Written by Nadia Ibanez, Photos courtesy of Lightning in a Bottle
I should have a section on Wander for “Wishful Thinking” posts. It happens just about every week where I’m sitting at my 9-5 job and get a crazy inclination to check out a cool new art show, concert venue, totally crazy event, or new hotel — you name it, I’ve done it. Or, at least I’ve planned to go to something and then plans/universe turned me in a different direction. A couple years ago, I made the intention to check out Lightning in a Bottle at some point in my 20s/30s. And if you know me, you know this event is 1000% Nadia friendly.
Over Memorial Day weekend, thousands and thousands of people convene for a six-day festival of amazing music, yoga, live art installations, a meditation temple, cooking classes and demos, booze, and environmental consciousness in the form of food, vendors and much more. Essentially, people going to LIB are seeking full immersion in a culture that embraces community, self-awareness, the healing benefits of music and yoga, and the act of befriending strangers with common interests.
This year, Lightning in a Bottle will return to the San Antonio Recreation Center in Bradley, CA. Music headliners include some of my favorite artists like Chet Faker, Grimes and Jaime XX and a boatload of other DJs and musicians. While some people are going for the dance and EDM scene, I think I’m more excited about the yoga and meditation aspect, along with spending a couple days out in the wilderness and under the stars. For a hippie, festie girl, this would be a dream come true. Now it’s just a matter of finding a squad to join me.
For more information, check out lightninginabottle.org or check out the 2015 video below. Hope to see you there!
For someone who has slight ADD when it comes to the weekend, I love having a calendar booked with concerts, special meals and day trips. But sometimes a girl’s gotta keep her weekend open and fill it up spontaneously with totally outrageous, typically San Francisco things. It was Tuesday night and I was getting slightly antsy because my weekend was barren. After checking out a couple of my favorite SF weekly calendars, I stumbled upon one of the most exciting events that I knew I had to check out: The Edwardian Ball.
After seeing some stunning photography from past events, I immediately signed up to cover the event. This Friday and Saturday, January 22 and 23, marks the 16th Edwardian Ball in SF. Expect a whimsical festival filled with steampunk enthusiasts, vintage fetish lovers, circus acts, live music and more spiked with Neo-Victorian and Edwardian-era Gothic imagery. Set within the Regency Ballroom, the two-day fest is inspired by macabre cult author, illustrator, cartoonist and comic artist, Edward Gorey. Think Lemony Snicket, Edward Scissorhands and the Addams Family and you’ve got yourself a pretty picture of what to expect when you walk in.
If you need any excuse for an ornate costume party this weekend, you need to check out The Edwardian Ball.
Along with seeing fellow San Francitizens dressed to the nines, you can expect steam-powered creations, parlour games, absinthe cocktails, a photobooth, mythical creatures performing throughout the venue, and a vendor bazaar where you can find a last minute Edwardian-inspired costume or accessory.
Friday marks The Edwardian World’s Faire and Saturday will showcase The Edwardian Ball. Whether you want to spend your evening in fantastical lands, try your hand at ballroom dancing, or just sit back and enjoy the crazy beautiful performances, this festival is not to be missed. Entertainment varies on both days so do yourself a favor and buy a two-day pass.
Also, make sure to check out The Mystic Midway: Stories of Gold. This interactive game takes guests throughout the Ballroom’s three floors where they’ll hear stories from all kinds of creatures and be awarded for deeds with trinkets and surprises.
Each evening starts at 8 p.m. with the Vendor Bazaar open from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday. For tickets and more information, visit www.edwardianball.com.
Some peeps (ahem, my photographer for instance) would say that I’m a festie girl. I travel throughout the state for three-day music festivals. I’ll drop almost $400 for a weekend pass to something. I don’t scoff at body paint, metallic temporary tattoos or putting flowers and ribbons in my hair. I’ll put on a flowy dress and cowboy boots. And I’ll f*cking dance my booty off with strangers in front of the main stage without skipping a beat.
As I’m rounding out my first year in the City, I’m finding about all of the annual street parties, SF-centric holidays and music festivals. The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival was last weekend and I finally had the chance to experience it for myself. Three days, seven stages, in the middle of Golden Gate Park. Oh, and it’s a totally free event. I mean…if you’re in the city and don’t check it out, you’re doing it wrong.
SF venture capitalist and philanthropist Warren Hellman came up with and funded the non-commercial festival to focus on the music, the community and the absolute beauty of the venue. The first event was held in 2001 and more than 750,000 music lovers trek to the GGP each year.
Because Hardly Strictly is a non-commercial event, don’t expect to find any booths sponsored by the likes of Google, Spotify, Chevy or any other corporations hawking their brand and wares like you’d find at Outside Lands or other festivals. But rather, you’ll find groups of people bringing in their own lawn chairs, blankets, booze and food intending to spend the entire day in front of their favorite stage. The idea of “pack it in, pack it out” is huge at Hardly Strictly and it was kinda amazing to see people picking up after each other and not trashing the park like you’ll often see at festivals.
