Lightning In A Bottle ’14
20 Beautiful Photos Of My Experience At Lightning In A Bottle.
Photo Documentary By Sean R Sullivan, May 2014
Lightning In A Bottle was a 4 day camping trip with 17,000 other people located between San Francisco and LA on the land of the Chumash native people in Bradley California. It was an experience unlike any other – the desert landscape was transformed into a town that celebrated life by promoting a present state of mind. As my friend Diana wrote “It is a celebration of life, love, expression, our bodies, our planet, consciousness, and a powerful reminder of who we really are. The community is just amazing. It felt like swimming in a vast sea of pure love as we were constantly surrounded with beautiful, authentic, loving beings, open to share and give free unconditional love. The entire festival is actually mostly set up by volunteers who have a strong belief and passion for this festival.”
Through the ditches! One thing that was a bit rough at times, but good for the body, was the distance between the different stages, or as I saw it, towns. Going from The Temple to the marketplace to the woogie stage required traveling through long ditches and drifts. Although it was tough to get around sometimes – especially in baking sun – the rolling terrain made for a great visual landscape.
It would be hard to chose the best part of the festival. You come for the music which had acts from The Polish Ambassador, Phantogram, Little Dragon and Wild Light. The best part about the festival was the unique experience of living in this world focused on healthy living – mentally and physically. Consciousness – surrounding you with art, yoga & meditation, and the idea of sustainability. There were few trash cans at the festival – the mission being that you leave with what you brought and leave no trace behind. In addition to this there were free water stations throughout the festival that you could fill your own containers with – eliminating the need to sell plastic water bottles.
With 17k people all participating in this shared consciences, the vibe of the festal was extremely uplifting and somewhat magical. I read a great quote about the experience- “We got weird in the desert with a bunch of hippies and loved it.” It was amazing how genuinely open and accepting everyone was with each other. It was if we were all a family.
One of the most fascinating parts of the festival was how people set up their camps. From something simple like a few tents in a circle to crazy elaborate overhangs, tunnels, and giant enclosing octagons. I’m pretty sure I saw someone with a full bed too. There were definitely some experienced Burning Man people in the crowd who were well prepared.
Lastly! I want to thank my good friends Manny and Diana for introducing me and inviting me to this amazing experience.
This festival marked the beginning of what would turn out to be 5 spontaneous months of travel – essentially living out of a backpack. These 4 days marking the start of my travel set the tone of what was to come of my 5 month summer journey – more which will be written about in another post 🙂
Tickets for 2015 are going on sale Jan 5th. I would 100% recommend this experience to anyone that is open to spending 4 days out in the desert bringing only an open mind (and essential supplies!). http://LightningInaBottle.org