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 might 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 The Do Lab-produced LIB.
A zebracorn seems to be The Do Lab’s mascot. Zebra-striped unicorns are ostensibly even more rare 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. Flume, SBTRKT, Griz, RL Grime and Panda Bear are among this year’s headliners. Lucent Dossier Experience, Do Lab co-founder Dream Rockwell’s visionary performance troupe, also plays a prime time main stage slot.
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 non-musical aspects as seriously as LIB does. Speakers include psychedelic plant pros Daniel Pinchbeck and Dennis McKenna, Conversations with God author Neale Donald Walsch and physicist Nassim Haramein. There is no shortage of yoga or performance art. Lightning in a Paintcan, the live painter art walk that circles the inside of a fence near the center of the site, features a whopping 50 artists. Amori’s is but one of a number of elaborately realized and executed immersive environments.
Lightning in a Bottle transpires Memorial Day Weekend near Bradley, CA. For further information and tickets, LightningInABottle.org. Support Amori’s IndieGogo campaign here. Featured image courtesy Watchara.