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72 Hours at LIB

Thursday

As the first night approached on Thursday, we gathered around the Sacred Fire right outside the Beacon for the opening ceremony celebration. Here we commenced the start of the festival with an indigenous invocation to honor the land and pay respect to the ancestors of the space we stood. The acknowledgment of LIB as more than party was felt and the emphasis of a transformational experience was central. The elders who guided the ceremony spoke upon the importance of what the gathering was really all about in reflection of our ancient future where the spirit, magic and healing was to be felt deeper in essence beneath all the outward entertainment. It was apparent from the opening ceremony that this year was intended to be more than just about principles, but about creating a container for engagement and change.

The leaders strongly expressed how LIB should be internalized as a catalyst for helping to heal ourselves and the planet during these critical times. From the talks and workshops to the incredible art and music presented with a strong message of intention; intention to take the full spectrum of magic, love and consciousness experienced at LIB outside of the festival grounds and spread it throughout our communities. This celebration of life was paramount and awareness heightened as the weekend commenced.

As the sun set, the first musical experience began with mystical folktronic group Yaima performing at the Beacon stage. When the opening ceremony finished and gatherers filtered into the Beacon to hear the majestic sounds played by male member Masaru Hegasa and the heart piercing vocals of Pepper Proud, it was not long before the transcendental seduction was induced. The beautiful smiling faces and barefoot sensation of dancing on carpeted ground brought forth a deep heart opening, leaving us in feelings of exuberance and uplifted by the powerful undistorted vibrations. The Beacon space offered a intimate experience with close knit sound while still spacious and open with a high canopy as air flowed through from all directions. The freedom to expand, breathe and let go was essential to the Compass point as the interior was filled with many additions including cushions, plants, and an elixir bar. The decorative colors of green and blue were soothing and to immerse in and felt pleasantly natural. As Yaima’s set came to a close and the sun was over the horizon, a blissful atmosphere was flowing and the transformation had begun.

Later that night,  Saqi’s first set of the weekend cultivated a spirit of good vibes within the cozy Community Lodge stage. Saqi’s unique blend of old world acoustic instrumentation and and earthy beats infused the Craft with life on Thursday night. Accompanied by his brother and KR3TURE who offered an exceptional live flavor, Saqi played off his debut album, Quest’s End as well as unreleased material he’s made in recent months. Moving live vocal performances by Sasha Rose added some feminine medicine and were beautifully interspersed with upbeat remixes of Autograph and Biggie Smalls.

Friday

Friday kicked off with a full day of workshops, talks, music and exploration of the creative spaces that were spread out over the large site. In the morning, we started our flow heading to the Landing point of the Compass and attending the workshop at the Grid space titled “The Creative Process” with David Satori (of Beats Antique/Dirtwire). This was an incredibly inspiring offering for all artists, musicians and creators of some medium.  To listen, view and understand the process of doing creative work from someone highly recognized like David Satori who has years of experience was inspiring and eye opening. He broke down 7 key elements to the creative process and elebroted on from a professional stand point. He also displayed his personal music production process that he’s found success in and wats to get out of blocks when things aren’t flowing. After the workshop, many attendees were engaging with questions and felt a boost of confidence to get there own creative juices out in the world based off this informative lesson.

As the winds carried us onward with inspiration, the next stop on Friday was attending two talks within the realms of plant medicine as well as our introduction to the Craft area of the Compass. This interactive space was the home of earth alchemy, which included the Botanical Studies, Paleo Arts, the Witch’s Hut apothecary and the Community Lodge tree shaded stage. The first talk we attended was titled Becoming An Herbalist and taught by Special Blackthorn, who has long worked in plant alchemy with the organization, Potionarium. Her flowering spirit and delightful demeanor offered a sweet sensation to all who graced her presence. She spoke upon some of her favorite herbs as well as spread a plethora of knowledge surrounding plant medicine of all kinds. She was also the host of the natural healing space called the Witch’s Hut where she was nested all weekend, offering her herbal potions and tinctures to all who came in for a visit. She created a truly nourishing space to be and one where you could feel pure. It was here that she set up her own apothecary with mason jars filled with macerating medicine and fresh herbs from wall to wall.

