2016 was another banner year at Do LaB. We started collaborating with more than a few exciting new partners, we built our largest structure to date and we went bigger and better at each of our events than ever before. With so much achieved with our friends, it’s no surprise that we have a lot to be thankful for, but when we started recounting the past times shared we saw so many in the global family of festivals that have been there with us at important steps along the way that it only seemed right to take a moment to share our admiration, and our gratitude.
Some of these movers and shakers of the events world have built with us, played where we play and nourished the magic that makes this community the alluring and inspiring place that it is, but we don’t always get the chance to introduce you to our friends. Since this is the time of year for reflecting and giving thanks where thanks are due we want to take a moment to share our appreciation for the gatherings in 2016 that we’re especially grateful for.
In picturesque Portugal, Boom Festival has been a key influence on our ethos, our production planning and in our shared affinity for art. In collaboration with Vita Motus, this year we erected our largest structure to date, the Dance Temple at Boom. This was a landmark achievement for us because to pull it off we used completely new riggings techniques, successfully experimented with local materials and overcame language and culture barriers to collaborate with teams from all over the world.
If Boom Festival is our cousin to LIB, then Symbiosis would be our sister. In fact, we share more staff with Symbiosis than any other festival. This year we were invited to experience the event in its last year at the majestic Woodward Reservior, where we found a hunger for actionable knowledge, a plethora of heart-to-heart hugs and a voracious appetite for psychedelic music – including psytrance. We took notes.
Photo Courtesy of Wayhome Festival
This year at Wayhome we let our creativity fly when we erected the Dragonflies; a series of luminescent posts with an aliform facade. Looking as if they were meant to line the Yellow Brick road at the entrance to Emerald City, these gems were gorgeous against the stunning backdrop of Burl’s Creek but we’re especially grateful because their installation at Waypoint was the first ever in Eastern Canada!
Perhaps the most obvious choice for a list of anything to be grateful for is Burning Man. While not a festival, this one is too radical not to include. The dusty gathering of adventure seekers popularly attracts people of all sorts to the dried lakebed resting about 30 minutes outside of Gerlach, Nevada. In addition to remaining a beacon for individual expression and creative ingenuity, we’re constantly finding that Burners are a bottomless well-spring of inspiration both in festivals and in life.
This list just wouldn’t make sense without Coachella. From the Quinoa to the Big Fish, we have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to our Chella fam. As a true world class event, the road to Coachella has become a veritable diving board for many who haven’t discovered the magic of music festivals. Suffice it to say, we throw one of the best dance parties at the event, according to Rolling Stone, and still always leave inspired.
Set in the historic Black Oak Ranch, Enchanted Forest Gathering showed us an adventurous side to festival production that left us remembering some of our earlier work, while simultaneously getting us to think about the future. Highlights at Enchanted Forest included a 3-D projection mapped stage design that looked something like a psychedelic Taj Mahal, a stacked lineup full of LIB favorites and a stellar array of Northern California painters and performers.
Photo Courtesy of Pemberton Festival
Our Bunker, Quinoa and Pagoda structures added a splash of color to the green mountainous landscape at the Pemberton Music Festival in British Columbia. The installations we setup served a bouquet of misting shade to shelter festies from the sun. This was our third year collaborating on this event with the good folks at Huka Entertainment and each time we enjoy working with them more.
Tropical vibes get us every time. The jungle of Envision presents a number of obstacles for event producers and this team still manages to piece together a miraculous event that is made with local supplies almost completely by hand. Plus they’ve got coconut drinks for days. This event represents the ultimate in set and setting with it’s colorful beaches, vibrant wild life and local tourist attractions. The cross pollination between our festivals always brings fascinating learnings too because so many great minds at Envision also contribute to many of the experiences we create at Lightning in a Bottle.
Distinguished by being the only event on this list that we actually produce. Dirtybird Campout is the festival brainchild of Barclay Crenshaw (who is better known by his onstage moniker Claude VonStroke) and is hosted in collaboration with Dirtybird Records at Oak Canyon Park. To take summer camp games to the next level we enlisted the help of the immersion experts and perpetual performers from the Grand Artique, the ImagineNation and the Fungineers. This three-pronged support squad took our color team games and shenanigans into overdrive, as we rolled out a birdbath of the best kind of bizarre. It was so much fun, we kinda want to do it everyday.