This year’s Lightning in a Bottle was marked by countless new additions, new areas to explore and a frenzy of swarming smiles. We were stoked to add so many fresh elements to the experience and from the feedback coming in we’re already brainstorming new and exciting ways to offer even more of the stuff you love next year.
Here are some of our favorite highlights (and yours) from LiB 2016.
The Grand Artique featured a more expansive lineup than ever before, showcasing Whilk & Misky, Pimps of Joytime, Dirtwire, Nombe, VKCE (a collaborative project combining the powers of Vokab Kompany and Crush Effect), and many more artists on its brand new stage. The all new Mission Stage was a beaut, modeled after the old Mission style railroad stations all over the Southwest. In addition to hosting hand-selected musical artists, and a 24-hour immersive improv experience, the Artique also hosted a Great American Talent Show as well as a Sunday Revival in the heart of Frontierville.
An expansive improv theater performance rose up right in the middle of the festival grounds, offering an entire hotel to explore. The mysterious hotel became one of the most talked-about nighttime attractions with its eccentric “employees” who made you part of the performance upon setting foot in the door. From guest rooms filled with strange knick knacks and letters from mysterious strangers, to a room covered floor-to-ceiling in stuffed animals, to a secret disco room with a stocked bar that requires a hidden password for entry, the Inn was a place to get lost in imagination. Brought to you by the good folks at the Imagine Nation.
Photo Credit: Juliana Bernstein // Get Tiny
This year the fabulous Fungineers were given their own area to work their magic and entertain. In this living room style installation, offerings of fun and silly family-friendly entertainment was offered and took visitors on a trip down the rabbit hole. At night time, one could expect performances by Fungineers director Kyrian Okane, a hilarious musical beatboxing experience from inside the TV. His eclectic styling and family friendly antics were a heartwarming way to wind down after wild nights. In addition to being spotted at a number of other festivals, the Fungineers are taking over Los Angeles with a massive studio for creatives affectionately dubbed Creatington and a psychedelic flashmob performance that is unlike anything else in the city.
It can be nice to enjoy a home cooked meal after braving the elements for a few days. We offered three handcrafted multiple-course dinner experiences over the weekend to tantalize the tastebuds. Amori’s Burlesque & Casino offered nightly Italian inspired dining with live music and mesmerizing burlesque. Meanwhile, The Village offered farm-to-table theatrical fine dining by the fireside with its Last Supper Club. And finally, the Giggle Juice Cafe at burner run Lost Hotel created Lightning in a Plate, an immersive culinary experience set atop an elevated rooftop for beautiful views of the festival.
Photo Credit: Watchara Phomicinda
You may have noticed some new structural additions to areas of the fest. The dragonfly beacons rose up to the sky, designed to look alive. These mammoth lamppost sculptures were built to provide pockets of shade in the day and an iridescent glow at night. Look for the Dragonflies at Way Home Festival in Ontario later in July.
This year we paid tribute to Pumpkin. He was a mainstay at our local events, at the Woogie and he was slated to make his Coachella debut on our Big Fish stage this year too. Sadly he was taken from us in a tragic car accident on his way to an event, but we will always remember him for his dedicated kindness, his fun-loving spirit and his everlasting smile – all of which came through the beats he pumped out while on stage. We held a special tribute performance by many of his friends at the Woogie stage on Saturday at LIB and throughout the festival we saw totems, murals, stickers and buttons in remembrance which illustrated his impact on our community and the place he’ll always have in our hearts.
Photo Credit: Juliana Bernstein // Get Tiny
Our New Belgium giant skeeball game returned in even larger form to the valley between Lightning and Thunder stages. In another valley was zany bowling alley that looked like it was fresh from the mind of Caractacus Pott. LiBINGO was also offered with live music, dance contests and prizes along with karaoke and nightly movies under the LIBridge each evening.
Serving as a human decor zone where you are the art, the Do-Over Salon offered professional face and body painting, human and feather extensions, and costume styling. Run by renowned performer, creative director, and artist Audette Sophia, this area made anyone who might be passing by a part of the show. We also featured the Transformation Station, where visitors were entertained and dolled up by a few lovable instigating fashionistas in drag. Filled with psychedelic performers and stylists serving up airbrushings, makeup, haircuts, and more, the shop was a place for anyone to try on a new style or freshen up their look.
Photo Credit: Daniel Zetterstrom
Our wildest game of all was hosting our first annual invitational soapbox derby. Wheeled contraptions were pushed from the top of a large hill in the spirit of friendly competition. Each team were contributors to the festival, such as Jive Joint, The Imagine Nation and Grand Artique members, which led to some pretty ridiculous bantering as competitors stayed in character throughout the derby. Though not open to the public this year, we expect participation from those who come to LIB 2017 packing a Soap Box car of their own and a team with nerves of steel.
We’d like to extend a special thankyou to everyone who joined us for LIB 2016! We look forward to seeing you at LIB 2017.
Can’t wait? Consider joining us for Woogie Weekend next week!
Featured Image Credit: Juliana Bernstein // Get Tiny