As this opened us up to the healing magic that was abundant in the Craft point this year, we transitioned over the Community Lodge area where renown permaculture activist and long time herbalist Penny Livingston engaged attendees in her outdoor talk titled “Regenerative Herbalism”.  Her ethos and direction was geared around the methods and mindset needed maintain awareness in the face of the pharmaceutical and environmental destruction. Being a permaculture herbalist, she holds a strong message of healing the earth. Penny expressed points that emphasized regeneration, such as working with plant cycles to continue them, growing and foraging medicine as well as working to transform land by creating medicinal gardens in their place. She also focused on the magical qualities of herbs and stated how just sitting with them for a while to gain the energetic understanding is as impotent as the physical effects. Towards the end of the worship, we are all basked in the sunlight of the day and at ease from the refreshing breeze and shady space. Now that afternoon was approaching on our first full day of LIB, we were feeling down to earth and ready to embrace some music. Highlights from the first full night of music were the dusty sunset dance parties hosted by Armin Miran at the Favela Bar and Ecuadorean electronica artist Nicola Cruz at the Lightning Stage.

Saturday

Saturday brought us lots of music experiences that we’re memorable and diverse including the psychedelic bass extravaganza at the Thunder Stage with incredibly potent sets by Spacegaisha, Plantrae,  Kayla Scintilla and Hedflux. A  tribal take over and Crossroads including 4 hour ethnic-dance journey by Sabo and to top it off, the exceptional late night world fusion performances at the Beacon with Stallamara followed by Dirtwire at the Grand Artique.

One outstanding offering was Porangui’s multi-instrumental live shamanic sound journey that captivated attendees into a vibrational trance induced by a strong intensional power. Channeling through on the spot voice and instrumental abilities, the midday performance from this one-man orchestra began as a moving meditation on the power of music and ended as a vibrant cross-cultural dance party. Speaking from the heart, in English and Spanish, Porangui performed songs by looping his voice with hand drums, guitar, didgeridoo and a dozen other percussion instruments. Playing for the Water and earth spirits, his explanation of how sound can heal and breathe life into world was incredibly moving and medicine for the body, mind and spirit.

Sunday

The last day of the gathering was essential for leaving us in a state of empowering bliss to be inspired as we returned back to our homes and communities the following day. In the morning we visited the Learning Kitchen to indulge in some delicious nourishment as well as learned some informative knowledge into health, food and diet. We sat in for a workshop titled “Thriving on a Plant-Based Diet”, with Magda Freedom Rod who explained some key insights surrounding nutrition, superfoods and vitamin rich ingredients to implement into your daily diet. As always, she also demonstrated a few simple recipes for us to try at home.

After our uplifting and health boosting time at the Learning Kitchen, we carried on to the Beacon for a panel discussion and talk that truly impacted our lives in positive way. The panel titled “A Legacy of Empowerment:  Monitoring the Movement” consisted of four established earth activists and highly influential speakers, including Penny Livingston, Starhawk, Paul Stamets and James Stark. Hosted by Ayana Young, for over 1 hour they took turn answering questions and speaking upon some of the most pressing questions today in regards to how to become active, empowered and get involved to help heal the earth.

A couple questions discussed were on subjects such as “How to take the first step?” and “what are some essential ways that they find important to become actively empowered?” Penny’s responses raised awareness around finding mentorship in your community and how it first take’s a foremost desire to help others before the transformative work can flow through. Starhwalk stressed the importance of leadership and how a selfless attitude to be of service is key. James and Paul brought up the rebuilding the village model as well as the need for a revolution in the ecology of consciousness. Over all, the responses and input from each member brought to attention a deep insight on the great shift that is occurring right now on this planet and offered incredible ideas and working methods to take to heart so the all attendees can start to incorporate them. The push for empowerment, leadership and social action is needed more than ever before and after this inspiring panel, we felt that we had an abundance of methods to take the plunge.

 

Lightning in a Bottle Music Preview

 

The main music stages at Lightning In A Bottle always offer a combination of well known and underrated artists, creating a diverse line-up and abundant sonic atmosphere for all your ear-gasmic cravings. At Breaking Borders, we like to focus on local artists as well as international acts. These artists offer a unique and attracting sound quality, bringing the world together through cross-cultural music styles, live-tronica and ethnic fusion. When we approach the music side of festivals, we look for and are inspired by artists that show consciousness in their music and express deep intentions through lyrics and instrumentation. 

