3 Lasting Takeaways from Lightning in a Bottle 2019

By: Benjamin Tillis

On Monday, May 13, over 15,000 attendees of Lightning in a Bottle (LIB) music and arts festival departed their five day home of Buena Vista Lake outside of Los Angeles to return to their regular lives. But not everything is simply back to normal. If other festival goers had a similar experience to what my camping group and I had, which I’m sure they did, then they not only returned home with countless great memories, but also a new vibrant energy and attitude on life.

LIB glow up energy. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

LIB glow up energy. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

I was lucky enough to attend the festival as part of a 20-person camping group, many of whom I had never met before. But by the end of the weekend, and really by day two, there was a distinct and strong bond between everyone, and it’s no fluke.

It’s because if you were to remove from LIB the great music, the learning workshops and yoga, the delicious food, and the parties, you would still be left with something special: thousands of people coming together around art, creativity, mindfulness, compassion, and fun! The festival creates a one-of-a-kind atmosphere that makes meeting new people and building on current relationships easy and natural.

Campsite times. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Campsite times. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

And of course, the music and other activities are why we’re all there in the first place. It’s what we create these amazing experiences around. Most importantly, I believe it’s the following three aspects that make LIB the amazing festival that it is, and allowed me to become so close to, and have such an incredible time with, the group I attended the festival with.

Dance dance. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Dance dance. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

1. The Music and Dancing - Lightning in a Bottle curates an incredibly diverse musical lineup. It opens you up to different music tastes and styles, and introduces you to types of music you would never listen to. In addition to that, no stage is ever packed with people, and the crowd is so welcoming that you feel zero pressure or judgement when you dance. More so than any other festival I’ve attended, people are moving to the music however they see fit. Dance is a way for us to interact and communicate with each other in a purely physical sense. It lets us feel things and play with one another. Through dance, one can create a unique bond with a total stranger, or get to know a close friend in a different way than usual. By cultivating a space that welcomes all sorts of dance and movement, LIB made it easy for us to go out of our comfort zones and get down!

Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

2. The Workshops and Art - During the daytime, Lightning in a Bottle hosts countless speakers and workshops on an endless amount of topics. Researches and teachers who are leaders in their respective fields of research share ideas and thoughts that you’ll have never heard before. In addition to that, there are amazing art installations throughout the festival. One notable one was a duo who deconstructed a piano and turned it into a new musical instrument that resembled a harp. You could go inside of it and have others strum the strings, creating a really cool experience for the person inside the instrument.

Typically, the time we spend with our friends is purely social. Being able to learn new ideas with each other and experience artistic creativity can be a new experience that helps you learn more about one another.

Lakeside at LIB. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Lakeside at LIB. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

3. Camping and Nature - Buena Vista Lake is beautiful. The festival grounds have green grass and there's a gorgeous lake and pretty sandy beaches. And when you’re camping with a large group, you’re there as a team! Different people contribute differently to the group, and everyone is valued. Essentially, you are surviving as one unit, and that will naturally bring people closer. We cooked breakfast for each other in the morning, cooled down and washed off in the lake, and prepped for the evening activities with fun pre-games. It felt like we were all part of one tribe. All of this said, LIB is something that could absolutely be enjoyed solo. I spent most of my Sunday roaming the festival alone and I made new friends quickly. In fact, it could open one up to make new connections more than someone who’s already surrounded by a crew of friends.

I understand now why festivals like Lightning in a Bottle are referred to as “transformative”. I feel like I’ve gone through noticeable growth and have a better understanding of myself and my old and new friends. Truth be told, I’ve been on a complete high ever since the festival, and I can’t wait to do it all again next year.

Don’t miss out on the incredible time next year, and stay tuned for news on early bird tickets here!


All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

How We Found a Lakeside Musical Paradise at the Inaugural Same Same But Different Festival

By: Benjamin Tillis

Allocating your festival budget just got a little more difficult for Southern Californians, as Same Same But Different Festival proved to be yet another music and camping focused experience you do not want to miss. SSBD took place last weekend at Lake Perris and it was truly a perfect time and place to spend a couple of days outside, meeting fun people and listening to great music.

Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

Starting with the setting, Lake Perris is 90-minutes east of both San Diego and Los Angeles. The campgrounds are covered with green grass, shady trees, and a large beach leading up to a gigantic lake. It’s a place festival goers could be found doing yoga on paddleboards, making friends in the sand, or partying at the “Coconut Club,” a dance party that began around noon and went until sunrise each night.

The amenities were perfect at SSBD. Even for General Admission campers, there were plenty of indoor restrooms, outdoor showers, canopies, and grills to make the most of your camping experience. Though the temperature went above 90 degrees during the day, it was bearable with the lake and the fact that it cooled down to below 60 degrees each evening.

