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A 'Greener' Coachella? Lightning in a Bottle Festival Starts Tomorrow

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The Do Lab made a name for themselves by designing mesmerizing interactive art installations for huge, multi-day music festivals such as Coachella and Vegoose, but they have also been producing their own music and art festival, Lightning in a Bottle, for several years now, and the 2008 edition kicks off tomorrow at Live Oak campground (near Santa Barbara) and runs all the way through Monday.

The LA-based Do Lab (their headquarters is downtown) describes themselves as a "open-source artist collective" that specializes in creating otherworldly immersive environments and stages for other artists (musicians, DJs, performance artists, dancers, circus freaks, etc) to perform in. Their contributions to Coachella in recent years have gotten bigger and more popular each year, drawing huge crowds who revel in the wonderlands they create.

Their own festival, Lightning in a Bottle, started out several years ago as a private birthday party located in a forest outside LA, and just got bigger and bigger every year. The first few incarnations were underground, word-of-mouth affairs, but the crowds got so large it became necessary to go public and get all the necessary permits to produce a music festival.

3 years later, Lightning in a Bottle has expanded to 4 days featuring over 60 musical acts, performance artists, and something you won't find at other festivals: environmental workshops. While other festivals claim to be "green" just because they recycle some of their trash, LIB actually walks the walk as much as they talk the talk. The festival is powered almost entirely by solar energy and bio-diesel, and aims to be completely sustainable. An estimated 99% of 2007's LIB emissions came from attendee transportation, so DoLab is working to provide green transportation services this year, including buses from major cities and a carpool forum grouped by zip codes, as well as the opportunity for participants to offset their vehicle emissions by upgrading to more expensive "green" tickets, which includes the purchase off carbon offsets.

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In addition, LIB is the first festival to completely eliminate the sale of disposable plastic water bottles. They offer free drinking water to anyone with a reusable water container (also for sale at the event). All 3 of the stages at the event are made from natural or reused/recycled materials. On-site solar arrays provide power (backed up by biodeisel generators), the light bulbs are compact flourescent... even the forks and spoons are biodegradable. In short, LIB has looked at every detail with a green eye.

Among the music headliners are LA's own West Indian Girl and Lucent Dossier Vaudeville Cirque, as well as Stanton Warriors, Bassnectar, Adam Freeland, Marques Wyatt, Lightbulb, Tipper and over 50 other acts, including many world-class electronic artists and unique performance troupes.

Tickets for the entire 4-day festival are available at the location's box office for $150, which includes overnight camping on-site. Individual day passes will be available for $70 (camping not included). For more information, visit the LIB website.