Here is our list of must-see music acts at LIB 2017:

LIGHTNING STAGE 

Bomba Estéreo (11:15pm FRI)

Hailing from Bogotá, Colombia, Bomba Estéreo brings forth an eclectic mix of traditional cumbia and electronica fused with a psychedelic flavor. Over the last 5 years, the group has gained a distinct global identity, touring across 40 countries and recently has become a premier name at many well known festivals around the world. Due to their flavorful live-tronic sound that both captivates listeners with spacey melodies while energizing them with latin inspired bass heavy beats, there’s no question why they have gained popularity.  We view Bomba Estéreo as a pioneering group for combining a strong tropical folkloric legacy from their ancestral roots while still utilizing the qualities of live-electronic music today and as they reach more and more audiences worldwide, they desplay a clear example of a unique music formation that breaks borders. For this, there’s no mistake why they have been added to this year’s main stage line-up at LIB and we couldn’t be more excited!

Nicola Cruz (7:35pm FRI)

Nicola Cruz will headline the Lightning stage for the first sunset of the weekend. His unique ‘ande-step’ sound mixes ethnic vocals and percussion from his home country of Ecuador with rythmic downtempo beats. Expect lush soundscapes and organic beats to drift across the Lightning island on Friday night.

Bonobo (10:30pm SUN)

This talented British group will be the calm before the storm Sunday, as Bonobo will set the stage for Bassnectar’s closing set. Known for long winding melodies infectious house beats, Bonobo defies categorization. Now on tour for a recent album, Bonobo (originally a one man operation) has added live drums, horns and keys to its live performance.

THUNDER STAGE 

Plantrae (1:45PM SAT)

Coming from the deep woodland wilderness of Oregon to make the journey south, Plantrae’s recent 1 year hiatus has come to a close as he kicks off a strong summer festival run this weekend. After taking time off to respire, gather new material and cultivate fresh earthy beats with more folky instrumental additions, Plantrae is sure to offer new sonic pathways to deepen our roots and uplift our branches. His tickling psy bass flavor combined with heart opening melodies and live Viola accompaniment is a resonant experience that lingers long after. As it is one of our favorite sound production styles of it kind today, we can tell you with all sincerity that his Saturday early afternoon set is not one to miss at Thunder.

Kalya Scintilla (6:15pm SAT)

Kalya Scintilla has created his own unique earthy sound. Expect Kalya to bring life to the Thunder stage during his evening set with signature Australian tribal psy-bass and upbeat world fusion sounds blended into a pleasantly disorienting dance party.  Look for Kalya’s other-worldly sound, along with EveOlution, at the Thunder stage on Saturday.

Hedflux (11:00pm SAT)

Appearing for his first time at LIB, Hedflux is going to headline Saturday night’s fast paced thunder stage experience. His recent album includes downtempo, and groovey glitch and dub tunes. But being scheduled between Dimond Saints and Perfect Stranger, he will likely play his signature uptempo ‘psy-break’ style – helping to speed the crowd up for Perfect Stranger, LIB’s first Psy-Trance artist ever.

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WOOGIE STAGE 

KMLN (Kameleon) (2:30pm SUN)

An eclectic mix of live instruments and organic deep house beats, this Canadian duo is sure to make you dance. Their signature playa sound layers deep bass melodies on top of driving techno and house beats to create an auditory journey for those on board. Look for them at the Woogie midday Sunday.

 

GRAND ARTIQUE

Dirtwire (2:30am SAT)

At the Grand Artique we are excited to witness a late night Dirtwire set. A collaboration of artists from Beats Antique and Stellamara, this trio brings together traditional instrumentation and world-beat percussion to create electronic soundscapes bound to make you dance.

 

FAVELA BAR 

Armen Miran (8:00pm FRI)

Originally from Armenia, Armen Miran has established himself within the Los Angeles deep house scene. We like his signature slow ethno-house vibe. Performing at the Favela Bar at sunset on Friday, his long sweeping string and vocal melodies will gently guide you into the night.

Brian Hartman (2:00pm  SUN)

Hailing from Nevada City, Brian Hartman is an eclectic and prolific DJ with three sets throughout the weekend at LIB this year. His refined upbeat and positive style draws on dub, cumbia, ethnohouse, hip hop and dancehall. We are excited for the sweet sound of latin and African melodies coming from the Favela Bar during his midday Sunday set.

