What We Learned From Lightning in a Bottle

Brian Erzen / LA Weekly
LIB's 2014 Lightning Stage

Lightning in a Bottle
San Antonio Recreation Area
May 22nd - 24th

Over Memorial Day Weekend, our Do LaB friends hosted their first Lightning in a Bottle outside of Southern California at the San Antonio Recreation Area in Bradley, California. Though there were plenty of new aspects to the fest this year, the basics of the five-day event remained intact: eclectic music, arts, hippie culture and the presence of some of the most creative people on the planet.

We made the trek out to what seemed like the middle of nowhere and like most camping events, there were lots of struggles. Besides the usual LA traffic on a holiday weekend and a normal flat tire, the process of getting out there definitely required some zen-like patience. Getting our car stuck in a sand pit at the festival grounds trying to find parking and then waiting hours for a tow truck driver who got stuck himself trying to get a car out of a ravine wasn't even the half of it. When the weather wasn't freezing our toes at night or scorching our shoulders during the day, Burning Man-caliber winds were blowing our tent away. But thanks to the beautiful people of LIB, our unprepared asses were taken in by an awesome group of campers who were more than willing to teach us how to survive out here. This is what we learned.

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Partying With Brazzabelle at Disneyland

Brittney Bowles
Daisy and Brazzy Selfie
On stage Brazzabelle is a fashion forward temptress with a sexy gaze, smile that can light up a room and a distinct perfectly placed long ponytail. But today she's almost unrecognizable as she comes off of Space Mountain at Disneyland. The Arizona native and now LA transplant is an annual pass-holder, so we figured we swap a normal interview about her up and coming DJ gig in the OC for a day at the happiest place on Earth. Because, why the hell not? She dons a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt with a red plaid skirt, black mouse ears beanie and Main Street Elite patches on her spiked jean vest. Anywhere else the outfit might be a bit much, but at Disneyland she fits right in. Her style is usually pretty eccentric, the kind of loud clothes easily suited for massive stages at festivals like EDC Puerto Rico or New York's Electric Zoo, where she's been known to DJ hard-hitting, electro inspired sets.

We make our way towards Main Street so that we can take pictures in front of the giant Christmas tree and hopefully spot a character to take a photo with. Afterwards we head over to Disney California Adventure because we're in desperate need of a cocktail. Yes it's okay to drink at Disneyland at 2pm, if you're with an EDM goddess and it's her birthday. As we wait in line at Cove Bar in DCA to have celebratory birthday drinks Brazzabelle spots Daisy Duck and begs for a picture. After posting her selfie on Instagram, fans instantly comment, "We're on a mission to find you!" But considering her signature look, would they be able to spot her behind those funky shades and Disney kid grin? "When I first started DJing I was told I needed to have branding with a name that's original and a distinct look," says the artist born Brittney Bowles. "The long ponytail weave was cool because when I didn't want to be recognized I could wear my hair down, but that doesn't really work anymore."

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Nocturnal Wonderland -- San Manuel Amphitheater -- 9/21/13

Categories: EDM Diva

Karie Cakes Photography
Nocturnal Wonderland 2013 Main Stage

Nocturnal Wonderland
San Manuel Amphitheater

This past Saturday, mega-rave Nocturnal Wonderland hosted roughly 43,000 revelers from all over the U.S. and beyond at its new home at the San Manuel Amphitheater. The longest running event by L.A.-based production company Insomniac, Nocturnal 2013 offered camping for the first time this year. Many festival goers stayed overnight on the grounds, participating in outdoor activities like arts & crafts, water slides and a silent disco that began at 3pm on Friday and went until 3pm on Sunday.

We made the trek out to San Bernardino for the party that felt like EDC all over again. Here's what caught our attention as we explored an event packed with world renowned talent, carnival rides and interactive art installations.

See Also:Five Things to Look Forward to at Nocturnal Wonderland

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Five Things EDM Festivals Can Still Learn From Burning Man

Curious Josh / LA Weekly
Burning Man attendees dance at installation outside Disorient
In a new era of double-weekend extravaganzas, of-the-minute EDM rockstars and insanely overpopulated venues, the quality of the music festival circuit is always in question, even as it continues to expand. Those of us spending hundreds of dollars due to ever-increasing ticket prices are often underwhelmed by the lack of sound quality, set cancellations and bro-ification of the crowds that come to these increasingly popular events we cover every year. Though Burning Man is certainly not immune to these hazards of growth, there's plenty of ways that the mother of scorching outdoor festivals continues to keep the quality control high as we return every year to party our asses off. In light of all this, here's our list of the five things EDM festivals can still learn from Burning Man.

See Also:
The Best of Burning Man 2013
"I'm Not a Virgin Anymore": The Best Overheard Quotes From Burning Man 2013

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The Top Five EDM Shows in August

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Matt Oliver / OC Weekly
HARD Summer Mainstage 2012
With the over-saturation of shows and world renowned DJs circling LA and OC on a weekly basis, it's easy to justify skipping one out (or you just waited until the last minute and will end up getting a scalper ticket the day of from major FOMO). Regardless there's plenty of shit going on this month to nurture your dance music addiction with events from different genres all over town. We broke down a list of the top five EDM shows this month that should be on your radar. Enjoy your summer like a true rager and attend all of them - why not? You only live once, right?

