Do Lab, a look at the coolest place in Coachella – Orange County Register


The Do Lab might be the coolest place at Empire Polo Club in Indio, and it’s back to light up Coachella 2022 after a two-year hiatus.

Headliners like Harry Styles and Billie Eilish may get all the attention when lineups are announced, but the Do Lab – powered by renowned DJs, iconic water guns that drench the thousands dancing in the tent at all times and bass that will rock your soul from the opening of the festival to its closing – has become a brand in its own right at Coachella.

Lasers streak across the sky above the Do Lab during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Saturday, April 23, 2022. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Contributing Photographer)

The idea for the Do Lab began in 2004 when the Flemming brothers realized their TV production work wasn’t challenging, Dede Flemming said in 2017.

Jesse played in a band, Josh worked on the lighting, then the sets for his shows, and Dede helped out.

In the meantime, they would go to festivals and take inspiration from the creative anarchy of Burning Man, which creates a pop-up art city in the Nevada desert.

The Do Lab’s first year at Coachella was 2004, when the brothers completed what they considered an art project – a 60-foot geodesic dome with sculptures and water misters that was a place to cool off.

  • A fire dancer performs on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 22, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • A fire dancer performs on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 22, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • A fire dancer performs on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 22, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Aerials perform on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 22, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Aerials perform on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 22, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • A performer entertains the crowd on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 22, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Moore Kismet performs on the Do Lab Stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 22, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Moore Kismet performs on the Do Lab Stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 22, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Rebecca Black performs on the Do Lab Stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club in Indio on Saturday, April 16, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • “Greenz” blows a giant bubble as he performs on the Do Lab Stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Sunday, April 17, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise /SCNG)

  • A performer blows bubbles on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Saturday, April 16, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Festival-goers react as Rebecca Black performs on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club in Indio on Saturday, April 16, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Fans filled the Do Lab stage as Diplo performs a surprise set during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 15, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • A festival-goer blows bubbles in the Do Lab during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 15, 2022. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Contributing Photographer)

  • Diplo performs a surprise set on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 15, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

Coachella soon invited the Do Lab back, and the Flemmings began experimenting with different types of building materials and larger structures. During this time, the Do Lab became a stage, not only for music but also for performance art, with the audience as an integral part of the act.

  • Amtalentco artists walk through the Do Lab during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 22, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • A festival-goer sprays a water gun on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Saturday, April 23, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/ SCNG )

  • “Greenz” blows a giant bubble as he performs on the Do Lab Stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Sunday, April 17, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise /SCNG)

  • A person dressed as Jesus sprays water on the crowd on the Do Lab stage on Easter Sunday at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Sunday, April 17, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise /SCNG)

  • People cool off while being sprayed with a water mister on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 15, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press -Enterprise/SCNG)

  • In this 2018 file photo, a festival-goer entertains the crowd with a water spray bottle during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio in 2018. Three years after the last festival in 2019, most of fans say they have no reservations about returning to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival even as the COVID-19 pandemic lingers. (File photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • A performer blows bubbles on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Saturday, April 16, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • A security guard dances in the Do Lab stage photo pit during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Saturday, April 23, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

Festival-goers like Sean Voy say Do Lab is a mini-festival within Coachella.

“It’s like a portal to the burning man,” Voy said over the weekend. “There really is no such thing.”

  • Lasers streak across the sky above the Do Lab during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Saturday, April 23, 2022. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Contributing Photographer)

  • A dancer performs on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club in Indio on Saturday, April 23, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Festival-goers cool off on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Saturday, April 23, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • A dancer performs on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club in Indio on Saturday, April 23, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • A security guard dances in the Do Lab stage photo pit during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Saturday, April 23, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Jenn Yuen wears a mustache mask as she dances on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 22, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/ SCNG)

  • A festival-goer holds an inflatable boombox while holding the crowd on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 22, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG )

  • Festival-goers celebrate on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Saturday, April 23, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Sean McGee of Indio does a handstand while dancing on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 22, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG )

  • Festival-goers react as Rebecca Black performs on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club in Indio on Saturday, April 16, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Festival-goers dance as Rebecca Black performs on the Do Lab stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club in Indio on Saturday, April 16, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Chase DuBois, left, and Genevieve Nichol, both 20, of Malibu, share a moment under the Do Lab structure during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 15, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

The Do Lab is back for a 15th year with a lineup of over 40 acts featuring Do Lab regulars like The Glitch Mob and house music duo Sidepiece.

Attendees also enjoy traveling clowns, aerialists, fire dancers, and other immersive performers. And you never know who will show up to play, which is part of the fun.

In the past, guests have included artists such as Skrillex, Richie Hawtin and Major Lazer, but the stage also has plenty of room for upcoming stars, including Moore Kismet, 17, a high school student who spent the night before their prom at the DoLab.

Moore Kismet performs on the Do Lab Stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 22, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

“I’m really, really grateful that everyone was so receptive to what I played; nothing can compare to that,” Kismet said, leaving the Do Lab stage after an hour of energetic, bass-driven dance music.

The following afternoon, DJ Andre Power rallied the crowd with remixed hits as fans wielding giant water guns on stage took turns soaking the crowd.

“It’s always,” Power said as he left the booth, “a vibe.”

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