This Memorial Day weekend, 20,000+ strangers, friends, and soon-to-be-friends gathered in Bradley, CA to transform. They may have come for the music, for the education, or maybe just to take a tab or two and drop out. But they did not leave without being impacted by the overarching message: from the moment you arrive at the San Antonio Reservoir, you are engulfed in a profoundly conscious experience. Each element, from the highly informative schedule to the compost bins, is carefully placed with intention. Each aspect has its purpose infused with positivity and the potential to reverberate beyond the experience of the weekend— and into our daily lives.
Here are just a few transformational perspectives encountered at The Do Lab's Lightning in a Bottle Festival (LIB) that will dramatically alter your perspective:
Enhance Your Sex Life
One of the most highly-attended panels of the weekend, entitled Sex, Love, & Porn, featured wisdom from sex and sensuality experts outlining solid steps towards engendering more vibrant and informed sexual experiences. For starters, the state of our disconnect as a society and/or tendency toward “polyfuckery” (as Eva Clay referred to it), may be linked to the education of males in our generation by way of internet porn. These quick (and often violent) displays of power influence and limit the imaginations of men, and in turn stunt the expansion of female sensuality. With more and more conscious erotic films being created, such as those by porn pioneer Dana Dane, we can learn to inform our choices and cultivate fantasies that inform the pleasure of both partners. In turn, we can ignite the flame we seek with equal or greater fervor (and subtract the guilt!).
For those seeking heightened levels of intimacy and pleasure, Eva Clay’s The Art of Ecstatic Intimacy was a popular destination, as well as Bryan Reeves’ Making Magic in Intimate Relationships; however, tantric sex was on the tip of everyone’s tongues as the obvious way to create a more intimate and spiritual connection, so Kamali Minter’s Tantric Lap Dance saw a good turnout. But for the skeptics—if nothing else— take this gem from panelist Mark Whitwell:
“The pleasure of the male is in the pleasure of the female. Not in the ending of the male’s pleasure”.
Amen to that.
Everything in the Universe is Connected...Literally
In a misleading, but fortunate turn of events that can be blamed on Autocorrect, Nassim Haramein’s talk, entitled Sex, Dragons & Rock n’ Roll, took many of us by surprise. A world renowned physicist and pusher of all limitations, Haramein took the packed audience, gathered at the Temple of Consciousness, for a journey chock-full of information so mind-bending that I couldn’t attempt to explain if I tried. By the end, even I was convinced that this guy’s Unified Field Theory was an exact formula to prove that every proton in the known [and unknown] universe is interconnected—and that what they have been teaching us in school is horribly outdated. Our emotional plane is a forcefield—and that’s a responsibility not to be taken lightly. The power of our perception is important beyond our imagining. Not only does it affect our immediate environment, but also the entire universe. The power within us to make positive change for our planet [and universe] is immeasurably immense.
(If you want someone to explain it to you better than we can, check out this video here.)
Honor the Divine Feminine
Celebrating the Divine Feminine is a major theme of LIB. Founder and Visionary, Dream Rockwell speaks to this realm where females are encouraged to put aside the programming of jealousy propagated by Western culture in order to cultivate a future of unity. In multiple workshops, including Tantric Bellydance and Sensual Belly Dance (led by Josie Keys and Jacqui Lalita, respectively), unleashing the feminine energy is highly encouraged, and its worth is elevated.
Upon the stage, more females headline and hold down crowds than the majority of festivals across the country and around the globe—noteworthy acts include Alunageorge, Poliça, Goldroom, and Mia Doi Todd, to name a few. A breathtaking aerial performance by Alicia Marie, set to William Close and the Earth Harp Collective’s rendition of Take Me to Church, left us close to tears, awed by the vast expanses of feminine strength and beauty.
Throughout the festival, Do Lab featured artists who captured feminine vibrance, including (but not limited to) the work of Bill Mather, Hans Walor, and the incredible digital dome of Android Jones. Discussions like Sacred Feminine Leadership left us all feeling hope for a more balanced future.
Restore Balance Between Masculine and Feminine
In response to a question from the audience asking about the heavy presence of Feminine energy at the festival, Dream Rockwell responded...“The feminine voice needs to be heard and ...there [is] a breed of men who are coming up right now who are more balanced in their masculine and feminine (energies). I think that what you see reflected here at this festival is more balance”. This reflection was visible in multiple workshops throughout the weekend, such as The New Masculine, Banafsheh’s Flamenco: Dance of Oneness, Sacred Feminine Leadership, and yoga Yinyasa: Nourishing Feminine Yin and Masculine Yang. Introductions into these modalities teach us to question the binaries in which we operate, and to respect the flow of both energies within each of us, without boxing ourselves into the rigid ideals of prescribed gender identity. In the face of the patriarchal society (that most of us were born into), balance is what will further the human race as we face these difficult and challenging times.