Kevin and I ran around the festival all weekend and shot crazy concert goers, musicians, free-lovin’ drifters and everyone in between. We hope you enjoy this photo gallery. Read more
As some of us are preparing for the second weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival that kicks off today, many of us are dying of envy as we watch our friends done headdresses, lace, and art gear to enjoy the festivities. However, there is another amazing festival that takes place in awe-inspiring Joshua Tree — the Joshua Tree Music Festival, which is happening May 14-17, 2015.
The Joshua Tree Music Festival is its own experience, and festival planner Barnett English is proud to plan a global music festival that is fun for people of all ages. This is completely different experience from other festivals because your children, friends and family can all come to this event, bond, and truly revel in the experience that can only be had at Joshua Tree.
If people aren’t familiar with the Joshua Tree Music Festival, it’s important to note that it’s definitely an intimate affair, said English.
“We are not a huge festival – we have at most 4,000 people on site,” he explained. “There are no crushing crowds, and you can get right in front of the stage. It’s super laid back. From my experience, Coachella has about 100,000 people, and the madness can get pretty intense. Ours is not like that. You can see the eyeballs of the guy playing the guitar. It’s a more authentic experience because you are not getting lost in a sea of people.”
This festival melds the overwhelming spirit of desert freedom with powerful music from around the world to create a lighthearted oasis for music lovers. Magically magnificent art installations, a robust Kidsville schedule, the heavily shaded Music Bowl, a full spectrum of yoga classes from sunrise to sunset, 27 different music playshops and didjeridu classes, late night Astronomy theatre, and a World Market further inspire, intrigue and invite festival goers.
Not to knock bigger, louder, and rowdier festivals like Coachella; it is absolutely a blast when you know how to survive Coachella and all the insanity that comes with it. However, for some, the overwhelming crowds, heat, and overall experience is dampened because you don’t really connect with new friends, or even have the same experience as your own friends. At the Joshua Tree Music Festival, your kids can dance and sway to the music, or you and your significant other can spend time stretching at the yoga class before heading to the main stage together.
The festival has been held at the same site since its conception, and is held at a privately owned campground with sweeping views of Indian Cove National Park.
“The folks that own the place have given us five acres of 40 acres for us to dream and build stages, shops, and yoga area,” said English. “At the end of the festival, we don’t tear down; we get to leave it here and add onto it every year. It’s not very common that a festival can do that, and we are super grateful to make it funkier.”
The Joshua Tree Music Festival has two main stages, and bands alternate between the two so that no two bands are playing at the same time. This allows for guests to have the same experience, creating a bonding experience.
“All weekend long and afterward, people are affected in a positive way,” said English. “The music has been inspiring and they walk away with more energy. I love to see people have the time of their lives. People come away with meaningful conversations and new friends that they can’t live without.”
If you can’t make it this May, don’t fret. English is proud to say that the festival is so much fun, he and the other planners host it twice a year.
“We are having the 13th annual festival in May, but we also have the 10th annual fall event in October,” he said. “We just couldn’t wait a whole year!”
Full festival line up, schedule, and more information at the following sites:
After surviving our first trip to Coachella in 2012, I immediately knew that I needed a comfortable and quiet place to stay this year. Coachella can be rough on anyone – the sun, the loud music and the constant flow of people covering every inch of the Polo Fields can be exhausting. This year, I decided to book a hidden bed and breakfast for the week so that we could unwind and relax before heading to the festival everyday. Thank goodness for the Korakia Pensione in Palm Springs.
As I get older, my travel requirements become a bit lengthier and require more comfort than anything else. I first found out about the Korakia a couple years ago and was thrilled to finally have an opportunity to visit. The Korakia was everything I hoped it would be: secluded, quiet, romantic, beautiful and offered all of the essentials to hideout for a bit.
We booked a few nights in the Byzantium Room, which was fully equipped with an enormous bed, kitchenette, patio and stone-walled bathtub. While our room was wonderful and comfortable, Korakia’s amenities and grounds were above and beyond.
We started every morning with coffee and a cooked-to-order breakfast. Complimentary breakfast is always a plus while traveling and Korakia’s daily offerings were delicious. Throughout our stay, we tried everything from huevos rancheros to strawberry French toast. Korakia also has a number of bikes that their guests can rent out. I rode around downtown Palm Springs one morning for a little change of scenery and the major streets were surprisingly bike-friendly.
The grounds at Korakia are absolutely beautiful. From the whitewashed stone walls of each Mediterranean villa, to the palm trees and saltwater pools, Korakia just evokes relaxation. Better yet, you can opt for an in-room massage or visit the on-site “massage hut” for a little more personal time and healing. I opted for a massage before checking out, which helped to soothe my sunkissed skin and sore body.
After spending three days at Coachella weaving in between teens and drunks, I would have been totally content just wading around Korakia’s pool all day and riding a bike into town for a meal and happy hour. That’s how you know you’re getting old.
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Palm Springs that’s a bit off the grid, but still close enough to all of the shopping, restaurant and bars, you must check out Korakia Pensione. This B&B is perfect for a girl’s trip or a romantic getaway with the one you love the most. For more information, visit www.korakia.com.