New Convex Sounds

Alright everyone, we would like to do something new here at Festival Babes and start introducing you all to new tracks that we absolutely love.

There is no one better to kick this off with than Convex! His new track 4U is out today, featuring Jex Jordyn.

Convex (aka Zack Morgan) really took off after winning a spot at EDC Las Vegas through Insomniac’s Discovery Project in 2014. Since then, he’s played at events like Beyond Wonderland, Countdown NYE, and GrooveCruise. He’s primarily known for his melodic bass music, but what makes Convex special is his willingness to experiment and incorporate different genres into his music.

4U is no exception! The track is a great dive into glitch hop, featuring a funky beat and melodic vocals. Jex Jordyn really entrances the listener with her voice and just adds so much to this track. The song is upbeat, it’s fun, and it’s really well done.

Convex really delivered with this, and we can’t wait to see where he’s headed!

 

Check out 4U here:

Snowglobe 2018 Review

Snowglobe is probably the most unique festival I have ever been to. It’s a New Years Eve festival that takes place in South Lake Tahoe. What makes it so unique? It’s outside. All three days. In the snow. Which means getting creative with your outfits and preparing ahead of time so that you stay warm! (See my previous blog post for tips on how to prepare and dress properly) I loved seeing how crazy people got with their outfits, there were people in onesies, retro snowsuits, furs, shimmery glitter, and everything in between!

I still have yet to find a better way to spend New Years than in the snow, dancing, with fireworks going off in the sky.

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New Years Eve is always the last day of the festival, meaning sometimes the festival falls on a weekend and other times it’s in the middle of the week! This year the festival fell on a Saturday, Sunday, Monday which was pretty perfect. This was my third year going to Snowglobe, so I was interested to see if some of the issues I had previously encountered were fixed. A big issue I had with previous years was how disorganized it was entering and leaving the festival. The last couple times I went it was always just a mass of people trying to get in, with very disorganized lines and lots of people cutting. I have to say they vastly improved the experience of entering the festival. This year there were very clear lines laid out and metal detectors, which made the whole process of getting in go by faster. Keep in mind I skipped 2017, so some of this could have been fixed last year!

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Snowglobe is a pretty small festival space-wise, but that makes it pretty easy to split sets and jump stage to stage. The Main stage and Sierra stage are both outdoor stages while the Igloo stage is indoors. I spent most of my time at the Sierra stage which had all of the bass and trap artists. The Igloo is known for mostly having house artists. There were artists I wanted to see in the Igloo, but it was so packed every night that it was impossible to even get in most of the time, which was such a bummer. Even if you did get in, you were pretty squished, which isn’t how I want to see music. It reminded me of when the Sierra stage used to be covered and had that same problem. I hope Snowglobe will move toward making this another outdoor stage so everyone can enjoy the artists they put in there. Snowglobe does have other indoor structures so I just don’t really see the need to have an indoor stage!

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There was a food lodge and a drinks lodge (called the MTV lodge), and every time I went inside one of them, they were full of people sitting on the ground camping out (I assume because they were freezing haha). I appreciated that there were a lot of different places to get a drink (the drink lodge plus multiple outdoor spots to order drinks) because I never had to wait in line too long. My favorite was the hot drinks spot where you could order a spiked hot cider, hot toddy, or hot chocolate. That pretty much saved my life on Day 3 when it was the coldest and windiest. Warmed up our souls!

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So I’m going to lay out my favorite acts of the weekend, and then try the impossible task of picking one absolute favorite for each day, along with my surprise act of the day (this always goes to an artist I didn’t really have on my radar and played a great set!) Keep in mind this was so unbelievably hard to pick a favorite act of the day, but for some reason I thought it would be fun and I forced myself to, so go easy on me! I think my picks might be surprising since I didn’t really pick the huge names (which I wasn’t really expecting!). I also missed sets I wanted to see, especially if they were in the Igloo or earlier in the day (still crying over how early G-eazy was).


Top acts of Snowglobe 2018 (in no particular order): RL Grime, Big Gigantic, Ekali, Slumberjack, Nghtmre B2B Slander, Manila Killa B2B Chet Porter, Kaskade, Cray

Favorite Saturday Act: Big Gigantic             Surprise of the day: Party Favor

Favorite Sunday Act: Ekali                             Surprise of the day: Sam Gellaitry

Favorite Monday Act: Slumberjack             Surprise of the day: Medasin

I wish I could write about all of the sets I saw at Snowglobe as there were so many I enjoyed, but I’m going to try to limit myself to my top 3 favorites so that I can try to finish this review within my lifetime (and stay sane in the process).


Big Gigantic

If you have not seen Big Gigantic live before, then you really need to. What I love about this duo is they so perfectly mix electronic and funk music, that every set I see them just becomes a huge, funky, dance party. You can’t help but smile and have the best time at one of their sets. Dominic always plays the sax during their sets (just more reason to love Big G), and I have to give him major props for playing in that cold weather. It’s my absolute favorite when an artist or group can mix electronic music with live music like that. Their music is always big and thunderous; it’s addicting, it just invites you in. Big G is always full of surprises, and you honestly can’t put them in any one genre, you never quite know what they’re going to pull out next. During their Snowglobe set, they got down and dirty at times, throwing down some harder tracks. You could tell how excited the crowd got too, and I gotta say they did a great job at transitioning these tracks with their funky music.


