We are gearing up for an activity-packed road trip to the amazing festival that is Lightning in a Bottle. Along with the 5-day festival itself, we have a bunch of different stops planned along the way. We’ll be cruising up and down the West Coast, exploring various state and national parks throughout the three states that border the Pacific Ocean.
We’re here to share how we’re getting ready to make the journey from Seattle to Bakersfield. From road trip stops and activities, to what we’re bringing with us and the festival itself, come get ready for the journey with us! And make sure to check out the first-timer’s guide if you’ve never attended.
Our Roadtrip Plan – Day 1
Since we’ll be crossing through 3 states, we’ve got tons of stops planned to take the most advantage of our journey. We’ll be heading out early in the morning on the day before the festival starts, May 23rd, and heading straight for our first stop in Weed, California. After checking out the historic lumber town, we’ll head towards Mt. Shasta for a hike by Heart Lake.
After this gorgeous trek, we’re hunkering down for the night at a Pilot rest stop near Chico, CA. In true road trip spirit, we’ll be taking advantage of many Pilot travel centers along the way, as they offer hot food, showers, and clean restrooms to use at affordable prices. Luckily, Pilot commits to a belief that its customers deserve to have the cleanliest restroom experiences possible.
It’ll be another early morning departure for us on Day 2. We’re headed for San Francisco, hoping for a fog-less view of the Golden Gate Bridge. A quick stop at the Golden Gate Overlook Park, and then we are off to Bakersfield for the festival!
We’ll drive just under 300 miles from San Fransisco to Bakersfield. Gates for the campsites open at noon on Wednesday. We’re planning on arriving around this time to try and secure our spot in the line to wait for access to set up camp. Lightning in a Bottle has a free-form campsite policy, so we’re hoping to get there early enough to secure a spot close to the stages.
Since we’ll be pulling off car sleeps and setting up the comfiest festival campsite possible, we’ve got quite the list of things to pack. Check out the Lightning in a Bottle Packing List below to see if there’s anything you might add to make your festival experience even comfier. With 5 nights of festival camping ahead of us, we’ll surely be keeping this list handy.
Camp Site Essentials
- Heavy-duty tent stakes/sandbags
- Pop-up canopy/shade awning + side wall attachments
- Air mattress/mattress pad
- Sleeping bags/blankets/pillows
- Folding table(s)
- Camp shower
- Extra toilet paper
- Biodegradable garbage and recycling bags
- Hammock + hammock stand
- Yoga mat
- Large hard-cover cooler
- Smaller soft coolers/lunchboxes
- Ice packs
- Large outdoor ground blankets
- Tarps (various sizes)
- Carabiners + clamps
- Battery-powered lanterns/flashlights/portable lighting
- Batteries (various types)
- Portable power banks (one large, several smaller pocket-sized)
- Portable speaker
- Duct tape
- Camp stove
- Propane tanks
- Pots + Pans
- Reusable silverware
- Reusable plates
- Reusable cups
- Reusable bowls
- Paper towels/napkins
- Electric lunchbox/food warmer
- Dish soap + sponge
- Basin (for washing dishes)
- Fire extinguisher
- ICE (seriously, bring as much ice as you can fit, even an extra cooler of only ice)
- Ice packs
- Peanutbutter + jelly
- Cold cuts
- Pre-cooked bacon
- Ketchup + mustard + mayo
- Bagels + cream cheese
- Clif bars + nature valley bars
- Cold pasta salads
- Baby carrots
- Beef jerky
- Pre-made mac n cheese + other pasta dishes
- Yogurt/drinkable yogurt
- Pre-made breakfast potatoes
- Yerba Mate (or other energy drinks)
- Gatorade (or some kind of electrolyte drink)
- Alcohol of choice
- ID + wallet (LIB is a cashless event)
- Festival tickets/wristbands/car camping pass
- Vehicle registration and insurance card
- COVID-19 vaccine card (if necessary)
Clothing – Personal Items
- Festival outfits (5 days)
- Socks + undies
- Leggings/yoga pants
- Face masks
- Bucket hats/dad hats
- Scrunchies/hair ties/bobby pins
- Sandals/flip flops/shower shoes
- Prescription glasses/contacts
- Hair accessories
- Comfy clothes/PJs
- Long underwear
Toiletries – Personal Items
- Bug spray
- Hair spray/gel
- Face and body wash
- Makeup remover
- Makeup brushes/tools
- Hand sanitizer
- Anti-chafing cream
- Face gems
- Spirit gum (adhesive for face gems)
- Body spray/perfume
- Body wipes/shower wipes
Other Personal Items
- Hydration pack (we LOVE our Lunchbox)
- Prescription and OTC medications
- Earplugs (for stage and sleep)
- Flow wand/flow toys
- Yoga mat
- Self-defense items
- First aid kit/Narcan kit
- Feminine products
- Essential oils
- Anything else you need for a great festival week
- Finger puppets
- Tiny hands
- Beer pong stuff
- Clothes pins
Setting up Camp
There are a few different options for what kind of campsite you can choose from, but we’ve got a car camping pass that’ll allow us to keep our vehicle at our campsite. Other kinds of camping include tent-only, RVs of different sizes with or without power hookups, group campsites, glamping, and family camping.