Boombox. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Boombox. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

Because this was the festival’s inaugural year, it was no surprise that crowds were small, but this wasn’t a bad thing. Saturday early evening sets like The Routine and The Family Crest saw intimate crowds of around 100 people. But the actual festival grounds weren’t too spread out, so you could find another 200 people hanging around nearby or getting a bite to eat while still listening and moving to the music. Anyone near the stage though was having a blast. Most were barefoot and frollicking around in the grass. It was clear that this was an open space focused on music, dancing, and community.

Lettuce. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Lettuce. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

Attendees on Saturday seemed most excited for Lettuce, which saw the largest crowd of the weekend. Their set was no let down, as people went absolutely crazy during the fan favorite “Do It Like You Do.” Later in the night was the funky, pink-boa-wearing duo Boombox, as well as Late Night Radio, an impressive and entertaining DJ whose past experience includes playing drums for Pretty Lights.

Sunday was yet another great day of shows, but it was clear that those who had to work Monday scrambled out a little early. This only added to the personal feeling of this festival though. The combination of the small community and the fact that only one show played at a time meant that you were bound to find all of your new friends dancing in one place.

Sunday’s music began with San Diego’s Fashion Jackson, a garage punk group that was unique and entertaining. The group ended their set with their song “Gossamer.” They invited their friends on stage, jumping around to keep the energy high. It felt like an Odd Future show and was exhilarating to watch for those in the crowd.

The festival closing bands all had something unique to bring to Same Same But Different. These acts included one-of-a-kind CAPYAC; Dirtwire, who must have played over 20 different instruments throughout the course of the show; Moon Hooch, who kept everyone moving with their funky horns; The Floozies, an endless dance party that included an interesting cover of Kanye West’s “Runaway”; and Colorado-based LYFTD, who closed out the festival sampling the catchy horns in the Outkast song “Spottieottiedopaliscious.”

After the shows, the artists weren’t afraid to mingle with attendees. You could find David Satori of Dirtwire and Beats Antique taking pictures with fans during The Floozies’ set, and the gentlemen of LYFTD were enjoying themselves at the festival’s late night dance parties after their show.

Through The Roots. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Through The Roots. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

Overall, Same Same But Different was a huge success. Logistically it was well organized, the music was great, and this festival attracted interesting and fun people. There is no doubt the festival will be significantly larger after attendees spread the word of the incredible time they had.

Do not miss out! Keep your eye out for SSBD!


All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Same Same But Different Festival Bringing New Vibes to Lake Perris This Weekend

By: Benjamin Tillis

As this year’s music festival season comes to a close, Southern California is graced with yet another music filled weekend. Same Same But Different, taking place 90-minutes east of Los Angeles and San Diego at Lake Perris this weekend September 22nd and 23rd, boasts much more than just music. They’ve got “camping, hiking, yoga, swimming, and interactive art” planned for the weekend as well.

With headliners Lettuce, The Floozies, and Boombox, the festival is bound to attract more free spirited and dance-loving festival goers, which should make for a fun and open experience. Other musical artists include Dirtwire, a country/dance fusion group that includes members from Beats Antique, and LYFTD, the Colorado-based electro-funk group. And although the music ends at 2:00AM both Saturday and Sunday, the dancing will go all night, with a late night dance party beginning right after the fest’s final headliner sets.

The visual artists whose work will be featured throughout the festival include Hannah Rowan and Krystal Dyer. Yoga and mindfulness workshops will also be taught by leaders in the community.


It will be very interesting to see how having a lake in the middle of the grounds shapes the festival. It is very likely that most of the attendees will be taking it easy on the beach or in the water during the performers that they may not know as well, making this festival a great combination of a party and a relaxing vacation.

Bolder Beat can’t wait to attend this festival this weekend to get the inside scoop on what Same Same But Different Festival has to offer, and we are confident it will not disappoint. Tickets still available here.


All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Five Reasons Daybreaker Is Even Better On A Boat

By: Benjamin Tillis

On March 13th, I woke up before the Los Angeles sun for yet another Daybreaker, an event that has turned into a monthly staple in my life. This one, however, was a bit different as the early morning mischief took place on a boat!

I arrived at the dock at 530AM and was greeted by welcoming crew members who also handed me my silent disco headphones for the yoga session before the dance party. Silent disco yoga was a first, and it allowed for everyone to listen to great music while stretching before the instructor took over. From there, life was downward dogs and smooth sailing- quite literally- out into the Pacific. Here are the five reasons why BolderBeat seriously loved Daybreaker on a boat:

5. Nowhere to Hide! – When you’re on a boat, you have no choice but to stay for the party the whole time, unless of course you want to swim home! This meant that the party was rocking from the time we left the dock until we returned to land. The dance floor was crazy for two straight hours: people rolling on the floor, jumping up and down, hula-hoops everywhere. This was also thanks to the fact that the place was packed with positive, outgoing people. Daybreaker events really cultivate their own community, and one I’m grateful for.