Ekali

Full disclosure, I love Ekali, I will always love Ekali, he’s the freaking best. I’ve seen him so many times and will always go see his set at a festival no matter how many times I’ve already seen him. Not only is he just a good human who’s very open about mental health on twitter and very encouraging/grateful to his fans, but his music is so hard-hitting and fun to get down to. His music is trappy goodness where you’re just throwing down and getting grimy the whole time. This is a you-never-stop-moving-the-whole-set kind of set, trap music at its finest. He released some new remixes during his Snowglobe set and the crowd went freaking crazy for it. He really knows how to remix a song, but his original music is so good too, and I hope he puts out more of it. His new EP, Crystal Eyes, features some more airy music with really catchy lyrics, featuring some well-known female vocalists like Elohim and K.Flay. In my opinion these songs show a softer side of Ekali, and during his set, he manages to remix these songs so that they start off beautiful and then after the drop you realize they are complete bangers.


Slumberjack

Okay so I have been waiting to see Slumberjack for what feels like forever! I first discovered them back in 2016 when listening to artists on the lineup for Northern Nights. I put them on my playlist and was stoked to see them, but as happens often at music festivals, plans went out the window and I missed them. I’ve regretted it ever since and have been patiently waiting for my next chance. Slumberjack is a duo from Australia whose music (in my opinion) is always melodic, catchy, but then also unbelievably dance-y and hard-hitting. I love how they can combine two ends of the spectrum like that. They really experiment with their music and give it such depth. Their set was a great mixture of their own original songs and remixes they’ve done (that I had heard on Spotify and was dying to hear in person). I can tell you I definitely did not stop dancing during their whole set, and it was so fun being toward the front, watching them do their thing!  The energy was amazing and everyone needs to go see Slumberjack right now.


I also want to give a quick shout out to Manila Killa and Chet Porter for absolutely exhausting me with their set because I couldn’t stop dancing. They remixed all of my favorite songs and their set just made me so happy. It was just pure and good and absolutely worthy of a shout out! I didn’t give them my surprise act of the day because I already love both of these artists and knew without a doubt their set would be so fun!

And Kaskade is just always going to have my heart. I can’t tell you how much jumping up and down I did when he last minute got added to the lineup. I actually first discovered Kaskade years ago at Snowglobe, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. Not much can compare to listening to his song Eyes in the snow…talk about MAGIC.

Okay I want to take a moment to comment on the shuttle situation at Snowglobe because boy have they STILL not fixed the same problems they have had for years. First of all, you have to pay extra for a shuttle pass, which would normally be fine except they don’t even check if you have a shuttle pass to get on the bus! Each time I got on, no one checked that I had a wristband, which made me feel like I completely wasted my money. The organization of the shuttles also leaves a lot to be desired. Each shuttle line was just a cluster of people all trying to shove their way on, with many people having no idea which shuttle went where. They need to have more clear signs, and more people working to organize the lines. The one good thing is I appreciated that they had two different shuttles this year (Yellow line and Blue line) rather than just the one to the casinos like they normally do. It provided more options for attendees. But the Yellow line just dropped off in a liquor store parking lot (with no signs anywhere) which was kind of weird and unofficial. So shuttles were helpful, but disorganized.

To bring this to a close, I had an amazing time at Snowglobe this year! Shout out to Above and Beyond for bringing in the New Year with some crazy fireworks and emotional songs. Even though it’s not really my kind of music, it was definitely memorable. And a thank you to all the new friends we made, you guys were the best! This was absolutely a festival for the books, and if you haven’t made it to Snowglobe yet, you gotta put it on your list! Now excuse me while I continue to revel in my post-festival  blues…

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How to survive Snowglobe

With New Years Eve quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about plans and where you’re going to spend it!

Hands down my favorite way to spend New Years has been at Snowglobe (I’m looking at you 2015 and 2016). It’s such a unique festival, being a winter festival in South Lake Tahoe! Most festivals are in the summer with warm weather, and I love how different this one is from all of that. Dancing outside in the snow surrounded by trees with fireworks going off is an amazing experience that everyone should have.

The biggest struggle of Snowglobe is figuring out how to dress for a cold weather festival so that a) you’ll survive through the night and b) you can still have fun with your outfits!

Each year I went to Snowglobe, I had friends complain about how cold it was and how they wouldn’t go back because of that. Now I’m the biggest baby when it comes to cold weather, and I’ve never had a problem at Snowglobe. In my opinion, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes! You have to bring the right kind of layers.

