Lightning in a Bottle

Ready for a weekend of camping, music, and art in California? This guide has everything you need to know about camping at the Lightning in a Bottle Festival.

Event information

Lightning in a Bottle (LIB) is known for being one of the best festivals for RV camping. Held at scenic, nature-centered locations around California, this festival is the perfect event for campers. LIB allows campers to camp right within the festival with a ton of space for all types of RVs. RV setups with and without hookup options are made available at the campground, and you’ll be sure to be close to all the art, music, workshops, and games Lightning in a Bottle has to offer.

Whether on dusty hills or flat grassland, Lightning in a Bottle makes sure to have plenty of space for their campers. LIB usually has expansive lots sitting near picturesque lakes surrounded by California’s natural landscape and tucked far enough from the city to unplug. LIB is paying more and more attention to the RV crowd, promising closer lots that put campers into a social LIB RV community.

And you’ll want to be close to the Lightning in a Bottle festival grounds considering all this event has to offer. LIB has three main stages with a variety of musical performances. You’ll experience the harmonious vibrations of many acts both big and up and coming.

This festival is about so much more than music, and there are of ton of activities to enjoy. From meditation and yoga workshops to the Must-Dash 5K run there’s something for everyone at LIB. Guests are surrounded by intricate designs and architectural features that fill the eye with color and beauty.


Lightning in a Bottle tickets go on sale mid-February with early bird tickets usually up for grabs around that time. Festival-goers can usually choose between two types of passes, depending on the festival dates. They’re priced based on how many days guests will be spending at the festival, beginning at around $300 for General Sale tickets. Those interested in attending LIB can also benefit from the early bird rates starting around $300.

Once you purchase a ticket, a wristband will be shipped to you ahead of the festival date (usually in April), and they’ll need to be scanned on arrival. Depending on your purchase date, you’ll also be able to collect wristbands at the gate when you arrive.

If you are entering the campgrounds with a vehicle, you’ll need to buy an additional pass. For RVs, there are RV Camping Passes for sites with hookups and without hookups. RV passes are sold per vehicle, so Lightning in a Bottle is a great time to band together with some friends.

For more information about tickets head to the festival’s website.

Explore Lightning in a Bottle RV Rentals



In its history, Lightning in a Bottle has held its festivals in locations around central California and its coast. From major cities around California expect about a two to five-hour drive. Guests will receive an arrival guide with their wristbands, describing just how to access the festival and where to go based on your RV specifications. Be sure to have your passes ready on arrival and your RV pass visible on your dash.

Parking areas

Parking for RVs will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis, and camps are lined closely together for a fully engaging experience. If you want to camp with friends, be sure line-up accordingly before entering the festival grounds. To encourage carpooling, LIB will charge $30 for single-passenger vehicles. RVs and car campers are not permitted in and out privileges with a vehicle.

Public Transportation

While Lightning in a Bottle festival locations are often remote, they don’t limit those who don’t have access to transportation. LIB has set up their Lightning Shuttle Bus service leaving from major cities in California. Since LIB is all about community and sharing, they also encourage setting up or looking for rideshares and carpools to get to the festival.

Where to stay


Lightning in a Bottle is a camper’s delight with an array of options. They have put more emphasis on RVs in recent years, and are keen on making sure RV campers have one of the closest access points to the festival. Large and small RVs are welcome, and there are options for campsites with hookups and without. These camps will be separate from each other. Both car camping and RV passes are sold by the vehicle, making it a great time to band together with your friends, or make some new ones! There will be enough space for extra tents too since campsites are about 20’ x 40’.

RVs with a hookup pass will be plugged into the festival’s’ s power grid, but there won’t be sewer hookups available. RVs without a hookup pass will not water, power, or sewer services provided. Campsite surfaces vary depending on the festival’s location. Be prepared to make new friends since RVs are usually parked awning to awning. Festival officials encourage guests to share the Lightning in a Bottle experience with one another.


