Those who have attended Lightning in a Bottle before know that it being a “unique” experience is an understatement.
Although it is most commonly characterized as a music festival, there is nothing traditional about this festivals eclectic mix of music, culture, and art.
LIB-goers can immerse themselves in talks and discussions, hands-on workshops, healing sessions, cooking classes, art installations, yoga and movement classes, are just some of the abundance of opportunities offered to attendees. This is not your average music festival.
Another way this festival is unlike others in the market are the core values that serve as the foundation of the Lightning in a Bottle community. As listed on the website, and vocalized via social media and promotional material, the Six Ways of LIB are the principles intended to guide the LIB experience. LIB is often described as a “magical” event unlike any other, and undoubtedly, it is the implementation of these core values that have a heavy hand in cultivating an extraordinary experience.
It is the first and foremost principle to not only consider, but to relish in the joy of being alive. By keeping this notion in mind individually, LIB-goers can not only benefit from being present and commemorate this truth, but also create a community-wide celebration. The variety of endeavors offered at LIB are intended to remind the audience of just how precious and wonderful the life we are living is, and appreciate the opportunity to cherish this life surrounded by others who feel the same.
The second principle extends beyond the idea of sharing physical space with one another, but fostering a sense of belonging to any and all. On the festival grounds, everyone is equal, and it is essential to treat one another as such to create this community. By looking out for one another, sharing with one another, and helping one another, LIB-goers can create a rare yet beautiful sense of togetherness and human connection.
Respect Yourself, Respect One Another
Although the third principle seems rather elementary, it is a concept not practiced as much as it is preached. Treating our own minds and bodies with love and respect as well as those around us is an essential philosophy for the LIB experience. Not only does this entail taking care of yourself spiritually and physically, but taking responsibility for your own actions and words and respecting the boundaries of those around you. Mindfulness of limitations and good judgement are vital for creating a comfortable shared space for all.
There is no room on the bench for LIB-goers, but rather, everyone is encourages to take an active role in curating the LIB experience. This entails putting the phone down and instead explore the special place you are in. Make new connections with yourself and your peers. Learn, play, and interact with the world around you— immerse yourself in opportunities that may never be presented to you again. Pursue creative endeavors and live presently, there is no better time than the now.
Honor the Land
In order to keep LIB all that it is, citizens of the community are expected to be mindful of the grounds and treat the land with the same love and respect that we treat ourselves and one another. This entails cleaning up after yourself, picking up trash on the grounds even if it is not yours, using the restroom in designated areas, and so much more. These actions are simple, yet valuable, and have a major impact on the future of Lightning in a Bottle.
Be a Citizen
Last, but not least, one must “be a citizen.” This role entails fulfilling our civic rights and responsibilities beyond the barriers of the grounds and well into civil society. Practicing citizenship outside of LIB includes, but is not limited to, voting, being conscious of your rights, respecting the rights and opinions of others, and staying true to beliefs. By carrying on the philosophies of Lightning in a Bottle outside of the event itself, we can cultivate a culture of love and acceptance in our wider communities.
Attendees, staff, vendors, and everyone within the community are expected to embody these seemingly simple principles during their time at the event, but encouraged to incorporate them outside of the weekend as well. Like any experience, you get what you give, and if you apply these basic ethics to the weekend and beyond, positive internal and external results are to be expected. For more information on the Six Ways of LIB, or to purchase tickets to the festival, visit www.lightninginabottle.org.
Jovi Vella is a KCPR staff member and a Political Science sophomore. Max Chacon is a KCPR staff member and a Environmental Management and Protection senior. They wrote the article. Image credit to Juliana Bernstein | Lightning in a Bottle.