4. Exploration – Another beauty of the boat was the fact that we weren’t confined to one space. You were able to enjoy the scenery of Marina del Ray and it was as if you were on a tour of the bay while also getting down to great music. Views on views.

3. Onlookers – Some of the most fun moments of the morning were when other sailors passed our boat. Crew teams paddled by and were distracted by what probably seemed like crazy people partying on a boat at 7AM. Daybreakers waved hello and cheered them on as they raced by, spreading the good vibes out into the seas.

2. A Breath of Fresh Air – Dancing at a Daybreaker is no joke, and when you’re tightly packed into a small space, it can get hot. But at Daybreaker on a boat, being able to run out onto to the deck or the roof of the boat was so refreshing! It provided that perfect reset while you slammed your kombucha and breathed in the sea breeze to recharge and boogie down again.

1. Doing it Big – Among other things, one of the best takeaways from every Daybreaker is that you leave feeling so energized for the rest of the day. After spending the morning dancing with friendly people and eating delicious and healthy foods, you’re inspired to tackle the rest of your day with a newly found intensity. But when you add a boat into the mix, this feeling doubles! Andy Samberg didn’t dedicate a song to one for nothing. Standing in the ocean simply makes you feel… well… cooler! It set my confidence sailing for the rest of the day.

Daybreaker On A Boat. Photo Credit: Daniel Sozanski

Daybreaker On A Boat. Photo Credit: Daniel Sozanski

If this sounds fun to you, then make sure to check out Daybreaker’s next adventure event in Los Angeles on April 11th. It may not be on a boat, but it will still definitely be the best way to wake up and rejuvenate for the week while making fun friends and getting fit!


All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

The Top 10 Things To Do At LA's Air + Style This Weekend

By: Benjamin Tillis

On March 3rd and 4th, Los Angeles is hosting the incredibly unique event Air + Style, which combines a star-stacked music festival lineup with a snowboard and skateboard competition. Check out the ten things that BolderBeat can’t wait to see, and why you should grab a ticket before it’s too late!


10. Snow in Los Angeles...Outside! - Instead of another weekend at the beach, watch talented riders show off their moves on the giant snow park at the festival. You can pretend the Pyeongchang Winter Games aren’t over!

9. Exposition Park - Located near Downtown Los Angeles and near University of Southern California, Expo Park is beautiful park and a great place to spend your weekend. There may be snow on the ramps and terrain parks, but you’ll still be able to enjoy the lush green grass and the sunshine.

8. Universal Experience - Also taking place in Sydney in August and in Beijing in November, Air + Style is an international event that Los Angeles is fortunate to host. The festival will connect you to others across the globe who also enjoy the adrenaline rush of sports and the excitement of live music.

7. Merchandise - Let out your inner skater with Air + Style’s awesome merch. Deck yourself out here!

6. Skateboarding - In previous years, Air + Style only showcased snowboarders, but this year they’re adding the exhilarating event of skateboarding. This should resonate well with a city that has such a deep-rooted skating culture.

5. Street Style Snowboarding - Also added to the event line up is Streetstyle Snowboarding. Inspired by “skateboard jam competitions with urban terrain and a best trick contest,” this is sure to add variety to the games.

4. Delicious Foods - With awesome sponsors like Califa Farms, Saint Archer Brewing Co., Clif, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Beatbox, we’re confident there will be scrumptious eats and drinks for when you want a break from the music and sports.

3. Zedd - This Russian superstar is enjoying the success of his Billboard-topping new track, “The Middle,” on which he collaborates with Marin Morris and Grey. Lucky for you, on Saturday night he’s playing a headlining set at Air + Style.

2. BadBadNotGood - Added in the final wave of musical artists for the festival, BadBadNotGood provides a change of pace for the generally upbeat and EDM-focused lineup. This jazz quartet can get seriously groovy and will leave you blown away with the musical talent they possess on stage. Check out their track “Confession” ft. Leland Whitty for a little taste.

1. Phoenix - Returning to LA since their show at Hollywood Bowl in June ‘17, Phoenix will be showcasing songs from their newest album Ti Amo, while also belting out familiar jams like “1901” and “Lisztomania”. This will be their last show in the US until July.

Music and extreme sports: what else could you ask for? Don’t miss out on everything above plus much more this weekend at Air + Style! You can get your tickets here!


All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Traveling Food Festival 'Taste Talks' Made Their Final 2017 Stop In LA & It Was Really, Well, Tasty

By: Benjamin Tillis

This past Sunday, October 29TH, BolderBeat was lucky enough to experience the second day of Taste Talks. This Los Angeles stop of a national series, which also tours through Brooklyn and Chicago, brought together some of the most innovative chefs and restaurants for taste testing and speaking panels. We stopped by The Holding Co. and the neighboring Medusa Lounge where the events took place.

