How/What To Pack For Lightning In A Bottle (and other festivals this summer)

Summer is nigh, and festival season is in full swing.  Music lovers from all walks of life are flooding the fields of music festivals across this great nation, hoping to hear to some great tunes and dare I say, change their lives.  As the season continues to accelerate well past the expectations of any attendee (both good and bad), we here at FestHype would like to take some time to explore one of our all time favorite festivals coming up, Lightning in a Bottle, and how to best pack for it and other festivals like it.



Lightning in a Bottle is set to take place this Memorial Day weekend (May 24-29) in beautiful Bradley, CA.  It is organized and put on by The Do Lab (you know, the same people with that infamous tent at Coachella).  LiB is truly unlike any other festival around, but that doesn’t exclude it from the typical festival terrors that plague the every day attendees.  So when you are beginning to pack for the festival a few items should be on everyone’s list.  Stuff like sunblock, sunglasses, refillable water bottles (make sure you’re constantly hydrated), and especially ear plugs!


Some other unconventional items you might consider bringing are:

Rolling papers:  Even if you don’t smoke, bringing rolling papers is a great way to meet and interact with new people at the festival (if you don’t personally object).

Small flashlight:  It’s always smart to bring a small flashlight with you; just in case you might drop something, or your trying to find your way out of a crowd to the back of the festival, a small flashlight can be a guiding light in the chaos of the festival crowds.  BONUS you can also use your little light to find things people have lost/thrown away aka Ground Score!


Overall you’re going to want to pack as light as possible (with the exception of camelpaks) so you can dance the night away 🙂



Totems are a controversial topic.  When used right, they can be a huge aid in expression and locating a wandering comrade.  But when used incorrectly, they are an extreme nuisance.  So how do you use a totem correctly?  Well here’s a step by step guide that has helped us a FestHype craft some awesome totems.

Keep them short:  A good rule of thumb for totem making is to make them your height, or a few inches shorter than yourself.  That way if/when you put them down people will still be able to see behind you, and you have a makeshift walking/leaning stick for when your legs eventually get tired.

Put them down/Flip Them:  When you’re enjoying a show the last thing you want to do is have someone’s stupid ass sign blocking the entire performance.  So if you’re going to partake in bringing a totem, remember that even though you might have the coolest sign and everyone is complimenting you on it, that does not mean they want it obstructing their view of the show.  So when you’re in the middle of a crowd remember to flip your totem upside down.  Don’t worry a well made sign will survive.

Keep it soft:    Yeah it may sound dirty, but when crafting totems it’s a rule to remember!  What we mean by keep it soft is, since you will be wielding this staff like object around all day, it is a good idea to wrap the pole of the totem in a pool noodle.  The noodle makes it easier grip, and on the off chance that you accidentally hit someone then no biggie!

Don’t be offensive:  Totems are a great way to express your opinions with little jokes and find other like minded people.  When I had my Frisky Dingo totem at bonnaroo, I can’t tell you how many people came up to us (not to mention that Flying Lotus also shouted us out 😉 )  But the one thing you must never do is try to be offensive.  Totems are meant to attract people, not push them away.

Be Prepared:  If you’re totem is good you’re going to be attracting all types of people who will want to comment on it.  So make sure you’re prepared to talk about it!

Pro-Tip:  Try wrapping your totem in packing tape or weather proofing it in other ways.  You never know what mother nature is going to throw at you!



Above all else when packing it is important to remember to always be yourself!  This may go without saying, but I feel like it’s a must anyway.  What does this mean?  Well it means that if you’ve waited all year to wear that Cinderella costume, then wear it!  Who care’s if you’re a 6ft. tall hairy man.  If that’s what expresses who you really are on the inside, then wear it!

Cosplay has become a big part of the festival scene, but it doesn’t necessarily cover all walks of life.  The main idea behind cosplay, and other festival style garbs is to express your inner wants and desires without the pressures or judgement of mainstream society.  LiB and other “transformational” festivals like it, can be viewed as a safe haven for the weird and misunderstood, so let your freak flag fly!


However it is important to remember that Lightning in a Bottle is an event that respects all cultures, therefore they have banned the use of Native American headdresses at their festival.  This is a stance that we overwhelmingly support, and you can find LiB’s official statement on the matter here.



LiB is unlike any other music festival, as it is actually classified as a “transformational” festival and not a “music festival”.  Although there is a heavy emphasis on music there, the main focus is on the guest and attendee’s enjoyment and personal transformation.  LiB takes part in numerous community based programs aimed to enlighten and “transform” every attendee’s perception and way of thinking.  Including tons of guest speaker talks, yoga workshops, and much more; boasting a lineup even greater than the musical artists.  LiB tries and succeeds in offering it’s guests something much more than music; it offers them an experience.

Also by including numerous harm reduction programs (that other festivals choose to ignore) like DanceSafe, PLUR Angels, and the Zendo Project, LiB is on the forefront of the festival scene by engaging with their attendees and promoting safe and responsible fun rather than shunning everyone away and labeling them as irresponsible “drug abusers.”


Tickets for Lightning in a Bottle are still on sale so grab them while you still can!



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