LIB is known for wind and dust, so we’re prepared with extra large reinforced metal stakes and heavy sandbags. Getting our tent and canopy set up are the biggest priorities. Get those stakes hammered in well so you can settle in without worry of them blowing into another realm!
After our main “living areas” are in the ground without budging, it’s time to set up your cooking station. Having hot food at your campsite is a huge plus, you tend to forget how good warm food tastes after living off PB+J’s for days.
Make sure you’re equipped with electric or propane-only cooking methods and don’t forget a fire extinguisher just in case. It’s the beginning of the dry season in California, so always take precautions to prevent an accidental fire spread.
With our sleeping, chilling and cooking areas set, we’ll move onto making the space cute and comfy. We like to bring extra shade covers to attach to our tents and canopies since the sun can be quite unforgiving throughout the day. We recommend bringing tons of extra blankets along with a warm sleeping bag, as temperatures at night will drop dramatically.
Night one of Lightning in a Bottle
With camp all set, it’ll be time to start exploring. Wednesday night’s music lineup is the smallest of each night, but we’re looking forward to checking out some of these more obscure artists.
DoLab makes sure to stay in touch with the roots of this land with integration of tribal installations and honoring the Tejon Tribe. The opening ceremony includes a ceremonial fire conducted by the Tejon Tribe. Each night at sunset, gratitudes ceremonies are held around the fire, led by Wisdom Keepers from all different cultures.
It is also been said that once sunset falls upon the fest, campers can be heard howling across the grounds. We’ll be finding a spot to sit, admire, and howl at the sunset as we celebrate the start of an amazing festival.
Thursday will be our third day of the trip, and second day of the fest. Waking up on festival grounds, we’ll set out to explore all LIB has to offer. Vendor Village is jam-packed with awesome vendors from all over so we’re hoping to wander through Thursday morning before the sun swelters.
If we’re a little too warm, we’ll head over to the lake that the festival grounds reside next to and lounge in our blow-up tube. This lake is safe enough to swim in, but it’s recommended that you shower off after your swim. Please always remember basic water safety when taking a dip. No one wants to see a repeat of what happened this year at Okeechobee.
Thursday night will bring us a bit more music as we can see from the lineup above, as well as more performances on other stages. LIB sets up three different “main” stages; Lightning Stage, Thunder Stage, and Woogie Stage. But there’s also the smaller stages; Grand Artique Stage, The Junkyard Stage, The Stacks Stage, and stages within the Compass.
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We’re pumped to see a Seattle native on Thursday’s set list. Rob Noble has been in the Seattle scene for a number of years now, and has helped develop Deep N Bass, a PNW collective of different kinds of bass music that calls Monkey Loft home base.
It’s our 4th day away from home, and 3rd day of the fest. Friday is when the music really starts to pick up, tonight we’ll be catching Sofi Tukker and Liquid Stranger first and foremost! With many other awesome names on today’s schedule, it’s going to be a day of exploring all the stages.
Sofi Tukker will play on the Lightning stage. They are no stranger to Lightning in a Bottle, as they were apart of the 2018 lineup. We’re hyped to see what they have in store for the 20th anniversary of LIB.
Liquid Stranger on the other hand hasn’t yet graced a stage at LIB. This year will be the first year we’ve seen him on the lineup, and since it’s his first time out to Bakersfield, we’re sure he’s got some big plans in store for us.
We’ll continue to check out all this fest has to offer today, as there are so many different areas to check out, there’s sure to be new things to explore each day. Check out all the activities LIB has planned here.
With the 4th day of the fest under way, we’re gearing up for big sets from Mersiv, Ben Böhmer, Zingara, and tons of others. The festival will be fully underway by Saturday, and like every other day, we’re hitting as many activities as we can.
Today we’re planning on trying to experience more of what The Compass has to offer. In addition to their huge music lineup, LIB takes pride in showcasing all kinds of different workshops, lectures and classes. Check out the Learning and Culture lineups to see what we’re getting up to today.
We’ve made it to the last day of the festival! Today we’re really excited to experience a LightCode set from LSDream, and hopefully have some energy to participate in some of the yoga offered before music starts for the day. Check out the Yoga and Movement lineup to see what’s in store for your alignment during the fest.
In addition to his LightCode meditation set, we’re trying to catch LSDream’s main set on the Thunder Stage later on. Rezz is also on Sunday’s docket, so we’re planning on making it to her set also. Tale Of Us and The Glitch Mob are amongst some of our other Sunday must see’s, but since it’s the last day, we’ll be making the most of every set we can get to.
See you there!
We’re extremely elated to cover this festival and share all Lightning in a Bottle has to experience with you all. We have a bunch more stops planned for our way back to Washington, so tune in here for more to come after the festival! Dance and drive safe and have a happy Lightning in a Bottle!
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