You need to start with a good base layer made of wicking fabrics. A wicking layer draws sweat and moisture away from your body, making it easier for it to evaporate. This is crucial so that sweat doesn’t freeze to your body! Since you’re probably going to be dancing at Snowglobe (you better be!), you’ll want this layer. This layer needs to be snug on your body to make sure it actually picks up moisture. For my base layer I usually choose something made out of polyester that’s like a spandex/athletic shirt. I really like this long sleeve from amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075VK9T4C/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This article was great  in terms of figuring out what kinds of fabric wick moisture and what the pros and cons of each were: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/underwear.html

Your mid layer is your insulating layer and provides warmth. It should be looser than your base layer so that it leaves insulating air between layers. A fleece works great for this and is pretty lightweight!

Lastly, you need a shell or outer layer. This is usually a ski or snow jacket that protects you from wind and water. This year for the first time I’m going to try a fur on one of the days, so stay tuned on how that works out for me.

This site does a good job of summing up the different layers if you want more resources:

https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/layering-basics.html

Other essentials you want to bring include a scarf, beanie, gloves, and wool socks! I would also absolutely recommend bringing snow boots or at least waterproof shoes. There’s a waterproof spray you can buy and spray on your boots! I tried that one year and it worked just fine, but I’d still highly suggest snow boots over everything!  If your feet get cold or wet, you are seriously done for. Bring extra socks in case yours get wet!

A lot of people swear by handwarmers also, so if you get cold easily, think about scooping up some of these! Bonus tip, you can put some in your boots if your toes get cold!

So basically, I will be wearing a long-sleeve, a fleece jacket, and either a fur or snow jacket up top. For bottoms I will be wearing leggings that wick moisture, fleece-lined leggings over that, and then a fun bright pair of leggings over that! You could also just wear snow pants if you’re really worried about being cold (I did that both years I went and it worked great!). Then I have gloves, beanies/headbands, and scarves to choose from! I’ll also be rocking some LED jewelry for extra fun.

It’s better to have too many layers than not enough! Remember that you can always take layers off if you’re too warm. But trust me, when the sun goes down, you’ll be so grateful to have all of them.

Lastly, don’t forget lots of glitter 🙂

Here’s some of my crew from Snowglobe 2016 featuring my bright red snowsuit I scored at a thrift store for $3 (which I absolutely will be wearing again this year!) Stay warm and have fun friends 🙂 Remember to follow us on Instagram @festivalbabes2 if you want to see our Snowglobe adventures!

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City of Trees 2018

City of Trees is a one-day music festival in Sacramento put on by the radio station ALT 94.7. Hosted at Papa Murphy’s Park, this year the fest featured artists such as Chvrches, Bastille and none other than Odesza as the headliner.  I was lucky enough to win free tickets courtesy of 94.7, and of course I had to bring fellow festival babe Jess along with me! She had never seen Odesza before, and I could not wait to share that experience with her.

Papa Murphy’s Park is home to Sacramento’s soccer team, Sacramento Republic FC. It surprisingly makes a great music venue, with the stage set up on one end of the field. The set up makes it so you can stand up front by the stage, sit in the back on the grass, or even sit on the bleachers alongside the field. It was nice to be able to bring in a blanket and sit down when we wanted instead of having to stand up the whole day! The venue was set up with multiple spots to use the restroom, buy alcohol, or get food, which was so appreciated as it spread out the lines and reduced wait times. Some of Sacramento’s most famous food trucks were there too, and I gotta give a shout out to my favorite, Its Nacho Truck. This truck makes its own chips, uses beer based cheese sauces, and puts together some really freaking good nachos! Seriously guys, if you live in Sacramento, you gotta try this food truck.

Okay on to the music….

Chvrches and Bastille both put on really fun, upbeat shows, but my surprise band of the day was actually lovelytheband. I had never heard of them and was really enjoying the whole set. They had an indie pop vibe going on and looking around, everyone seemed to be really into them! When the last song came on, I immediately got excited, realizing I knew this song! I had heard “broken” on 94.7 (of course), and had never known who the band was. I definitely went home and had their album on repeat the whole next day!

The highlight of the fest of course had to be Odesza. Even though I had seen Odesza three times prior to this, I was still way too excited. Odesza is one of those groups that I could see over and over again without ever getting tired of them. The best way to describe Odesza’s set is, it’s pure magic. Their music never fails to transcend me into another world. It’s twinkly and airy and emotional and just GOOD. You feel their music, whether you’re dancing or just standing there with your eyes closed, gently swaying.

They played old songs, new songs, everything I could have wanted. And when they brought their drum line out…oh man it was on a whole different level. Odesza has managed to make electronic music such a live experience, from the drum line, to the light show, to the artists they brought out to sing certain songs. They pulled out all the stops. I’ve gotten to see their live show evolve over the years, and I can easily say that was my favorite time seeing them.

There was a moment when “Across the Room” was playing where I thought, this is it, this is what pure happiness feels like. Surrounded by people I care about, all of us in our own world enjoying this music, I wanted to stay in that moment forever. Even today, listening to that song brings me right back to that moment, to that feeling.