BEACON

BOLO (5:30pm FRI)

This recently formed world acoustic fusion group based out of the Bay Area delicately combines a wide range of western and traditional instruments from the middle-east and Africa with devotional lyrics sung in languages including Hebrew, Arabic and Swahili. The cross-cultural trio provides powerful songs filled with passion and meaning as well as get the body moving through fun rhythmic instrumentation.

Yaima (8:00pm THUR)

We are incredibly excited for Yaima’s performance this year. The Seattle based folk-tronic group is one of kind, offering a intricately soothing journey filled with ethereal soundscapes and lyrics full of timeless wisdom. Their songs weave earthy tapestries of acoustic instruments including hangpan, didgeridoo and guitar while blending spacious electronic bass effects and synths to move listeners into a transcendent state of bliss.

Stellamara (2:30am SUN)

Returning for a second consecutive year, this world-renown world music ensemble has gained incredible response for their expressive qualities of mysterious beauty through their powerful songs that bring out devotion and ancient tradition. Stellamara contains multiple members including Evan Fraser (BOLO, Dirtwire) and centered around main vocalist Sonja Drakulich who’s voice penetrates space and transcends time through a pure expression of spirit.

CRAFT

Marie Sioux (9:30PM SAT)

Through a beautifully transcendent solo perfemance, Mary Sioux offers acoustic songs, weaving together nature and ancestry with  piercing lyrics and a finger picking style of guitar. Come bask in her soothing  serenading  sounds at the intimate Lodge stage on Saturday night.

Lightning In a Bottle Compass Preview

This year at Lightning in a Bottle Gathering in Bradley, California, Breaking Borders will be covering the alternative spaces and conscious acts that emphasize change making principles as well as actively engage attendees in educational opportunities. The vast amount of attractions are focused on holistic healing, traditional knowledge, environmental awareness and cross-cultural understanding. Our main focus will be centered around The Compass. This newly redesigned Temple of Consciousness will consists of 6 interactive areas including Craft, Landing, Feast, Crossroads, Cauldron and Beacon. Each space is designed to host different topics, disciplines and expertise through a mix of talks, panels, workshops, and global music performances.

As LIB continues to expand, we’ve noticed the general perspective can change. As is the case with many highly acclaimed festivals over time, the point of view switches from a smaller conscious gathering to a larger commercialized attraction. When this happens the underlying spirit can become masked by big names and trendy appeal. For this reason, we have chosen to look deeper into these essential aspects of Lightning in a Bottle that we believe are the soul of any transformational gathering. To give you an idea of the magic in store this year at the Compass, we have broken down each space, acknowledging their intensions and showcasing the type of experiences that await your arrival.

BEACON:

Created with the intention to educate and cultivate action, The Beacon supports the movement towards a better world with talks, rituals and performances.  The Beacon will serve as center stage for LIBs largest non-musical talks, in addition to hosting musical artists at night. The Beacon will center performances on connectivity with the earth and each other by focusing on our interwoven stories and collective  journey towards consciousness.

 

LANDING:

At the Landing, we expect to get our hands dirty. With a focus on the history of the First Nations, Permaculture and Technoculture, this stage will host the most diverse speaker line up at LIB this year. Talks on the rights and importance of indigenous land will highlight a speaker line up that promises to engage listeners and encourage action.

 

HAVEN:

The Haven will be LIBs most intimate hub. Healing sessions and lessons on body work promote enhanced contact with healers and with each other. Workshops on interpersonal dynamics and relationships will help realign relations with loved ones and strangers alike.

 

CRAFT:

Craft is an area dedicated to hands-on learning opportunities surrounding plant medicine, folk tradition, community healing and craft making. Home to spaces such as Community Lodge, Witches Hut, Herbal and Folk Arts Arbors and Hearth, this Point of the Compass will be your source to engage in beautiful crafts and learn new skills all related to earth based living with the intension of restoring harmony with nature.

 

CROSSROADS:

To enhance your global senses, we bring you our most anticipated area, Crossroads. This interactive space is your ticket to explore world culture at Lightning at a Bottle. Offering exciting and diverse classes on music and dance traditions from around the the globe, at Crossroads you will be able to break borders, learn methods and embrace the depth of cross-cultural expression.

