It’s easy to see why the Lightning in a Bottle Festival draws so many visitors each year. The 3-day event is packed with arty happenings, music, healthful workshops and eco-friendly incentives that attract all types of people. “Nature, art, expression, and music are all major characteristics of the festival,” says Dede Flemming, one of the founders of the LIB event.
To encourage less waste, LIB provides filtered water for visitors. Workshops on yoga and meditation are offered and activities like live painting and collaborative music jams abound.
To sum up the overall attitude of the festival, the Lightning in a Bottle website states: “Our roots are renegade, and we’d never stand in the way of anyone’s expression. If you want to hang a painting or show a sculpture, just set it up in a tree and be kind to the tree. Or build your own wall! Want to host a tea party or lead a parade or rally a flash mob? By all means…go big and make it so! The goal is total art immersion and catching Lightning in a Bottle!”
LIB is asking Creative Allies members to come up with a unique t-shirt design that captures the spirit of this event. To help designers get a better understanding of the festival, Dede shared some tidbits with Creative Allies on the history of the Lightning in a Bottle Festival.
CA: Where does the name “Lightning in a bottle” come from?
DF: Lighting in a bottle is the name that goes back to the beginning of the festival. It began over ten years ago as a mountain birthday party for my brothers and partners Jesse and Josh. The party was always in nature and steadily grew every year from 100 people to about 7,000 last year. There was no profound reason behind the name other than it sounded great as a name for a party.
In 2004 we decided to turn LIB in to a 24 hour party and charged for the first time. We than took a year off to find a perfect location to expand the party into a proper music and art festival. We found the Live Oak Ranch in Santa Barbara County where we held the festival from 2006-2008. We outgrew that location and took off in 2009 for another location search and returned in 2010 at the Oak Canyon Ranch and home for the 2011 festival.
CA: Is there a particular aesthetic or vision you are going for in the design?
DF: We are looking for a liberal interpretation of Lightning in a Bottle with no particular aesthetic in mind. We’re hoping to get a diverse mix of designs to choose from and not wanting to limit the artists by pegging them to one particular style or aesthetic.
CA: What should designers avoid in their designs?
DF: We don’t want to say to avoid anything, as it’s the artist’s interpretation that we’re interested in. But try not to be too literal with the Lightning in a Bottle title.
Check out Lightning in a Bottle’s contest here.