At The Holding Co. we listened to a few panels on the food space today. Most interesting was a discussion on restaurants that serve foods from countries other than the US. Restaurateurs are attempting to shift away from the label of “ethnic food” that often implies inexpensive dishes. Instead, they want the freedom to market their food as something that is high end and fancy. This is especially an issue for South and Latin American and Asian cuisine restaurants according to some of the industry professionals present. All the panels offered a really unique take on something we may not think twice about- it was fascinating!

The goodness.

The goodness.

Next door at Medusa Lounge’s outside and spacious lot, you could find the All-Star Cookout. With a handful of different Los Angeles-based restaurants and caterers showcasing their best barbeque themed dishes, it was easy to spend a few hours trying new foods and drinks and meeting other local foodies who love chatting about their favorite eats.

Exhibitors included Kato Restaurant, Barbara Jean LA, Broken Shaker, The Exchange, MexiKosher, Bone Kettle, Cento Pasta Bar, Secret Lasagna, Dream Pops, and more. Our two favorites were Abbot Kinney-based restaurant Neighbor and the tent next to it, Wood. Based in Silver Lake, Wood served a wood-fired meatball that we couldn’t get enough of.

We loved these balls. 

We loved these balls. 

If the food didn’t suffice, the bar was pouring Altos tequila and Tecates from the open bar. The combination of the delicious food and drinks made it impossible to not stay until the very end; they were practically kicking us out!

Chicago, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles, keep your eyes out for 2018’s Taste Talks festival dates!


All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

I Ate My Way Through LA Weekly's Delicious Brunch At The Races

By: Benjamin Tillis

What a day at the races! In the middle of the Santa Anita race tracks, I joined 2,500 other attendees clad in pastel suits and dresses for LA Weekly’s  Brunch At The Races. With over 30 booths serving their signature brunch dishes or late morning beverages, the festival-goers were presented with endless options, making it easy to spend all three hours at the event.


To get the day going, I started with… dessert! McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams served miniature cups of their famous cold treats; one was flavored Turkish Coffee, the other Churros Con Leche. Both were delicious, but I am a sucker for anything cinnamon, so the Churros got my vote.

The cream.

The cream.

Following that, I went to Poppy + Rose’s tent to enjoy the biscuit and jam they were serving (we may have gotten back in line a couple more times after that).

Although I love meat, I decided to check out Fred62’s tofu chilaquiles. The restaurant, located in Los Feliz, a neighborhood in East Los Angeles, really impressed me with their dish.

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Lastly, and absolutely the best dish of the day, was La Huesuda Tacos’ dish. It was a chorizo, potato, and fried egg taco well worth the longest wait at the festival.

While enjoying the brunch foods, it was hard not to venture off to Effen Vodka’s Bloody Mary booth and Maker’s Mark’s Mint Julep stand for some refreshing adult beverages. And with newly legalized weed in California, there were also limited gift bags handed out that included Sprig THC-infused soda.


Overall, LA Weekly’s Brunch at the Races was an awesome experience that I did not want to leave. Brunch forever.


All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

LA Weekly Has Your Ultimate Brunch Dreams Covered This Weekend

By: Benjamin Tillis

Los Angeles offers endless brunch options, sometimes it’s too hard to choose a place to dine. Lucky for you, LA Weekly is hosting its third annual Brunch At The Races, a showcase of over 30 of the City of Angels’ top restaurants’ and vendors’ late morning and early lunch dishes. There will also be countless drink samples, making it a true brunch experience. All of this takes place at Santa Anita Park, so you can always step away to take your chance with Lady Luck at the horse tracks!

Screen Shot 2017-10-13 at 3.43.02 PM.png

Here’s who you can expect to see at the event: Red Herring, Cindy’s Restaurant Eagle Rock, Pono Burger, La Huesuda Tacos, AR Cucina, Pez Cantina, Fred 62, Myke’s Café, Kobawoo House, Jones Coffee Roasters, McConnells, Chez Tex, Poppy + Rose, and many more! And sponsors include Effen Vodka, Maker’s Mark, and Food Forward.

Are you going to miss out on eating endless brunch foods at the horse tracks? We say ‘naaaaaay!’ Get your tickets here before they’re gone.

See you there!

About LA Weekly:

LA Weekly has Los Angeles covered with investigative reporting, comprehensive calendar listings and forward-thinking cultural coverage, including daily blogs like the highly regarded Squid Ink, which covers the city’s food scene. We keep our readers loyal with stories by some of the country’s finest writers—now accessible through our mobile platforms. LA Weekly has won more awards from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies than any other paper in the country, and in 2007 was the first newspaper to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for its food criticism.


All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.