We had an amazing time at City of Trees and are already looking forward to next year’s lineup! This is such a fun one day fest to check out if you live in the area, we highly recommend it! And if you haven’t seen Odesza yet…you need to! Seriously, do it!

Thanks 94.7!

 

 

Bassrush: A Review

This past weekend was proof that even when Jess and I don’t plan on going to a festival, we somehow still end up at a festival! You seriously can’t make this stuff up!

While visiting friends in Long beach for a much needed girls weekend, Jess and I were surprised with guest list spots for Bassrush, a two-day massive put on by Insomniac Events. Big shout out to our friend Marlee for making this happen for us! Bassrush occurs at the NOS center in San Bernardino and focuses solely on bass music (shocking, I know!) Not only is bass music one of my favorites, but I hadn’t been to an event like this in years, making me pretty excited to get to experience this!

Insomniac did a great job organizing this massive, making it really easy and painless to get through security and leave the event at the end of the night. There were also plenty of water refill stations, which is super important, especially at an outdoor summer event like this. I  never had to wait in line for food, drinks, or to use the bathroom! For the size of the event, I was pretty impressed!

After getting past security, we were immediately mesmerized by the fountains and water surrounding them; the water was almost shimmering from all the lights strung above and in the trees. It was simple, but so pretty to look at! I also loved the multi-colored light structures they had by the stages. I think they did a great job at keeping production simple but still having fun lights and structures! The most impressive part of production in my opinion was all the LASERS! They were beautiful and different colored and coming from every direction at some of the stages! So ridiculously cool.

 

Music-wise, I was so happy with this lineup! There were so many favorites on here that I ended up having to make some hard choices on who to see versus miss. This lineup had favorites like Minnesota, G Jones, Zomboy, Bleep Bloop, Yheti, 12th Planet, and so many more! I have to give it up to Adventure Club, hands down this was my favorite set of the weekend! Adventure Club was the group that originally got me into electronic music back in college, and I’ve never been the same since! This set was full of nostalgia as they played old favorites like “Gold” and “Rise and “Fall”. I loved how on songs like “Gold” they stayed true to the song by starting it out slow and stripped down with the vocals, eventually building it up to an amazing drop I could just lose myself dancing to. You could feel the excitement in the crowd building as everyone realized the song they were going to end their set with was “Crave You”! I think I speak for a lot of people when I say “Crave You” introduced me to Adventure Club, and it will always bring up all the feels. Adventure Club was a feel-good dance party from start to finish, and I was left feeling such a sense of euphoria.

 

My other favorite of the weekend had to be G Jones. I’ve seen G jones a few times now, and I feel like each time he still somehow manages to surprise me with his set. This time around, (maybe it was just because I was riding the rails) it was the most bass in my face set I have ever experienced from him. The bass was vibrating through my body to the point where I just felt frozen in place, with a permanent stank face on. The whole time I was thinking, yup, this bass is swallowing me up. I felt like I could stay lost there forever, without really knowing what time it was or where I was, completely taken over by the bass. Thank you G Jones for such a memorable set!

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I have to mention DC Breaks as they were my surprise of the weekend! I had never heard of them before, but they ended up being a really fun drum and bass sound. Highlight of the set was when the singer made eye contact with me, jumped down right in front of where I was standing, and handed me the Titos bottle he was chugging from! Too funny!

 

Bassrush was such a fun event with beautiful people in attendance! Everyone was so nice, and I always felt like I had enough room to dance and move around. No one was pushing or shoving to get to the front, which can be so prevalent at EDM events. Great job to Insomniac for putting on such a fun event with a dope lineup! We had the best time dancing and headbanging to the point where we were all sore the next day. One for the books!

 

Lightning in a Bottle 2018 FULL RECAP

If you read our hype post for Lightning in a Bottle this year, then you know it is our most highly anticipated event. Four days in the desert with a lake right there, what could be better??! We were so excited to hear that the level of Lake San Antonio was high enough to swim in, even though it was much lower than last year. Having a lake at a festival is a game changer for many reasons, and we took full advantage by getting our float on in our ridiculously large floaties!

Lightning in a Bottle, a festival by Do LaB, is known for being about more than the music, featuring workshops, yoga, and many interactive structures and places to play! Some of our favorite structures this year were the spinning orb “Zoa” (which actually broke off one of the days and had to be reattached), Grandma’s House (a shrine to retreat to and meditate in), the Hideout structure (which you could climb in to view the whole fest), and the ferris wheel! There were also some interactive events planned like the Soap-Box Derby, where contestants create their own crazy vehicles and race down a huge hill on Saturday! There was always so much going on as you walked through the festival, like live painters and even fire spinners. The festival goers themselves were even their own works of art, as people really go all out with their outfits. LIB is a place where you can truly express yourself, and we loved seeing the crazy outfits people have come up with or created themselves.

 

Even though Lightning in a Bottle is known for being about more than just the music, they featured an amazing lineup this year, with artists from MK to Giraffage to Tokimonsta to Anderson Paak, and everything played in between. We’ll be reviewing some of our favorite artists below, but I wish we had time to review so many more people!

