Paul E. Amori is the mayor of Lightning in a Bottle. Amori is the well-dressed Casanova behind Amori’s Casino & Burlesque. A sign outside reads “Floozies Welcome, Inquire Within.” A little person named Julio might greet you at the entrance. So might a unicorn. Inside the red and white late night hot spot, you’ll find Skeez Ball, a See All (fortune teller), an Almost Kissing Booth, a hookah lounge, a peep show, New Fangled Elixirs & New Fangled Mercantile and a dartboard featuring Amori’s challenger, W.C. Thornbush of Frontierville. Entertainment is a hodgepodge of DJs like Pumpkin and Henry Pope and New Fangled Opry acts from tap dancers and aerialists to mermaid burlesque or “merlesque.” This is a telling microcosm of LIB.
A zebracorn seems to be The Do Lab’s mascot. Zebra-striped unicorns are ostensibly even harder to come by than their stripe-deprived counterparts. The unique beast is a perfect metaphor for what The Do Lab does. Coachella goers might be familiar with the event producers via their stage at the famous Indio, California festival. LIB is Do Lab’s baby. As far as festivals go, it’s a rare breed. Any event that reminds me of Burning Man is doing it right.
LIB boasts an impressive package—savvy booking, art galore, relevant vendors and innovative stage design. Beats Antique, Phantogram, Gramatik, Little Dragon, Amon Tobin and Moby were among this year’s headliners. Lucent Dossier Experience, Do Lab Co-Founder Dream Rockwell’s visionary performance troupe, also played a prime time main stage slot to kick off its first North American headlining tour “Light of the World.”
The Do Lab’s booking is impeccable. Music may be the flame that draws the moths, but it’s just the tip of what makes LIB tick. Few festivals take the extramusical aspects as seriously as LIB. Speakers included Moby, YouTube Co-Founder Chad Hurley, psychedelic plant pro Daniel Pinchbeck and Rockwell. Workshops tackled bees, Reishi Mushrooms, permaculture, quantum hypnosis, Ayahuasca and Tantric lap dance. There was no shortage of yoga or performance art. Lightning in a Paintcan, the live painter art walk that circled the inside of a fence near the center of the site, featured a whopping 50 visual artists. Amori’s was but one of a number of elaborately realized and executed interactive realms.
I could go on. Or you could just go and see for yourself. To satisfy further curiosity, LightningInABottle.org
George Peele enjoys dancing on stilts and delivering Custom Singing Telegrams. He is a contributing writer for 303 Magazine and a freelancer for Vegas Seven. Follow Peele on Twitter: @Orangepeelmoses. Avatar image courtesy Jonathan Shoup.