LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE

FOUR DAYS IN A DRY LAKE BED...

Is no joke. It's hot. It's dusty. It's dry. It's crowded. And the hike from 'Camp' to 'Festival' is a 30 minute trek up hill, down through gullies, over rock beds and man made bridges. Be warned: festival life is not for the faint of heart. And all that glorious stuff you see on instagram hash-tagged #festivalfashion isn't just to make a statement. The hats, scarves, facemasks, barely there clothing, umbrellas and boots are a necessity to say the least. And if one must adorn oneself in all that gear... why not take it a step further and really decorate your body and soul? Add some glitter, flowers, body paint, jewelry, various animal inspired accoutrement, hippie couture and you've created a festival fashion look. Oh...  I love it all. 

While the logistics of camping in dry land in the middle of nowhere can be taxing for a city girl like me, the days and nights are FULL of wonder. Music ... everywhere ... and art, communal events, meaningful talks, interactive games and shows. I can't believe how much thought was put into every aspect of LIB and it was done with intention, joy and care. The love on the land of this dry lake bed was palpable and unwavering. 

Check out a few moments we captured below, which I'm afraid to say, barely capture the reality of what a magical experience this truly was. 

All photos below were taken by Jesse DeYoung and Jeven Dovey.

As you can see, we were the only people in car parking with a camper van... which basically felt like glamping and I am not ashamed. Jesse and I joyously claimed the title of king and queen of the 'tomato patch' camp grounds. I hate camping and might not have survived the weekend without my mom's camper (shoutout to MOM!). But, if you've never been to a festival and you're going to tent camp here are some helpful tips along with some other pointers I think you'll appreciate. 

1. Sunscreen, bugspray, baby wipes, face wipes, vaseline and q-tips (which by the way will probably go up your nose).

2. Get a tent big enough for an air mattress.

3. Bring lots of blankets, pillows, tapestries, folding chairs and outdoor lighting. 

4. Set up a communal area using the above items and keep it mostly covered. You won't regret it. 

5. Get a grill and bring groceries, there is a lot of food at the festival, it's mostly delicious but expensive. Plus this gives you a reason to trek back to your site, eat, hang out, take a nap and change for the evening. 

6. It's 80+ during the day and 50- at night. So... prepare to change clothes and dress accordingly or you'll be sorry. 

7. We wore string lights from Urban Outfitters around our necks at night. I can't tell you how useful this was. It's cute, it helps light the way in the dark, and it helps to keep track of your friends. 

8. Headlamps! Bandanas or Facemasks! Just do it. 

9. LOTS of water. Like I said, it's hot and dry and you're hiking and dancing all day. We brought 24  one-liter bottles and drank almost all of them between the two of us. 

10. If you're going to drink save it for the evening and bring light colored stuff. Seriously, tequila, vodka and Rose all the way. Cans are better than glass and plastic. 

11, Yes people do drugs. I have no comment. 

12. Check the schedule and plan your days ahead of time, but be flexible and open to change. Stuff you wouldn't think to try or see will catch your eye. But it will definitely help if you have some kind of plan to take you through the days and make the most of the experience. 

13. Be respectful, kind and clean up after yourself. The community at LIB is incredible and the whole vibe is very familial. Keep your mind open and move through the days with love and gratitude and you will have the best time of your life. 

Check out this video on the LIB Facebook Page  to experience a little more of the magic. 

That's it! Once I forget about the ringing in my ears, the dust in my nose, the fact that I ruined my favorite boots, the 24 hour post festival fatigue (and subsequent 3 day cold) I'll be ready for the next one. I'm not gonna sugar coat it for you, but everything I mentioned above is 100% worth it. These events can be life-changing if you allow them to be. And as with any immersive, life-altering, soulful experience you gotta roll with the uncomfortable stuff to appreciate the bliss. 

xo Shay