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Justin Jay and Ardalan - Mesa - June 30, 2013

Jim Hass / iloveROHA.com
Justin Jay at Mesa

Justin Jay and Ardalan
June 30, 2013

Dance music continues to take over our favorite night clubs, lounges and even bars. Yet instead of sticking to the big room progressive house format which dominates everywhere, the Modern Disco Ambassadors have taken a liking to bringing more of the underground sounds of house music right here in OC. With their third installment of Brunch Sundays at the chic Mesa Lounge located at the Camp in Costa Mesa, MDA brought a Dirtybird Records showcase with LA's own Justin Jay and San Francisco based Ardalan. MDA's Kedd Cook and our local favorites Minaya & Vikus also got on the decks for an afternoon of groovy beats, champagne showers and plenty of booty clapping (yes, at brunch!)

Our OC Weekly "Best Club DJs" of 2012 Minaya & Vikus started the day proper at Mesa with some deep house grooves at an early 1pm. Daniel Minaya was celebrating his birthday (for the entire month actually) and there was plenty of bottomless Mimosa's and cake to be had. Because you know "betches love cake!" The boys had a busy June with gigs at the Yost Theater in Santa Ana, Luna Supper Club in Pomona, opening for the legendary Paul van Dyk at Heat Ultra Lounge in Anaheim and making their San Diego debut on the Stingaree rooftop the night prior. But no matter how many times we see them it's always a treat to hear a different side of Minaya & Vikus as they could get funky with their song selections and surprise us with their deep house favorites.

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The Top Five EDM Artists at Coachella

Fabian Ortiz
ASOT at the Ultra Mega Structure

Don't be fooled by the slew of hipsters and bros traipsing around the polo fields of Coachella - the festival itself has long been a pioneer of bringing electronic dance music to the states even dedicating it's own stage for EDM lovers for years. The Sahara tent has seen the likes of everyone from Sasha & Digweed, Groove Armada, Kraftwerk, Paul Van Dyk and Ferry Corsten. Not to mention the infamous 2006 set by Daft Punk the same weekend as Madonna! Artists as big as the Chemical Brothers, Underworld and Tiësto have also graced the main and outdoor stages and one year they even held an Insomniac tent. Fancy that!

Always being ahead of the curve with music, Paul Tollette and his crew work tirelessly to bring the most sought after and up-and-coming artist. With this years addition of the new underground techno and tech/deep house stage (we had predicted it would be a Dirty Bird Records takeover stage), the Yuma Stage powered by Sound Nightclub in Hollywood is giving the Sahara Tent a run for it's money (even though it's been upgraded to the "Mega Structure" most recently used at Ultra Music Festival in Miami)! Don't fret however, we took all the painstakingly stressful planning out of your hands and selected the top five can't miss EDM artist so that you can enjoy the desert sun and dance your weekend away in a blissful oblivion to these must see acts.

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The Five Best EDM Shows in April

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Tim Norris / OC Weekly
Coachella Sahara Tent 2012

Festival season is upon us and that means not one, but two weeks of Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival with enough electronic dance music to keep aficionados fist pumping in their sleep with anticipation. With one of the biggest music events of the year just around the corner, why bother doing anything else all month? Well, for those not willing to shell out the $350 for three days or others who weren't lucky enough to score a ticket before it sold out fear not because there's plenty of EDM shows right here in OC and in LA to get your party music fix. We did all the research for you to ensure you don't miss the five best dance music shows of all genres to ensure you spend your hard earned money on the right events.

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Raging With My Mom at Ultra Music Festival

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Fabian Ortiz
Lulu and Alejandra at Ultra Music Festival

Ultra Music Festival celebrated its 15th annual edition by expanding over two three-day weekends (a la Coachella) making it the largest electronic music festival in the US and the only one in the world to take place over two weekends. Acts included some of the worlds biggest EDM names such as Tiësto, Armin Van Buuren, David Guetta, Deadmau5, Calvin Harris to non dance music artist like Snoop Dogg and Yesayer.

Overlooking the breathtaking downtown Miami skyline and marina at Bayfront Park, the festival brought over 165,000 dance music fans from all over the world - literally. The sea of participants adorned flags, shirts, hats and everything you could imagine to represent their hometowns, states and countries. Among those festival revelers was myself and my mother Lourdes whom I brought along for the ride so she could see for herself what the EDM festival craze is all about. Perhaps this adventure would bring us closer and maybe she won't think I'm so crazy for making the pilgrimage year after year to attend the biggest festivals out there. I know what you're thinking: "Wow this girl must be crazy." But in actuality it was her own adventurous spirit who wanted to join me. Perhaps it's where I get it from?

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Five Must-See Artists at Beyond Wonderland

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Matt Oliver / OC Weekly
Steve Aoki with Travis Barker at Beyond Wonderland 2012

This weekend, Insomniac takes its fourth journey down the Alice & Wonderland-themed rabbit hole to Beyond Wonderland Music Festival, held at the San Manuel Amphitheater after the city of San Bernardino complained from previous wonderland events at the NOS Events Center. Don't be fooled by the new location however. If anything, it means a new venue for Insomniac's CEO Pasquale Rotella to curate into a magical world filled with art installations, performers, rides and some of electronic dance music's biggest stars including David Guetta, Steve Angello and Afrojack. For fans excited to roam the hills of the San Manuel Amphitheater and discover its new found home, we have put together a list of five must-see acts amidst all of the heavy dose of spine-rattling basslines.

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