Throughout its history Lightning in a Bottle (LIB) has introduced one stage after the next as enclaves dedicated to various genres of music, each with their own distinct personality.
Some, like the Thunder stage in prior years and the current Compass stage are repurposed from the stage they deliver each year at Coachella Music and Arts Festival. Others, like the Pagoda, were originally created for clients, but later became a late-night oasis for bass lovers at LIB.
With the move to the new location near Bakersfield, the Flemming Brothers who run Do LaB decided it was also time to change the name and feel of the stage. Simultaneously, their head of promotions Rafael Marino was knocking on the door with a list of artists he wanted to book for stages around the event. He got to talking with Jesse Flemming and Megan Young, who together curate all the music in Do LaB’s productions, and the proverbial stage was set.
Enter The Stacks.
According to Marino, Festivalgoers will have the listening opportunity of a lifetime at The Stacks. They can experience an entire catalog of sounds that one of the most legendary music curators in the world is already calling "the next big thing."
It’s a chance to be a part of the festival’s history, but for those who know Do LaB it’s no surprise. To learn more, EDM.com pulled up a chair with the Marino to talk about the new stage. He shared notes on the stage design, renderings, a few sketches and even spoke with us about several examples of the cutting-edge artists strapped in for the inaugural launch of the Stacks at LIB 2019.
Setting the Stage
New to LIB? Here’s a quick rundown of the stages: The sonic centerpiece known as Lightning is where all the big acts and live instrumental groups perform. The Thunder stage, on the other hand, is the colossus of womp at the festival. It’s a haven for high-impact bass music by day and a tempest of tempos and lights at night. Even the world famous Woogie stage, which started on a fold-out picnic table, is a popular home base to househeads now.
The delightfully rustic hybrid township and stage, the Grand Artique, also serves up a grab-bag of old school sounds that run the gambit from blues to hip-hop. Underground techno and the grittiest house music thrives at the Favela, while the Compass includes a series of environments all over the event dedicated to music, learning and more. For Do LaB, a stage isn’t some flamboyant facade you appreciate from behind a guard rail. It's an environment that calls you in with spectacle and engages you to heighten the vibe.
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When asked about the impression Marino hopes to create at the Stacks, he said:
“I’m thinking about the future and I want LIB participants that come to the Stacks and feel like I’ve turned them onto the next generation of sounds. All while still bringing in all time favorites and hometown heroes. My wish is for people to walk away having discovered new music and artists that they will hear down the road at other events and festivals.”
Making History with the Future of Bass Music
Well-established artists and those in the infancy of their careers are set to make major bass waves on the Stacks for its first-year run. Lost Dogz, which includes Abelation, Eazybaked, Milano, Vide and UNTITLD, are still in the initial stages of a meteoric rise. As a group already known to push boundaries, they’re sure to bring a ruckus in tow. Another crew doling out fresh hot FOMO for any bassophiles out of earshot is the Hydration Mix Series from Canada, whose members are Reflektor, Lasu, Levrige and Mt. Doyle. “We wanted this to be a forward-thinking approach on stepping up our DNB presence at LIB and they’re the perfect fit,” said Marino.
Saturday is psytrance night at the Stacks, welcoming spacegeishA at sundown. Then Barakuda and Khromata will take the reigns onstage. Also on the docket will be a number of West Coast cult leaders of the bass scene. Of those, Dela Moon has been a champion of the underground and a walking totem to California drum and bass. Few bring the stylish diversity and street clout that she does to the Stacks launch.
Another act to watch on the docket is Secret Recipe, who hails from WormHole both in Oakland and Tahoe. From the Bay Area, Jamal of the Stamina DNB crew is primed to deliver a set that is both stellar and not to be missed. Those who love bass music and waffles will probably be familiar with the self-described "sonic bartender" Asteroids and Earthquakes, who heads up Bass Waffles (as well as Mutate) in Los Angeles. His contributions to the Stacks opening are expected to be warm and delicious, just like the waffles he's known to serve.
With all the breakout talent headed to the Stacks, it’s set to be the number one spot in the whole of LIB where intrigued ears will wonder aloud “who the heck is this?!”