In the wake of EDC moving to Las Vegas, a hole began to form in the electronic music scene of Los Angeles. This void has continued to grow as Insomniac has moved its events to the outskirts of San Bernadino (not the most attractive local) and other promoters have moved in on LA to mixed reviews. Until recently, if you were an Angeleno and an EDM fan you were looking at a pretty serious road trip to get to any sort of decent electronic music festival.
That is until EDM aficionados started to take notice of the perennially great yet completely underrated Lightning in a Bottle Music & Arts Festival. LiB is similar to EDC for reasons besides their three letter acronymic monikers, but primarily because both festivals are focused on creating an overall experience that is far more than your average concert. The LiB experience is hosted by the Do Lab, who many of you may know from their stage at Coachella, and has been quietly growing over the last decade from a private birthday party into a full fledged music festival with over 10,000 attendees.
Last year's LiB was so successful that it prompted the Do LaB to choose a bigger and better location for 2013. Now situated along the coast of Lake Skinner in Temecula the festival is equipped for 5000 additional attendees, RVs with hookups and much more space for EDM fans to enjoy. With the location upgraded you better believe that everyone who attends will be greeted with a correspondingly upgraded experience. My sources at the Do LaB have told me that they are pulling out all the stops this year when it comes to art installations, amenities and ambiance.
When it was first announced that LiB would be changing homes I must admit that even I was a bit apprehensive, but all of those fears melted away the moment I laid eyes on today's lineup announcement. Rusko is headlining! The party starting bass thumping dubstep pioneer is definitely a departure from traditional LiB lineups and I believe a step in the right direction toward uniting the burning man faction of LA EDM fans with the "ravers." However, if this development scares you, fear not, because they have also brought back numerous LiB favorites such as The Lucent Dossier Experience, Paper Diamond and Emancipator. In my experience the huge undercard of up-and-coming artists is the real draw of going to LiB, where you can easily be right up front for the breakout performance of your new favorite band/DJ/producer. My personal recommendations include livetronica band Papadosio, crooner and bass enthusiast Jobot, KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic DJ Jason Bentley, and the always enchanting ill-esha.
As the years pass and LiB continues to grow, I have no doubt that it will eventually become the heir apparent to EDC's former title of Southern California's premiere electronic music festival. But will it emulate the towering heights and giant audiences of Insomniac Events? Only time will tell, but if experience tells us anything it is that the Do LaB will do it their own way and do it right.