Why Do Lab’s Woogie Weekend Should Be Your Next Summer Festival
The Do Lab have had an amazing year. Only last month, the Los Angeles-based company debuted their newest creation at Coachella, the Thunder stage, where special guests like Bonobo, Gorgon City, Chet Faker, and Thomas Jack all took the stage. Their structures and artwork could be found throughout the festival grounds, creating for fans the breathtaking skyline Coachella has become so famously known for. The collective acted as the misfits of the festival hierarchy, distinguishing themselves as a happy, bass heavy oasis where fans would find themselves lost for hours on end. The mesmerizing half dome Do Lab stage stood out amongst the stacked lineup found at Coachella 2015, and would stir the intrigue for their next big venture.
Seeking to promote sustainability, social cohesion, personal health and creative expression, the Do Lab eloquently create the perfect experience of that in their transformational-distinguished festival — Lightning in a Bottle. Attendance for this year's LIB experience peaked above 20,000 for the first time, more than a 33% jump from 2014, marking the festival's first sellout in its 15 year history. In 2000 the event began as a private birthday party and celebration of nature and music. In 2004, LIB went public and began its journey to become one of the most valuable and enlightening havens available to the live music community today.
Beyond it’s heavily anticipated music acts at the Thunder, Lightning, and Woogie, LIB offered guests the opportunity to collaborate, meditate and embrace the deeper parts of yourself. Music could have been the reason you bought the ticket to the Central California festival, but it was with everything else it offered you that you decided it was your favorite festival to date. Sorry, Coachella.
The new bridges connecting the hilly terrain of the festival grounds stood as the precipice to acclimate oneself with the nature of the event in front of them. What began as a high five here and there from the self-righteous “bros” of the crowd as you shuffled in line past each other, turned into a community effort everyone happily took part in. Things only got weirder and yet, more comfortable from there. In the depths of darkness below the bridges, three friends decided to take part in a light saber duel, creating above them a joyous stir as people would stop at the bridge to cheer on their favorite color, laughing at the hilarity of what was in front of them. A girl taped a message to her lost love from the night before to meet at 8PM, while a group of friends never lost sight of each other holding on to opposite sides of a never-ending string. It was in all of the tiny details and small interactions that made the whole of LIB an enchantingly comfortable experience. There was the weird and there was the inspiring.
But beyond all the aesthetics, beyond all the headliners, teachers, workshops, and art, there was a place where music and community came hand in hand. Veterans of this vibe, Desert Heart junkies and underground activists, stood out amongst the festival grind as they effectively sought out the campsites near the joyous stage early Thursday morning. (Note: Once you were in the confines of the Bradley, CA grounds, camping and festival were one. There was no separation of the two which is typically found at other music festivals like Coachella, Camp Bisco, Electric Forest, etc.) Woogie enthusiasts were extreme but understandably so. The stage ultimately showcased an array of smiles and beats, unmatched vibes and the best techno journeys available today.
“The Woogie is a magical stage where everyone literally seems to be on the same vibe. It brings new meaning to ‘one vibe, one tribe.’ My crew and I spent a total of 20 hours there over the course of three days and never have we ever bonded harder than before. Shaun Reeves and Danny Howells played life-changing sets,” said Riccardo LeBron, student at Icon Collective.
The Woogie community embraced and mesmerized everyone from the mainstream crowd to long time Burners. Found performing at the Woogie were the Desert Heart’s crew, whom were first conceived at the festival and have now established their own brand of events, to Dirtybird heartthrob, Shiba San and acid house legend, John Digweed; amongst a number of other incredible and delicious acts. But the music wasn’t the Woogie's best asset. The eclectic and warm nature of the Woogie crowd was unmatched, as each member not only looked into each others eyes as they danced, but had all somehow equally succumbed themselves to a religious affliction of the techno persuasion. GRiZ, Koan Sound and RL Grime amongst other popular bass-heavy acts heated up the Thunder Stage. Flume and mainstage favorites had fans glued to the Lightning phenomena. But the Woogie remained as the constant blend of music relevancy and social awareness.
And so the inaugural event was borne. Woogie Weekend began LIB as a far-away venture worthy of consideration – later; but then immediately became a necessity. With over 30 acts spread across two stages, including a takeover from the All Day I Dream crew, the festival brings highly anticipated performers like Danny Daze, Henry Saiz, Moon Boots, J. Phlip, Jonas Rathsman, Francesca Lombardo, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Adam Freeland, Pig&Dan, Nick Warren, and many more to Southern California.
“Everyone loves the Woogie so much, it made perfect sense to create a whole new event around it. We’re excited to work on something with a more narrow focus and master the Woogie vibe,” says Jesse Fleming, Do LaB co-founder. Though despite acting as a smaller venture of the Do LaB enterprise, aesthetics of the festival will be state of the art. Top tier sound for Woogie Weekend will be provided by Meyer Sound and Funktion-One systems, and fans will experience the vibrant, technicolor world of stage production the collective are known for, including the treehouse Woogie stage from LIB and a new stage designed just for Woogie Weekend. In addition, the festival will have live painters, healthy food stalls, morning yoga sessions, and over 30 merch vendors.
If you didn’t attend LIB or missed out on the Woogie experience, here’s your chance to join the tribe. Located at Oak Canyon Park in Silverado, CA, also known as LIB’s 2010-2012 former venue, tickets start at $135 for full weekend passes. Buy them here.
The West Coast isn't lacking during festival season, especially with EDC just around the corner and HARD Summer only a few months away. But Woogie Weekend isn't just about the music, it's something else entirely. It's about community, it's about art, and it's about escaping reality. Woogie-ers are incomparable, yet somehow, they're the long lost family you didn't even realize you had.