Entering the Festival

One thing LIB always does well is get people into the festival quickly, trying to get people off the roads as much as they can. Our group got into line around 11 am and it probably only took us around an hour to get into the festival and to our camping spot! I was pretty impressed by how quickly we got in. What I was not impressed with is how they got rid of free-form camping this year. LIB has always been a festival where you find a spot wherever you’d like, and take up as much room as your group needs. There have never been assigned spaces or people telling you where to go. This year was completely different, making me feel like LIB has gotten one too many tips from Coachella. We were directed to our spot, and the volunteers wouldn’t let us drive anywhere else to see if there was more space elsewhere. We were then squished in next to other cars as close as they could get us. We had to fight for more space, trying to explain to the volunteers that we had ten people’s worth of tents to set up, even though we only had two cars. One volunteer in particular was pretty rude to us, mocking us for needing more space. Thankfully we were able to get the amount of space we needed, but it was a weird way to start off the festival, leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

We realized after failed attempts to get the rest of our group to our campsite, that they had camped us in the lakebed. We weren’t even on the map! We had been giving our group wrong directions the whole time as we were under the assumption that we were the last camping area before the lake. There were no marked streets, no water stations, and barely enough restrooms. I was pretty disappointed that LIB would camp people in areas not even set up for camping just to cram more people in.

Even though it was a weird start, we were ready for some music! Below we’ve reviewed some of our favorites.

Buyepongo

Our group was walking across the bridge on Friday night, headed toward the Thunder stage. At this point we didn’t have anyone in particular we wanted to see and were hoping to stumble upon someone good. All of a sudden we hear what sounded like cumbia music coming from the Beacon on our left. Jess and I took one look at each other, yelled YES, and took off sprinting toward it. Our group had no choice but to take off after us (sorry not sorry). We proceeded to stumble upon an amazing, latin-infused, ridiculously upbeat dance party! The band (we didn’t find out their name until the very end of the set) had many live instruments playing while the lead singer kept us all involved with chants and shout outs. This isn’t your traditional cumbia band; there were elements of cumbia, merengue, and African beats, all blended into a style they call “buyangu”. We danced hard, we danced fast, and we left that place thinking, this is the magic of LIB. Discovering bands you had no idea existed or ever thought would be playing at a festival like this, that’s the magic!

GRiZ

Oh GRiZ…you seriously have my heart. Both your music and your personality are just so genuine that I think you’d have to be a heartless, tone deaf alien to not fall in love. I’ve seen GRiZ and Muzzy perform together on stage countless times at this point (can we please be bffs?!) and by the end of each set I just want more…honestly I could listen to their music nonstop and never get tired of it. GRiZ started off his set at the Lightning stage with a bang, like always. His energy and music is just so personable and upbeat it was no surprise to see everyone around me in that super packed crowd jumping up and down and vibing to the feel good music. He was constantly killin’ it on the sax while Muzzy would be jammin’ and shredding the guitar throughout the set, adding to the electronic funkiness that we all know and love so much. What I really appreciated about GRiZ’s set was that it wasn’t predictable; many artists that tour may play the same type of set when they go to festivals and concerts, and having gone to many GRiZ shows, I could tell that he was mixing things up and keeping the crowd on their toes.

I don’t know how one can make the perfect blend of brassy goodness with hard hitting upbeat electronic notes, but GRiZ does it with ease. GRiZ and Muzzy looked to be having the time of their lives as they danced around on stage playing such loving and animated music for all of us to groove to. They even did some funky remixes and had everyone dancing to the songs of the ‘70s, which was both invigorating and refreshing since everyone in the crowd was into it, no one had any judgements or negative vibes. That is one important factor about GRiZ and the music he creates, the people and crowd that are attracted to his music are full of love and acceptance, just wanting to have a good time with all those around them. GRiZ does a fantastic job making sure that music goers understand his music and environment is a safe space for all walks of life, and I can tell he is doing a beautiful job holding that platform true. The big screens on the side of the stage were constantly flashing a collage of images that all centered around fighting injustice and coming together for peace and love, and I can’t think of anyone more appropriate to spread this message than GRiZ. Besides the set being flawless, musically speaking, it was also a full-on experience. Every festival attendee who had the pleasure of listening to GRiZ’s set that Friday night walked away feeling wholesome and optimistic for what’s to come, whether that be in life, at the festival, or just for that night…GRiZ makes sure we have all been touched by the power of music, every time.

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Glitch Mob

I’ve had an unhealthy (or very healthy depending how you look at it) obsession with The Glitch Mob ever since my first LIB in 2016. When I was listening to the lineup, I realized all 3 members were going to be there, but as their other musical projects. Ooah and edIT had a set together, Panytraid closed out Sunday night, and Boreta had a surprise set at the Pagoda bar. Then in 2017 when they made a surprise appearance at edIT’s set, I about lost it. I have been patiently waiting for them to be on a LIB lineup officially, so this year they were my most anticipated set. To make it even better, they had just released their new album in three years, “See Without Eyes” which I thoroughly enjoyed. They managed to take their music in a different direction while staying true to their glitchy sound.

