Celebrating their 6th Anniversary, Lightning in a Bottle again produced a weekend full of activity, celebration and community. This year's event was held on 100 sprawling acres of hills, trees and reservoirs at beautiful Oak Canyon Ranch, located just one hour south of Los Angeles and 45 minutes north of San Diego.
On Saturday morning, as Los Angeles families headed west to the beach, I headed south to the festival. The festival itself was divided into upper and lower sections which each highlighted various activities. In the lower portion of the festival, were acrobats spinning on wheels, a Hug Deli and over 30 live artists were participating in an art auctions which benefitted the DoArt Foundation, an organization which promotes art and artists by placing them in venues all over the world through our programs and creative initiatives. Their ultimate goal is to bring creative projects that inspire audiences and cultivate appreciation of visual arts beyond traditional art institutions and that's exactly what they were doing at the festival. In fact, in the "marketplace" they had a blank canvas mobile canvas set up that everyone could paint on.
As you continued to walk through the marketplace towards the upper part of the festival, you were welcomed by the celebratory crowds at the Lucent Temple of Consciousness. This year, international lecturer, Marianne Williamson, took the stage speaking about the "divine femine" and the future of the planet. She shared how the masculine and femine in our society are coming together to "create a new life" for the future.
From the Yoga Tent to the Art Auction, multi-generational painted faces accented with feather ornaments and leather accessories smiled in the sunshine. Large sun hats protected most people while others bore the signatory bright red outline of sportbras and swimsuits across their backs.
When the sun goes down, the music turns up. Musicians and DJ's like LA's KRADDY played all night and sent waves of lightning through the tents surrounding the stages.
Although Lightning in a Bottle may be a music and art fair, it also prides itself on being one of the largest green festivals. When it comes to being green, the festival organizers didn't just stop at the compost bin, they used biodiesel fueled generators, made seats out of building materials, encouraged planting of plants and did not allow vendors to sell water bottles thereby maximizing the use of their free purified drinking water that was available all weekend. They also led some innovative and creative sustainability workshops. I particularly liked the "Do It Yourself" fashion workshops where participants were taught how to make belts and bags out of old clothing and material.
Above all, it was great seeing the range of people who were out enjoying the sun and the festival. Congratulations to the organizers for a well produced event and I am looking forward to next year.