 

CAULDRON:

A distinct space housed within the Craft area, Cauldron offers a powerful atmosphere full of magic and spirit. Centered around esoteric and mystical studies, this transformational hub will be a fuming container for you to explore the depth of our intuitive existence throughout history and uncover understanding of our place within the great mystery.

 

FEAST:

An always tasteful space at festivals alike, Feast will be a point of the Compass you will gladly attend at some moment. Housing the infamous Learning Kitchen, this nourishing space will provide opportunities to appease your palate and experience the culinary healing behind food culture. Along side workshops, Feast will provide the Last Supper’s Brunch Club, an eating area for you to indulge in the sensory delights of food in a social fashion.

 

The reimagined Compass Peninsula will provide LIB participants with speakers and music to bring life to the movement towards a better world. Sitting at the center of LIB, the Compass Peninsula includes workshops and speakers that will inspire, educate and motivate action. The Crossroads, Landing and Cauldren are aligned to serve as the primary centers of education at LIB. The Haven and Craft will provide opportunities to learn tangible methods of action and connect more deeply the self and those around us. The Beacon will stand at the center of the Compass, educating participants on alternative visions for the future and giving direction to the conscious movement.

Lightning In a Bottle will be taking place over Memorial Day weekend from May 24-28th. Breaking Borders will be covering the events music and speakers throughout the weekend. Look forward to another preview of Lightning In a Bottle’s musical line up soon.

Enchanted Forest Gathering: Menodino’s Hidden Gem

Last month, the Breaking Borders team ventured deep into the heart of Mendocino county to get the full Northern California transformational music festival experience at Enchanted Forest Gathering.

Now in its 6th year, Enchanted Forest Gathering has perfected the art of creating an environment for healing and expression. Enchanted Forest impressively maintains a family-style community while bringing in countless world class performers and state of the art production quality.

Ethos

Enchanted Forest is its very own brand of transformational music festival. Tucked away in a hidden valley, this festival encapsulated the spirit of the Nor Cal region. Kind and inviting, there was a focus on getting weird without judgment.

Colorful patterns abound, organic food stands dotted the forested river valley, while small temples were scattered throughout the campground designed for yoga and workshops. The scent of palo santo and redwood soaked the air. And vibrations of ground-shaking bass could be felt throughout camp. All senses were engaged for this gathering.

Microenvironments

To become an enchanted forest, Black Oak Ranch was filled with not just a couple stages, but dozens of microenvironements.

Small tented areas like the pillow-filled Nectar Temple offered an occasional break from the action. The bass-infused Saucy Spa served as communal showers by day and hosted after-hour DJ sets deep into the night.

Kidslandia provided a safe space for the little ones and encouraged a family atmosphere. The Branches Art Gallery was a home base for dozens of psychedelic artists. Kombucha stations instead of bars encouraged revitalization instead of intoxication. And on site marijuana dispensaries supported an environment for herbal healing.

Yoga was also a staple of Enchanted Forest. The wildly popular Yoga of Bass class even incorporated the main stage’s booming Function One speakers into it’s upbeat yoga routine!

Music

The long hot days were spent chilling by the Swimmin’ Hole stage. Most participants lounged in the small river next to the stage, taking in the liquid bass tunes of SOOHAN, SaQi, Autograf and others. Around nightfall, the crowd would add layers and wander over to the Mighty Oak Stage.

The Oak stage, Enchanted Forest’s centerpiece, had arguably the most impressive stage production we’ve even seen. Audiowaska’s creation combined carved wood and projection mapped visuals with artistic metal work and live flowers. The complimentary glow of twirling fire and mesmerizing lasers glued antendees to it late into the night.

Friday night featured variations of psychedelic trap thanks to PantryRaid and Clozee. Day two saw the stage lit up again with the earthy bass of Love and Light and Nominus, and the genreless headliners, Shpongle and The Polish Ambassador.

With just a few thousand participants, Enchanted Forest felt like a hidden gem – a secret festival specifically designed for the Mendocino community. Rarely is a festival able to combine such world class production with such an intimate and natural environment. Because of this, Enchanted Forest hardly felt like a world renowned festival, but more so a small gathering of old friends getting together to dance.