This was the only set of the whole weekend that I showed up early to in order to get right up to the front, I wasn’t messing around! The stage was set up with these huge gears in the background, with three touch-screen dj stands set up, and drums next to each of them. The lights go off, the lights start changing colors, and the glitchy goodness begins to vibrate through my soul. They start off into Fortune Days, asking us if we are ready. The crowd cheers (because how could we not be ready?!), and here we go. They alternate between who is playing the drums versus djing, and you can just see how into the set they’re getting. We’re all right there with them, lost in the music, dancing way too hard. My favorite part of seeing The Glitch Mob has always been how you can feel their music penetrate you and vibrate through your whole body. You’re not just listening with your ears, you’re experiencing it with your whole body. If you haven’t had the chance to see them live, you need to! They absolutely killed it, making them arguably one of the best sets of the whole weekend.

NAO

Can we talk about NAO, please?! Like…where have you been my whole life?! Not only was she one of the artists I was unfamiliar with until I got to the festival, but she is a serious force to be reckoned with, and I am so disappointed in myself for not finding her in the music world earlier. A goddess. A powerhouse. Her voice…holy shit. I get emotional just thinking about her set because of how powerful her lyrics are and how on point her voice is. Our group had done a lot of wandering and exploring after Tokimonsta’s set and were wanting to get a clear ear shot of NAO’s performance. We decided that instead of being in the crowd at the Lightning stage, where she would be performing, we would be all the way back by one of the crossing bridges near the vendors on that same patch of land and post up there; i’m so happy we did that. NAO begins her set and we are all speechless and amazed. Even from all the way back there the sound was so strong we could hear her sing perfectly and even hear the band with no issues.

Her voice is both angelic and emotional, wrapping around you and giving you a sense of both ease and desire with its unique sound. Her sound is soulful, with notes of r&b and even funk at times, and it just made me want more and more from her. As we sat and watched from afar I could see how entranced my group also was in her set, which seemed very significant to me due to our group enjoying all different types of genres…but NAO was the one style of artist that we could all love and appreciate. What made me respect NAO even more was that during the middle of her set she began to sing her song “Bad Blood”, and less than a minute in she stopped the band, stopped singing, and told the crowd that she didn’t think the sound was up to par with what she was wanting to give us and thus began to redo the song! Having an artist know what a song should sound like, being strict with wanting to give nothing but perfection, and actually deciding to start over at a live set is something that is rare to find nowadays! That really made my mind up, NAO’s performance was one of my favorite performances I’ve ever witnessed at a festival or concert.

CloZee

We had just gotten into line for the small ferris wheel when I realized CloZee’s set had begun. Though I was initially wanting to see CloZee’s entire set I was happily surprised to notice, once on the ferris wheel, that the sound quality was so on point I was easily able to listen to the beginning of her set. Once finished with our ride we briskly walked over the the Thunder stage to see CloZee perform and oh man was it a fun set to listen and dance to. First off, the crowd was huge but we had no troubles wiggling our way deeper into the stage and found a comfortable spot near what I believe to be the sound control booth. Though distant from the stage I could still see CloZee on stage swaying to her music while smiling as she witnessed all of us LiB attendees grooving to her eastern and tribal influenced electronic music.

She played all my favorites, never missing the beats of the Japanese rooted sounds she and I love so much, and always allowing the instrumentals within her songs to tell the crowd a story. The bass was also so fun and intense, but in a good and not overwhelming kind of way! During parts of her set, the bass would vibrate the wall of the sound control booth, and I couldn’t help but move closer to it, wanting to feel the vibrations and dive further into a trance. Besides the beautifully engaging music she gave us, CloZee also brought out fire spinners who did a wonderful job exciting the crowd with their skill, using high end lasers throughout the set. It was a magically hypnotizing performance that left me wanting more.

Zhu

After Clozee’s set I was even more excited to see what Zhu had in store for us on our last night at LiB. Our group took a quick bathroom and water station break and then headed over to the Lightning stage to prepare ourselves for the sounds of Zhu. The stage was packed; it was very difficult to get anywhere within the designated area for that stage, but we managed to squeeze ourselves onto the right side of the stage and essentially be in the front. The stage lit up and the lights began to go on and off in a dimmed pattern until finally the music begun, a darker downtempo vibe that I can only describe as both seductive and trance-like. The video screens would show silhouettes of Zhu, the sax player and guitarist in strobe style fashion as the music progressed into a full blown hard-hitting underground/ industrial vibe, both exciting and intriguing the crowd.