Protect and Nourish the Earth
A massive meditation held on Saturday, with the intention of inviting water back to California, united our intentions on a pressing issue us Californians are prone to avoid. The Water Ceremony, Sustainability Panel, and Plant Human Co-Evolution were just a few other options to gain a practical understanding of ways we humans can band together to save our home planet.
Furthermore, clean up is an integral part of this festival. Festival-goers are constantly encouraged to take responsibility for themselves and to respect the requirements for compost, recycle, and landfill separation. Vendors often sell their food on reusable dishes and offer a meal in exchange for dishwashing. This has awarded LIB the greenest festival in the US for 4 years in a row (and we'd put our money on this being their 5th).
Heal Your Body
We were thrown out of the womb and into this world without so much as an owner’s manual. Immediately, we adopted the ways of our caretakers, received much of our information from the media, and off we went into a world of illness and suffering. But there is in an alternative—and that is to continually explore and educate ourselves about the outlying methods that often get brushed off as woo-woo or hippie ideals.
LIB provides myriads of opportunities for us to learn a multitude of new techniques to enhance our quality of life from the inside out. The Learning Kitchen teaches us tasty ways to incorporate healthy cooking practices into our diets. Yoga Om and Yoga Namaste tents offer endless yoga, dance, and meditation classes to cater to nearly any curiosity. From hypnotherapy workshops to the one-on-one sessions with renowned healers at the Healing Sanctuary, you may find enlightenment into at least one way to take your health into your own hands. Learning about plant medicines and healing the back with yoga are just a few examples. Lines to attend the group sound healing extended across the field as more and more people experienced states of extended peace.
Bask in the Music
Tycho blew our minds open as the most beautiful sonic experience to ever close a festival. Riding on a crest of euphoria, we visually explored landscape upon landscape of sand, sun, and surf mirroring the most uplifting of melodies that stretched across the entirety of their set. The sweetest of voices, Mia Doi Todd performed two nights at the Temple of Consciousness- once alongside Brazilian guitarist extraordinaire Fabiano do Nascimento. Positive rap vibes spread across the land via uplifting lyricist, Everyman, and the ever-impactful, The Luminaries. Meanwhile the Silent Frisco carried us through the nights with the returning crowd favorite, Silent Disco.
Listen in on our playlist of highlights:
Respect the Dance
Dancers are truly celebrated here—on the dancefloor as on the stage. The Lucent Dossier Experience led us into the night with remarkable performances of the masculine/feminine duality, and further awe-inspiring aerial performance. Other performances included the phenomenal snakedancer, Aya Serpent, burlesque throughout the night at Amori’s, and Le Petit Bon Bons’ bellydancing flappers. Workshops offered throughout the weekend embraced a profoundly diverse array of dance: Flamenco, Mystic Persian Dance, Whirling Dervish workshops; Belly Dance, Dancehall, Hip-Hop, Shamanic Dance, Capoeira, Contact Improv, and Ecstatic Dance, among others.
Join an Experiment in Mass Bliss
One of the most visceral messages received throughout the weekend is that of finding and living your bliss. In founder Dream Rockwell’s talk, Unleash Your Legend, she laid it all out for us:
“Who cares what anyone says about your bliss? Just keep rocking it, because eventually it's contagious...We’ve been taught to be jealous of other people’s joy, of other people’s bliss. It’s not you who’s jealous... it’s your programming”.
At LIB, bliss is felt in waves across the campground. We are constantly in a state of encouraging other people’s joy and seeking it out through the myriad of ways we are invited to play. But don’t mistake this as frivolity. The lesson that pleasure is important and pleasure prevails is one that can change humanity on a profound scale, above and beyond this one weekend in time.
Missed LIB this year? The Do Lab is stoked to present yet another epic festival, Woogie Weekend, inspired by one of their most popular stages at LIB. Get your early bird tickets and stay up to date: WoogieWknd.com.
Written by Alyssa Aparicio
Alyssa writes to live life twice. As a professional dancer and music journalist, she applies her study of anthropology to the cultural phenomenon of the modern music festival. Alyssa is Creative Director & Co Founder of WildSpice Magazine and Art Director of The Carnavalesque Beauty Movement. AlyssaAparicio.com
Photography by: Kelli Rad
Kelli Rad(wanski) is visual director and lead designer of WildSpice Magazine. Her interests are as kaleidoscopic as the images she captures through the lens of her camera. Her prismatic aesthetic reflects the endless depths of a whimsical imagination unchained. Kelli was reared in Austin where she graduated from the University of Texas as an international relations major. She has since traveled the seven seas, living in Barcelona and currently residing in the land of dreams, Los Angeles. Check out her portfolio at www.kellirad.com.
Photography by: Talltree
Talltree is a freelance photographer and videographer by trade. His specialty? Creating honest art. "The challenge is recognizing what you truly feel and then figuring out a way to express it in a pure form, without filtering too much of the original feeling in the process. The beauty though is that the piece will most likely change into something you weren't expecting, expressing and meaning more than what you began with."
See more of his work at Talltreetreeoflight.com.