind of cool, if you’re into that.
The venue itself was beautiful, besides the missing lake. As soon as we set up our tents we decided to cruise around and get our bearings – as you can see, camping was spread out so we also wanted to go explore. The bummer of this entire weekend was that basically after the first day I lost hope to get a hold of anyone via phone and didn’t get the chance to meet any internet friends who went, but this does give me a reason to plan more adventures… The above panorama does not justice to the vast steepness of this valley. If you wanted to take the shortcut that took you straight to the Woogie stage (colorful left corner) you were doomed to be walk/running up quite the hill of loose sand and gravel. My buns felt something like steel after walking up and down those stairs plus dancing all weekend.
Now that you have a better visual of where we were, there was also a lot to do. Yoga, workshops and talks (which left something to be desired, aside from the awesome New Belgium Experience one we went to), and tons of organized sessions and activities filled the earlier parts of the day all weekend. There was an amazing meditation point that we went to for a sunset where you had the most expansive view of the entire festival and it was too beautiful… then the sun set and it was time for the music. Let’s take a minute (you’ll need one) to review the lineup.
But before we could get on with the weekend, we were casually visited by a rattlesnake… at camp.
I mean, I think that speaks for itself. What would you even do? FUCKING NOTHING, besides freak out. Of course nothing happened, so this is extremely overdramatized and hysterical in retrospect. Let’s move on, boogie down for candids from the Woogie and Bamboo stages.
On Friday I caught Thriftworks, Ana Sia, Polish Ambassador, accidentally the Lucient Dossier Experience waiting for Moby, and Claude von Stroke. Camping by Woogie meant we heard all of the afternoon music without having to go be hit with the mud spray from the dust storm and plus stage misters. Saturday was a long one – Ben Seagren, Pumpkin, J. Phlip, Tourist, Idiot Savant and Blond:ish. Sunday was Behrouz, LEE BURRIDGE, Chet Faker, Gold Panda, Phantogram, What So Not, and I went by myself and grooved to Max Cooper to end my weekend. Lots and lots and lots of music, but I could have stayed for more. We left bright and early on Monday morning so we could return to civilization with time to eat, shower and re-integrate back into real life before the flight home.
It’s hard to articulate and express the atmosphere that had the place buzzing and alive – vibrant and full of trust and love, like the community of people who traveled from all corners of the world just for the weekend had always been there and known each other. Though you may not have had a phone, friend, or water – you were never really alone or without.
I struck up conversations with people at random because it seemed natural to just get to know whoever you were with or near at any given time. They weren’t all significant or of profound substance – many were just in the common areas or waiting in line or something – but it made me realize how actively we isolate ourselves from others in a typical “social” setting. Phones, cliques, lines, tables at lunch, whatever. When people aren’t busy being distracted with labels,they can just be who they are and all you can do is respect and appreciate that… I am so grateful for all of the wonderful people I met and spent time with over this weekend.
Big ups to the artists for top notch performances all weekend and a huge thank you to everyone behind the scenes for putting on a truly phenomenal festival.