The Do LaB: A Cultural and Artistic Safe Space

Founded by brothers Dede, Jesse, and Josh Flemming in Los Angeles in the early 2000s, The Do LaB began as a collective of artists, builders, and creators committed to providing unique experiences to the music community. Over the years, it has grown into a cultural way of life, renowned for its distinctive installations and events that encapsulate an energy that cannot be replicated.


Origins and Philosophy

The origins of The Do LaB trace back to a desire to break free from the constraints of conventional entertainment and create a space for creativity and personal expression. Inspired by the underground art scene in LA and their personal experiences at Burning Man, the brothers carried that ethos of radical self-expression, self-reliance, and community effort into their very own passion project. At Burning Man, the concept of participatory experience, where the line between performer and audience is blurred, deeply resonated with them. Not only did this event feature art and performances, but it also hosted a temporary city focused on community and art, promoting a culture of involvement. This fundamental concept has helped The Do LaB evolve from an event production company into a cultural innovator and pioneer of a global movement focused on sustainability and community living. They envisioned a space where creativity was not confined to the traditional stages or galleries but into each creative attendee. They imagined a place where everyone could contribute, whether through interactive installations, collaborative art projects, or by expressing themselves freely in a supportive setting.
The result was The Do LaB, a name that itself reflects a commitment to action and experimentation. From its inception, The Do LaB was designed to be more than an event production company. It was about creating immersive environments that acted as canvases for artistic expression, not just for viewing but for active participation.
This foundational philosophy propelled The Do LaB beyond the realm of mere event planning. It transformed it into a catalyst for cultural innovation and a harbinger of a global movement centered on sustainability and communal living. The installations and events crafted by The Do LaB were designed to be spontaneous yet impactful, Josh Flemming said in an article with Los Angeles Magazine, “I didn’t have any kind of professional design or architecture training when I started this. I look back at some of the things I made early on and think, ‘This is crazy. How did we think this was a good idea? How did we actually make this work?”. Showing a world that is hands-on and experimental Josh and his team took a genuine approach to their stage designs, highlighting the grassroots and self-taught nature of their beginnings.

Artistic Innovations

One of the hallmark features of The Do LaB’s events, such as the Lightning in a Bottle festival, is their eclectic variety of art installations, which are not only visual spectacles but also designed to provide an experiential engagement for festival-goers. These structures typically feature organic shapes and vibrant colors, often constructed using eco-friendly materials, reflecting on environmental sustainability that aligns with the broader values of the community The Do LaB serves. An article from highlights this year’s stage design, describing how the innovation manifests in nine mushroom-like pods and a forest of cantilevered arms draped in colorful fabric. These extend over the festival like a canopy, each structure featuring 12 arms and intricately woven with over 20 miles of thread and fabric to form a 360° sanctuary that vibrates with light and sound, creating an immersive experience.

The installations are complemented by cutting-edge sound stages and live performances. Artists who perform at The Do LaB’s events are carefully selected for their ability to resonate with the core values that they stand for. Notable performers at past events include Bonobo, who mixes trip-hop with live instruments, Tokimonsta with her fusion of electronic and classical sounds, and Four Tet, known for his eclectic and experimental music style. These artists showcase the type of dynamic, genre-blending performances that define The Do LaB and Lightning in a Bottle, further enhancing the festival’s distinctive atmosphere.

Community Engagement and Sustainability

Community and sustainability are central to The Do LaB’s mission. The organization places a strong emphasis on creating a space that promotes inclusivity and respect among its attendees. There is a spread of workshops and activities available at their events, which often include yoga sessions, educational talks on sustainability, and art classes, facilitating a deeper connection between attendees and the environment. Even projects like the Zendo Project play a significant role, providing a safe space for individuals experiencing psychological distress, offering support through trained volunteers and educating the public on harm reduction and mental health. This initiative complements the overall ethos of The Do LaB.

The Do LaB’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond the festivals themselves. The organization actively engages in various environmental initiatives, such as water conservation efforts and waste reduction strategies. These initiatives are integral to the operational aspects of their events, from the construction of installations to the day-to-day management of festival grounds.

Influence and Expansion

The influence of The Do LaB extends far beyond the confines of its own events. As pioneers in the festival community, they have also contributed to the design and production of other major music festivals, including Coachella. At Coachella, The Do LaB stages have become a festival within a festival, known for their immersive environments and as a platform for emerging artists and DJs. This partnership has not only broadened The Do LaB’s audience but has also allowed them to imprint their unique brand of creative and communal experiences on a global scale.
The organization connects to a network of artists, musicians, and creators who facilitate a cultural exchange that spans continents, influencing art and music festivals worldwide.
Jesse Flemming, a founding member of The Do LaB, highlights the unique allure of their Coachella stage, noting, “It’s a really fun show with addictive energy just like they probably felt when they were just starting out. It’s something that they want to feel. It’s a totally different kind of energy they get compared to the Outdoor Theatre or the mainstage, and I think they want to feel that energy because in some ways it takes them back to the early days of their careers” (

The Do LaB , Through its installations, community , and commitment to environmental stewardship, has redefined what a festival can be. It is a beacon for those who seek to experience and contribute to a world where creativity and connection meet unbounded by traditional limits. Continuing to push the boundary year by year I recommend checking out one of there many experiences offered.

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