Lightning In A Bottle festival is just a drive away this May

Tahoe Onstage

Rising Appalachia plays at the Lightning In A Bottle festival in Kern Country.

In the continually evolving landscape of music festivals, the top-tier events encompass much more than simply music. One gathering held over the last decade is but a short drive outside of Northern Nevada and Lake Tahoe: Lightning In A Bottle.

Put on annually by the Do LaB – also known for organizing a side-stage each year at Coachella that is often a colorful orgy of water guns, electronic music and art installations – Lightning In A Bottle sits at a level above from other festivals. With an emphasis on art, electronic music, sustainability and community, Lightning In A Bottle’s 2019 festival will mark the event’s first year at a new location beside Buena Vista Lake in Kern County, California.

Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage

Jeremy Salken drums for Big Gigantic.
Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage

Having just released the second phase of the artist lineup, the roster so far includes Gramatik, The Polish Ambassador, CloZee, Santigold, Big Gigantic, Toro y Moi, Rising Appalachia, Elohim, Opiuo, CharlesTheFirst, Ozomatli, and a DJ set by Disclosure. In all, more than 200 musical performers, speakers, workshop leaders and yoga instructors will take the multiple stages over the 5-day festival.

In terms of sheer scale, Lightning In A Bottle is huge!  There’s an emphasis on workshops and discussions, yoga and a yearly fun 5K running/moving event, creative classes and art installations.  It features a large camping area for cars and walk-in campers, Buena Vista Lake — where attendees can float and swim throughout the days–  and workshops and vendors centered around healthful food.

This festivals promises to run far ahead where others leave off. Organizers also have addressed shortcomings in the festival scene and have made a point of balancing the gender division in performers and presenters and have respectfully posted restrictions against outfits incorporating cultural appropriation into their form.

Lightning In A Bottle is held May 8-13 just outside of Bakersfield, California, a 6-hour drive from Reno. The festival offers seats on chartered buses from Los Angeles and Oakland. Festival passes, along with camping through all-inclusive glamping packages are on sale now.

To see the full lineup, ticket options and salivating collection of images from past years, head to

— Shaun Astor

About Shaun Astor

Shaun Astor cites pop music singers and social deviants as being among his strongest influences. His vices include vegan baking, riding a bicycle unreasonable distances and fixating on places and ideas that make up the subject of the sentence, "But that’s impossible…" He splits his time between Reno and a hammock perched from ghost town building foundations. Check out his work at

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