Lightning in a Bottle: A Superconductor of Inspiration

They say that lightning rarely strikes twice in the same place. Luckily, after 2 years of Covid doldrums the Lightning in a Bottle Festival strikes again at Buena Vista Lake near Bakersfield, California. If you have been missing the collaborative frequency of visionary festival culture and longing for the joys of camping lakeside in a labyrinth of musical stages, LED lights, strolling performers, art installations, DJ’s, and inspiring workshops then you probably already have your tickets for Lightning in a Bottle 2022. Below are a few reasons to add to the growing anticipation for this years triumphant return that takes place May 25–30.

Each Stage is a Unique Immersive Experience

Caravans of intrepid travelers descend on this fabled and celebrated festival because of the sheer unimaginable diversity of offerings. Yes there are the big name acts like Kaytranada, Dirtwire, Clozee, Gone Gone Beyond, Big Freedia (The Queen of Bounce), Opiuo, and many others but this doesn’t even scratch the surface.

Video sculpture designed and built by Do LaB. Photo by Eric Allen

Lightning in a Bottle is more than just a music festival. It is about community, healthy lifestyle, personal growth, and all forms of creative expression. There are yoga classes, traditional indigenous ceremonies, and even a psychedelic ice cream truck with clown-elves. In short it is an immersive cultural phenomena with spiritual and transcendental overtones that tickle all 6 senses (yes, all 6).

Fungineers Psychedelic ice Cream Truck

Follow Your Compass. The Compass Stage is where all the workshops and educational programs happen each day. This year you can see a presentation by Queen Afua, a holistic health expert and wellness coach known for her Sacred Woman rites of passage program. Sensual rap priestess, Lizzy Jeff will also share her insights and wisdom in an intimate workshop setting.

For people interested in the sacred sciences, mystical arts, and mystery schools you will be excited to discover the Academy of Oracle Arts presentation of the Oracle Cauldron Classroom. Ritual theater is an almost forgotten artform today but you can have a rare experience of the Rites of Lightning: Unveiling the Magdalene. There will also be a special ritual offering of the Emergence of Venus with Baelyn Elspeth, Rachel Rossitto, and Isis Indriya.

Learn about Indigenous Culture Revival in the Amazon from Rasu of the Yawanawa Tribe of South America. Contemplate Global Cooling via Ecological Intelligence with Amanda Ravenhill of the Buckminster Fuller Institute. Enhance your understanding of mushroom healing power in a presentation by actress Nat Kelley called Mycelial Voices.

If you want to dive deeper into planetary solutions like permaculture or regenerative agriculture then you will be psyched to roll up to a talk by John D Liu. John is Director of Environmental Education Media Project, an Ecosystem Ambassador at COMMONLAND Foundation, and Visiting Fellow at Netherlands Institute of Ecology. He speaks about how functioning ecosystems can be the engine for the green economy or what he likes to call “naturalizing the economy”. Experience Regenerative Soil Practices and Juice with Vive Organic. For a full list of workshops, visit here.

Jive Joint Late Night Theme Stage Includes Stand-Up Comedy, Music, and Theatre

Visionary Artists will be creating live at many of the stages, splashing color on blank canvases or painting giant murals on shipping containers. The inspiration literally saturates your eyes and ears while expanding your heart under the trees and stars lakeside. This is your chance to meet and chat with the artists while they create!

Themed stages and art installations make you feel like Alice exploring wonderland… city of pure imagination. For example, the Mixtape is a small building erected with a 70's-style living room furnished with couches, tacky decor that reminds you of Saturday Night Fever, a shag carpet, and a huge collection of old cassette tapes. Random festival-goers wander into this place and instantly become part of the party while looking through old tapes and playing their favorite dance-tunes. There is even an open-air roller rave with a 4-wheel skates in all sizes for people to enjoy.

Not your ordinary late-night picnic

Food vendors will tickle your tastebuds with everything from vegan cuisine to BBQ to herbal elixirs, curry, salads, pizza, and burritos. You can even find late-night chai or snacks galore when the munchies hit and you need to catch your breath. Amidst the sensory overload it is still possible to find a quiet spot by the lake and watch the stars. In the heat of the day you may go for a swim or float with friends on a raft. The only thing that might be tough to find is sleep but you may spend your whole weekend trying to avoid it because there is too much fun to be had.

The Do Lab makes the most amazing tent stages!

With so much sensory and intellectual stimulation, the best way to integrate is to dance late into the evening with your friends. Lightning in a Bottle is always memorable but this year will be extra special. It is a launch from spring into summer after a long, 2-year winter of a global pandemic.

It is my hope that you liked reading about Lightning in a Bottle as much as I have had fun writing this blog. Lightning strikes again May 25–30 at Buena Vista Lake near Bakersfield, California. For those of us who have been missing the collaborative frequency of visionary festival culture it is time to dance our blues away as we blast off for another summer festival season. Remember that your tickets for Lightning in a Bottle 2022 are only a click away!

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Jacob Devaney

Cultural-Creative, Media-Maker, Dreamer, Musician. Technology, Art, Science, Health, Spirituality, Culture, Community, Environment. UNIFY Co-Founder