Lightning in a Bottle is all about experiencing the natural scenery around you. You can be sure to find a number of campgrounds around the venue. LIB takes place in locations near beautiful backdrops including lakes, beaches, and mountains giving you the chance to explore around you. Camping near the festival site can offer you some flexibility if you desire more space for you and your crew. Los Padres National Forest is also a wonderful resource to the west of the festival site.

Getting around

Once RV and car campers have been parked in their assigned space, they won’t be allowed to move during the duration of the festival. While Lightning in a Bottle tries to ensure RVs have closer access to the activities, they do often provide shuttles for those who are far away from the festival. Good shoes are advised for walking on the hard surfaces of the festival venues.

What to pack


California is known for having hot days, and since you’ll be out and about, it’s best to dress in breezy and comfortable clothing. You can expect temperatures to drop in the night though, so be sure to have clothes that you can layer on and off for the evening. Lightning in a Bottle venues are known for being near lakes so remember to pack some swim gear so you can cool off during the day. Lightning in a Bottle festival-goers are known for being creative with their attire. Don’t hold back; this is your time for some fun! The festival puts a big emphasis on cultural respect and has banned cultural costume attire from the premises.


Since Lightning in a Bottle is all about sharing in the music experience, they put a lot of effort into ensuring that all festival goers feel safe and as though they part of a community the whole way through the event. For added safety, add a tent lock to your packing list so you can enjoy the sights with peace of mind. Depending on the campground, you’ll want to secure your tent and other items, since the wind can really pick up in parts of California. Some Lightning in a Bottle locations do not offer ground that will permit tent stakes to be used. Protect your camp from the sun during the day and remember to bring shade or structures to block the rays.

Health & Safety

The sun can be harsh so be sure to pack sunscreen, hats, and bandanas to help protect you throughout the day. Having a first-aid kit handy in your camper will have you ready for minor emergencies. It is a good idea to have aloe on hand in case the sun does get to you. Water is available for free throughout the festival and Lightning encourages guests may bring refillable bottles. Sunglasses, toiletries, and baby wipes will all come in handy at Lightning in a Bottle.

Where to eat


Coolers and food are permitted on Lightning in a Bottle campgrounds. Cooking on-site gives LIBers the chance to get together and create excellent meals. Remember to bring your cookware and cooking utensils. Open flames are not allowed on the site, but enclosed propane grills are accepted. Since LIB is all about sustainability and staying green, they encourage reusable cups, plates, and utensils. Glass bottle and containers are not permitted in the campgrounds or festival areas.


While LIB puts a lot of their attention on camping, the festival won’t be too far away from restaurants. California is known for being the place for foodies, so chances are, you’ll not be too far away from a great find. If you’re looking for a memorable experience try a restaurant along the coastline; they’re known for being one of the best parts of California’s culinary adventures.


Many food vendors will be available at Lightning in a Bottle with an emphasis on sustainable, local, and organic food options. An array of dishes including cultural, vegan, and vegetarian options will be offered. For the 21-and-over-crowd, the festival will also have a variety of beers, cocktails, and wine available.



Lightning in a Bottle describes their space as a “no-tolerance zone” for harassment and assault. LIB has a safety team available day and night, as well as medical staff and rangers throughout the venue to ensure your safety. While non-bottled alcoholic beverages are allowed on campgrounds, drugs including marijuana are not. LIB staff are available 24/7 and if you can’t spot them but need to reach them, head to a medical station, information station, or the campground team.


You can expect sunshine and hot weather throughout your days at Lightning in a Bottle, so it’s best to prepare for it. You’ll want to have ways to stay cool like having tons of water and maybe a cooling system in your RV. LIB is known for being dusty. Having at least a bandana and sunglasses to protect you from wind and sand will help keep the good vibes going.


While we recommend having a first-aid kit handy in your camper, medical services at LIB are available throughout the festival no matter the time of day. Lightning in a Bottle has made the entire festival accessible to all disabilities with easily accessible pathways for those with mobility disabilities. Only trained service dogs are permitted on the site. Visual accommodations are also available. An Access Center is available on-site for any questions, concerns, or needs.