Lightning in a Bottle continues to be a breeding ground for inspiration and creativity, thanks in large part to the incredible stages and structures that transform the festival’s landscape into a magical world of imagination. Every year Do LaB’s Design Team dreams up and turns out fresh creations to unveil at LIB, and often there is one new structure that steals the hearts of attendees and stands out above the rest. In 2018, that structure was Wapiti.
Wapiti made its debut as LIB’s new Thunder Stage, taking the place of Big Fish after a solid 4 year run serving as the festival’s bass and glitch haven. Spanning a length of 300 ft and a width of 210 ft, Wapiti now holds the record for LIB’s largest structure ever with a 10,000 person capacity, more than double that of Big Fish. Not only does Wapiti reign in size, but intricacy and complexity as well. A total of 212 fabric panels, 42 beams and columns, and 1600 cables make up the goliath structure, taking Do LaB’s most experienced builders nearly 3 weeks to complete.
Learn more about Wapiti and the inspiration behind the design below!
Size: 210 feet wide, 300 feet long, and 40 feet tall at the tallest point
Capacity: 10,000 Approx
Materials: Fabric, steel cable, Glue-lam wood columns and beams, custom steel components.
Lead Designers: Josh Flemming & Benlloyd Goldstein
From Concept to Reality:
“The design for Wapiti started with Josh and I going through dozens of his sketches at the breakfast table and finding things that inspired us. Tensegrity has long been a driving factor in Do LaB structures, and when we came across one of Josh’s sketches of a custom tensegrity beam member with a very long span, we thought, how could we take that one component and repeat it to make a whole new design?
The function was a driving factor, and we knew we wanted to span more shade than previous years, but avoid any center columns. We also wanted to create a space that felt welcoming and open, without blocking views of the stage from any angle one might approach. This led to us creating a pattern of long span cantilevered tensegrity beams that wrap around the dancefloor with wings opening up to the festival in all directions.”
How Wapiti Got Its Name:
“One of our last design sessions of the project we were in a real crunch and feeling a little defeated and overwhelmed with the number of challenges still left ahead of us. We took a break from work and pulled out the ‘Messages from Your Animal Spirit Guides’ deck and decided to pull a card. The card we pulled was ‘Wapiti’, which is a Shawnee name for an elk. It read: “Stand tall and maintain your dignity no matter what, and others will treat you with the respect that you deserve.” We still didn’t have a name for the structure, so at that moment we decided Wapiti was the perfect name!”