He played a few songs from his latest album, Ringos Desert Pt 1, which showed a much more intense and haunting side of Zhu than we are used to. At the same time, it was so refreshing to hear these new songs in a live setting and see all the realms of entertainment Zhu can bring forth to us. The sax, guitar and piano were three components that really pushed the set to perfection. The crowd would be flowing into the mysterious tunnel Zhu was leading us into, and then one of these instruments would come out in full force, leaving us melting in response to this beautiful fusion of both live and progressive electronic music. He played all his classics and even remixed a couple classics by adding more sax into the beat to really set the mood. He even played a few songs that he had remixed from other artists and surprisingly added a trap style influence to the songs and/or would add a sense of rock to the songs. Somehow the music still blended together so well. His set was both moody and addicting and I loved every second of it. Good job, Zhu.

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Con Brio

Con Brio is a group that I had been wanting to see for quite some time. I was bummed out when I couldn’t see them perform in San Francisco for this past New Years but I was determined to make their set at LiB, even if it was late at night and on the last day of the festival. Con Brio, musically, means “with spirit” or “with vigor” and boy do they bring that energy tenfold. After Zhu’s set finished at the Lightning stage I convinced the remaining members of my group who were out to rush over to the Grand Artique where Con Brio would be playing so they too could experience the liveliness of this band. This band is one of the most alive and energetic bands I think I have ever experienced in my life; they fully engulf themselves into their music and you can see how much passion they have for the sounds they’re creating. The lead singer, Ziek, had a very memorable and interactive stage performance; whether it was flips, dancing next to his bandmates, or doing dance moves that brought us all back to the Michael Jackson and James Brown times, he kept our attention and had us hypnotized.

One thing about rock & roll soul music that makes it so special is that it really is infectious! The brass instruments flowing through the air, the beautiful singing, the drum and guitars fusing it all together in harmony…you can’t not go into a full body groove as the music fills your soul. Con Brio even let people get on stage! About three quarters of the way through the two hour set Ziek started grabbing girls at the front of the stage and let them dance right next to him. The friendly energy was so exciting to see and the bandmates were all the more happy to share the stage with fans that truly loved the music they were playing. Another factor that made me appreciate the band that much more was that each was able to have a mini solo on stage during their set and it all seemed to work in their favor. By the end of the set there were dozens of people on the stage, shaking their booties while smiling and laughing at the whole experience. Con Brio finished the set horns blazing, drums vibrating the stage, and Ziek doing a flip and ending in the splits. My cheeks were sore from smiling the whole set but I was so in love and so satisfied with the weekend coming to an end like that. I turned to my friends and they all just looked amazed, one asking, “why aren’t they on the mainstage?” and I just smiled and knew I had succeeded in showing my friends what fire this style of music brings to the world. Con Brio, thank you for lighting up my last night at LiB, I can’t wait to see you again.

Rollerblading

A brand new interactive area this year was a roller rink called Rink Dink. It was set up on the ramp next to the ferris wheel, giving you an amazing view of the festival as you skated. I was so happy to hear that it was free to skate, meaning all I needed to do was sign a waiver and tell them my shoe size! The rink was 80’s themed, featuring all of your favorite musical hits and even a disco ball! This was definitely one of my favorite moments of the festival, getting to skate with everyone all dressed up in their festival outfits, and seeing everyone acting like a little kid again!

 

Kritter Klips Photoshoot! ✨✨

One of our favorite moments of the festival was being part of a photoshoot for Kritter Klips, one of our favorite vendors! The shoot was done by the sweet and talented James, who owns James R. Photography. We had so much fun with all of them that we will be covering this in a separate review for Kritter Klips!

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Themed Days

We wanted to make this year a little more fun and decided to coordinate themed outfit days for our group. Our 10 person crew did not disappoint! We came out full force Thursday night in our 80’s outfits all ready to hit up 80’s Prom at the Favela Bar with Kraddy and Patricio. Dancing the night away to 80’s and 90’s hits was the perfect start to our weekend! Friday night was onesie night, so we got to spend the night frolicking around the festival like the animals we are. We were so pleasantly surprised to see many other groups also decide to rock onesies that night, meaning the festival was overflowing with creatures! Saturday was tie dye day, and we finally got to show off all the great tie dye we had made ourselves!

 

White Library

I first saw the White Library in 2017 and was so glad to see that it was brought back! The structure has beautiful art on the outside of the white walls and has no roof, with multiple entrances. The inside is left blank, a canvas ready for festival goers to write inspirational quotes, feelings, or anything they can think of! There’s something liberating about writing your thoughts on the wall, knowing they will be anonymous and most likely read by others later on. It’s also great to return to the White Library later on in the festival and see what everyone else has written! I was very disappointed to learn that this year people ended up tagging the outside of the White Library with spray paint, ruining the beautiful art. The tagging was so bad that the creator decided they will not be bringing this interactive area back next year. This is yet another example of the culture of LIB starting to change as the festival gets bigger and attracts different types of people. As the festival continues to grow, LIB is going to have to think of how to maintain the ethos that they’re known for. How do we get people who’ve never experienced this festival before to contribute to the respect, love, and community that is LIB?

