With less than a week until Lightning in a Bottle, locals probably know whether or not they are going. Getting festival ready requires just a little more time than a spur-of-the-moment decision allows.
But they might be wondering what exactly is going on at the festival at Buena Vista Lake this week.
Sure, there's the music, and with it certainly lots of dancing. And there will be food to help fuel those dancers. Lightning in a Bottle is more than just an EDM festival, though. For its attendees, it's a spiritual experience.
“Our focus is on the art, wellness and more of the human experience," festival co-founder Dede Flemming told The Californian. "Not just, ‘Who did you go see?’ ‘Who did you get an Instagram photo in front of?’ ‘Did you see what she was wearing?’
"We’re here for self-expression, creating community, setting up a tent next someone you don’t know because you don’t know where your friends are because your cell battery died. If you get lost, make some new friends.”
Each day is filled with various activities, from art workshops to yoga to seminars like "Bee Magic Medicine and Alchemy."
The festival is big on respectful cultural learning, with several discussions planned on a variety of topics by diverse speakers. Desirae Harp and Niria Alicia will speak on "Indigenous Women Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities," while Vandana Shiva will lead a talk called "Earth Democracy." Roger McNamee will lead a distinctly modern talk called "Zucked: How Facebook Has Upended the World We Live In." (McNamee is more than just a critic of the social media site; he was one of its first investors.)
If online forums are anything to go by, guests are especially interested in Paul Stamets' talk "Into the Mycoverse: An Immersion Talk on Magic and Medicinal Mushrooms."
While less-than-legal recreational enhancements are likely to be part of some guests' experience, that's not the only way they will be seeking enlightenment.
Art workshops and demonstrations include one called "Crochet your way to happiness" and another on book binding to create a festival journal. There will also be a live painting and artwalk.
Other activities are how-to workshops, like ones on "dream hacking," mead making and improv. There are also workshops on wellness and healing, like "herbs for sleep" and another on managing stress and anxiety.
There will also be yoga. Lots of yoga, in lots of places, led by lots of different people.
In The Learning Kitchen, there will be classes on plant-based keto diet, raw chocolate aphrodisiacs, edible flowers, fermentation and more.
There's even an area for kids and families, which will include art, music and games, among other activities.
According to the festival's website, the six ways of Lightning in a Bottle include celebrating life, creating community, respecting yourself and others, actively participating, honoring the land and being a citizen. Its "Ethos" section includes information on its sustainability mission, harm reduction and cultural respect.
We might not be joining them out there, but we hope the Lightning in a Bottle guests have a safe, fun and transformative time, while leaving Buena Vista Lake better than they found it.