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HomeNewsCoachella music fan favorite Do LaB is back : NPR

Coachella music fan favorite Do LaB is back : NPR

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Do LaB is back at Coachella 2022.

Juliana Bernstein

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Juliana Bernstein

After a two-year hiatus during the pandemic, Coachella came back strong for the first of two weekends. The music festival lineup included Billie Eilish, Danny Elfman and The Weeknd. One of the many stages set up in the California desert is a perennial fan favorite: Do LaB.

Under Do LaB’s 200-foot-by-200-foot-wide tent, made of lightweight, colorful triangular fabrics held together by tension wires and cables, DJs spun pulsating beats and musicians sang house, R&B and electronic music. Aerial dancers descended from colorful fabrics. The Do LaB space was a shady spot in the hot Coachella sun, with water misters to cool the crowds. From time to time someone would come on stage to spray the audience with squirt guns decorated with flowers.

“Amazing people, amazing vibes, everyone’s here to have a good time,” said 27-year-old Branden Robbers. He came to Coachella in fishnet stockings and leggings.

He and his 24-year-old friend Scott Wasierski camped out at Coachella last weekend. “It’s good to be back,” Wasierski said. “For so long we’ve just been locked in by the pandemic.”

Under the colorful Do LaB tent, the crowd is sprayed with water guns.

Juliana Bernstein

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Juliana Bernstein

Coachella music fan favorite Do LaB is back : NPR

Under the colorful Do LaB tent, the crowd is sprayed with water guns.

Juliana Bernstein

At night, laser lights, confetti and streamers enhanced the party atmosphere and the Do LaB crowd grew to 10,000. The lineup for the first weekend included surprise guests such as the 11-piece techno marching band MEUTE, Rebecca Black and Diplo.

Coachella music fan favorite Do LaB is back : NPR

Diplo performs a surprise set on the Do LaB stage at Coachella 2022.

Juliana Bernstein

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Juliana Bernstein

“Our history at Coachella has been very renegade,” said Josh Fleming, who oversees the design and structure of the Do LaB stages, which evolve every few years. His twin Jesse takes care of the music and their younger brother Dede handles the logistics. They’ve been at Coachella since 2004, when they slipped into some after-hours speakers. A DJ friend of theirs started spinning music.

Coachella music fan favorite Do LaB is back : NPR

Rebecca Black and her friends

Juliana Bernstein

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Juliana Bernstein

“People started coming into our dome and dancing,” Dede recalled. “So we were like, wow, how are we doing with this? Nobody’s stopping us!”

Coachella music fan favorite Do LaB is back : NPR

Do LaB at Coachella 2012

Aaron Gautschi

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Aaron Gautschi

They also put up an unofficial art sculpture and a 60-foot geometric fabric-draped dome. “We watch it today and roll our eyes. It was just, well, ridiculous,” Dede said.

Coachella music fan favorite Do LaB is back : NPR

The Do LaB started as a renegade event by brothers Josh, Dede and Jesse Fleming.

Juliana Bernstein

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Juliana Bernstein

“But it’s not just about the visuals for us, it was about the experience. So we got this dome and we built a cascading fountain in the front,” Dede said. “It was 110 degrees. And people were dying of heat. And we were walking around and handing out trays of sliced ​​orange peels. It was about ‘come to our oasis’. That’s how we called it an oasis.

Coachella music fan favorite Do LaB is back : NPR

The next Lightning in a Bottle festival will take place at Lake Buena Vista in Southern California on Memorial Day weekend, 2022.

Juliana Bernstein / Get Tiny Photographs

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Juliana Bernstein / Get Tiny Photographs

The 43-year-old twins grew up as dance DJs in middle and high school in Pennsylvania. After college, Jesse moved to California and started working on a television show. He met a friend there who invited him to a rave in the mountains of Angeles Crest outside LA

“Someone gave us ecstasy and boom! That was it. We started going crazy every weekend,” Jesse said. “I called my brother and said to him, brother, you have to come here and we have to have one of these parties for our anniversary.”

Coachella music fan favorite Do LaB is back : NPR

UNIIQU3 takes the stage at this year’s Coachella festival.

Juliana Bernstein

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Juliana Bernstein

Coachella music fan favorite Do LaB is back : NPR

Creative souls flock to the Do LaB, which started with a Burning Man vibe.

Juliana Bernstein

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Juliana Bernstein

Josh said he followed Jesse to California to record audio for the ABC show 20/20. And they threw this birthday party. “We got speakers and a bunch of Christmas lights and cheap paper lanterns, everything we could get our hands on and we had the best party we could in the woods,” he said. declared. “Every year we kept doing it, more people kept coming.”

Soon Dede joined his brothers and worked as a production assistant for a host of reality TV shows.

The brothers began calling their gatherings “Lightning in a Bottle”. Inspired by Burning Man and Coachella, they left their TV production jobs to host full-time parties. They convinced their parents to co-sign a warehouse lease in downtown Los Angeles. They lived upstairs and held huge underground dance parties and fashion shows downstairs. In the warehouse, they had an art gallery and rehearsal space for the avant-garde circus troupe Lucent Dossier.

“We were part of this Burning Man underground music scene,” Jesse said. “A scene that included The Glitch Mob and other musicians coming and going.”

Jesse said that when they found out the warehouse had once been a meth lab, they decided to name their band the Do LaB “because we were always doing stuff”.
Eventually, their underground party house was shut down by police and firefighters. Josh said that was a red flag.

“Getting arrested was a blessing in disguise because it forced us to start doing things by the rules,” he said. “It required us to learn to be above ground and to organize appropriate events so that we could grow without being illegal.”

The Do LaB scenes have transformed over the years and the brothers have grown their business into a small independent family business. Dede said it was heartbreaking when Coachella was canceled in 2020.

Coachella music fan favorite Do LaB is back : NPR

The Do LaB stage is a perennial fan favorite.

Juliana Bernstein

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Juliana Bernstein

“My brothers and I had to tell everyone that we didn’t have the money to give back to them because we had spent that money to organize the festival,” he said. “We didn’t spend that money on ourselves. We spent it creating the magical show that we always give them. I think we were a little naive thinking they would understand. But you know, it’s t was a time when people were losing their jobs, there was so much uncertainty in the world. They were outraged. And all of a sudden, we were the bad guys.

Dede said they have recovered everything they can to offer partial refunds and prepayments for future festivals. “Some people still feel trapped, and I understand,” he recalls. “But we did well with as many people as we could.”

Josh, Jesse and Dede said they were happy to be back on stage and that Coachella has always given them the freedom to create interactive experiences with an underground vibe.

“It would be hard to imagine Coachella without the brothers involved,” said Paul Clemente, who manages the festival’s large-scale arts program. “They still do it all these years later and have really created a very unique vibe and culture and tribe and just an energy that people really want to be around.”

This weekend, the Do LaB continues its party with The Glitch Mob and others. And in a month, they’re having their own ongoing festival, called Lightning in a Bottle.

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