Reducing the Risk at Lightning in a Bottle

It’s a strongly held belief of mine that all humans are inherently good until proven otherwise. This is not rooted in immature naivety, but incessant optimism. And, I believe that Lightning in a Bottle brings out some of the coolest, kindest, and most innovative people of society, which is why this festival has become my home. Thousands of people like You and I have spent the money, made the plans, utilized teamwork, and completed the journey to get to the music and wellness mecca in Bradley, California. So, how could there be “bad” people choosing to do these same things with their time?

It has never made sense to me that people wanting to cause others harm attend what is considered for most of us to be a safe space. However, during my festival adventures, and I know during yours too, we have heard about too many sad and scary encounters. People with ill-intentions do come to Lightning in a Bottle, as they do many other events, so it is important to keep at least some of our wits about us throughout the week (And always). Luckily, The Do Lab are the festival gurus who are eager to provide us with needed resources to keep us safe. By utilizing their resources and combining them with our innate smarts, we can all achieve a safe and joyous festival.

Buddy System

While I am an offender of NOT following through with this at all times, it is really so crucial for keeping your calm in could-be sketchy situations. Women- I’m looking at you. LIB is a sprawling festival, and it is easy to get lost even just on a casual jaunt to the porta-potties. Bring a friend with you no matter how big or small the journey- I promise they will understand.


This nonprofit group specializes in harm reduction and peer education regarding all issues that may arise at festivals and raves. It is a group comprised of nonjudgemental people who like to party just as you and I do, but also are rockstars when it comes to safety measures. They will be on site at LIB providing festival-goers with an additional safe space, as well as some important safety swag. Free condoms and earplugs, anyone?

Emergency Plan

No cell phone service and you don’t want to walk a mile back to camp? It’s the typical story that prohibits so many of us from finding each other before our favorite sets are about to start. Ugh. Start the trip off with a team meeting where you decide on an easy-to-follow emergency plan. If anyone gets separated, plan to have the backup meeting spot at your favorite non-stage location: The Dough Lab, your favorite vendor, or even The Medical Tents. Obviously, this is very necessary so you can all properly get the funk down to Griz together.


One for your head, one for your hand, and one at camp just in case. Preparedness is sexy baby! And, will make maneuvering through the hills and gullies of Lake San Antonio so much easier. This isn’t a festival for the faint of heart: I have had run-ins with wild pigs, mice, and rattlesnakes. Being able to shine a light on where your walking is a simple step to take in the right direction to avoid any issues you may face with Mother Nature.

LIB Safety Team

While a safety team is a staple at most festivals, LIB has an impeccable and approachable one. They will be walking around the grounds making sure that nothing creepy or dangerous is happening. If your friend is in trouble, you feel threatened, or you yourself made a mistake, they are there to guide you through the problem. Again: if your friend is having a tough time, don’t waste time, get help.

Tent Markings

Have you ever been so certain that camp was “That Way” but it ended up actually being “Over There”? By properly marking your tent space, be it by flag, banner, or LED lights, you can avoid the stress of getting lost on your walk home at 4am. Our friends over at FestEvo have crafted some state-of-the-art Tent Bling to make this even simpler to accomplish.


LIB has very accessible free water stations for all! A simple service that can help you survive long, hot days of dancing- so don’t forget that hydration backpack at home. It is so easy to get carried away with the party and drink more vodka than you probably should. Pace yourself, stay hydrated, and bring at least a gallon of water for yourself for each day of the festival. Your mind and body will thank you. Remember, festing is a marathon, not a race.

Zendo Project

If you choose to indulge in psychoactive substances while partying, the Zendo Project has your back. This innovative group provides attendees, who may be having a hard time, with a space safe until their minds work themselves out and they can become grounded in reality once again. Their volunteers are often professionals within the mental health field, and have a calming presence that can be easily trusted to help bring you back down to reality.

Keep in mind that #SafePartying starts with US. Festivals do require a capacity to take care of yourself and to always be your #1 resource. Many issues that can pop up are easily solvable with proper preparation and responsibility.

For what it’s worth, I have never felt safer at any other festival than I do at Lightning in a Bottle.

Time is ticking- get your tickets to Lightning in a Bottle 2018 here.

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