No Trace Event

I was very disappointed by the amount of trash that was leftover at the end of this weekend. LIB has always been a no trace event, instilling the motto of “Pack it in, Pack it out.” Essentially, if you were able to bring it in with you, you can take it back out (including your trash!) LIB had waste sorting areas near the entrances where you could drop off your trash for free if it was sorted, or for a small fee if it was not. I thought this was so great of the festival to have these resources, and I was shocked at the amount of people that just left their trash at their site or by the restrooms. It seems like every year as the festival gets bigger, the trash problem gets worse as well. I remember at the beginning of 2016, LIB had volunteers going around camp to camp informing people that LIB was a no trace event and giving tips on sorting trash. They also had volunteers going around Monday morning doing those same reminers. This was a great way to spread awareness, and it’s unfortunate it was not done again this year. This might also just be due to how much the festival has grown even just since 2016.  Shout out to the Green Team and Trash Pirates for all they did to clean up the festival and leave it better than before!

 

To sum this up, LIB was amazing, healing, and reviving. I think this festival will always hold a special place in our hearts and will always be the festival to beat. If you’ve never gotten to experience LIB, we highly encourage it! But take the time to understand all this festival has to offer, and experience more than the music and partying. Go to a workshop, visit the interactive areas, spread the love!

That’s a wrap on 2018!

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LIB Excitement

Alright everyone, as you may or may not know, the best festival in California is quickly approaching….LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE! LIB is held on Memorial Day weekend (May 23-28) in Bradley, CA at the San Antonio Reservoir and is put on by the Do LaB.

LIB always has an amazing, eclectic lineup, but it has always been about more than just the music. LIB offers yoga, learning and culture, and art lineups on top of your typical music lineup. There are countless talks, workshops, and healing sessions. Art installations and structures are everywhere, and even the stages are their own form of beautiful art. Some call LIB a transformational festival, a festival that encourages social responsibility, community, and creative expression.

You can start off your mornings with yoga, body painting, or maybe attend a class at the Learning Kitchen and learn how to make a new dish (and try some yummy food!). Attend a meditation workshop, dance class, or even intro to blacksmithing!

A talk I am definitely not missing this year is “Magic and Medicine of the Bee” at the Earth Arts area. I come from a beekeeping family, and I could go on and on about the medicinal properties of honey and bee byproducts. I’m excited to see someone talking about this and sharing the magic!

There are so many activities and fun things happening at LIB too! Each year there is a Soap Box Derby and a 5K, just to list a couple. It is on my list to make it to the Soap Box Derby this year which has always looked like so much fun. People make their own “cars” and race them down a hill! I think one time I saw a vehicle made to look like a banana! I’m not too sure of the specifics of this, but I just know I need to see it finally!

Don’t get me wrong, you will definitely find me dancing to my hearts content at the different stages (Thunder, Lightning, Woogie, Grand Artique, Favela, or Pagoda). But if you don’t give yourself time to explore, you’re really missing out. At my first LIB I found out that on Meditation Hill everyone howls to the sunset, and that you high five everyone you pass on the bridges. There’s interactive art that you can climb or sit on, and rows of vendors that you can easily spend hours perusing. I must have spent at least half an hour at a swing set that we found, just letting myself be a kid again!

Alright so let’s talk about music. What I love about LIB is that each stage represents a different style of music for the most part. Thunder stage is primarily bass and trap for example, while at the Woogie you mostly find house music. The Lightning stage is the “main stage” so you find more of the bigger name artists there and the type of music varies more. I love that each stage has it’s own style, so if there’s ever a time you’re not sure who to check out, just go to the stage that hosts your type of music! This is a festival where you can find a variety of electronic music but you also can enjoy live music. Some artists I’m particularly stoked about this year are: The Glitch Mob, Zhu, Griz, Paces, KRANE, NAO, and MK! I actually have a LIB playlist you can follow on the home page in the right hand panel. Part of the fun of LIB is discovering new artists, so if the lineup looks pretty unfamiliar to you, just start listening and discovering!

In 2017 there was a lake for the first time at that venue, and let me tell you it was a game changer! Instead of laying at camp too hot to move (yes 2016 I’m looking at you), we just took our floaties to the lake and spent a couple hours relaxing and swimming. This year the lake level is not as high as it was in 2017, but it seems like they will still be letting people swim!

I almost forgot to mention that this is a camping festival! LIB employs a free-form style of camping, which means you can take up as much space as your group needs. The camping is not in a neat row, but rather spread out throughout the grounds. This really contributes to LIB’s freeing vibe. Make sure to check out the LIB packing list if you’re not sure what to bring. Remember this will be your home for the next 4 days, so make it comfy!

LIB is a leave no trace event, so please remember to pack it in and pack it out!

I could go on and on about why I love this festival or what it has to offer, but you really need to check it out yourself to get it. The most I can say is that LIB has always felt like home. A place where I belong, where I can be myself, a place free from judgement. People dress in bright crazy colors, people love their neighbors, people encourage expression at every level. This festival is truly transformational. I know I’ll never be the same.

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