Annual music and arts festival Lightning in a Bottle is relocating to Riverside County this summer, West Coast Sound can exclusively report. In a vote yesterday, the Riverside County board of supervisors approved the application to hold Lightning in a Bottle 2013 at Lake Skinner County Park. The four day festival, which has taken place at Orange County's Oak Canyon Park since 2009, was forced to find a new home due to zoning changes at that location.

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Dede Flemming, co-founder of the DoLab, the production company behind Lightning in a Bottle, said the group was notified in September that Oak Canyon would no longer be able to host the event. The land that borders the park was recently donated to the Irvine Ranch Conservancy. Because the park, and specifically the onsite Irvine Lake, now border Conservancy-owned land, all large-scale music festivals there have been forced out.

“It wasn't that Lightning in a Bottle was asked to leave,” Flemming says. “It was that all music events down there are coming to a halt.”

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After a period of being “upset and a little freaked out,” DoLab organizers began searching for a new home. They subsequently discovered Lake Skinner, located in the Riverside county town of Winchester, near Temecula and 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

“Our relationship with the managers of [Oak Canyon Park] is still really strong,” Flemming says. “[The owner of that space] helped us find the new location.” The Orange County Sheriff''s Office and Fire Department provided letters of support for the DoLab's four month campaign to secure the spot. “There's no bad blood between anyone; we just had to move on.”

Previously held on Memorial Day weekend, the festival will have new dates because of the move.

Dates and presale information below

Lake Skinner County Park; Credit: Aaron Gautschi

Lake Skinner County Park; Credit: Aaron Gautschi

Lightning in a Bottle 2013 will take place July 11-15. A 48 hour ticket presale begins at 10am on Tuesday, February 12 at the event's website.

Lake Skinner, which also hosts the annual Temecula Balloon & Wine Festival, offers the same camping opportunities as Oak Canyon Park, with more facilities, flat area, trees and grass than the previous location. The new space is almost entirely on a peninsula and provides the same privacy and natural setting as Oak Canyon. “Normally with a change like this there's a lot of compromise and the sacrifice of some of our standards,” Flemming says. “We don't feel like that's happening at all. It's really going to be a more comfortable experience all around.

Lake Skinner also offers increased capacity; the Board approved attendance of 15,000 for this year's festival. “We've always had an eye out for a next venue because we hit capacity at Oak Canyon,” Flemming says. “We were planning on doing a couple more years there, but because that situation changed we were able to find a newer, better place sooner than we thought we had to. We're excited to hopefully make Lake Skinner a long term home for Lightning in a Bottle.”

The DoLab will now move forward with booking artists and workshops for the yoga, sustainability, art, and electronic music-focused event. “This is a pretty exciting day,” Flemming said shortly after hearing the Board's decision. “We were afraid to start creating the festival before we got approval, and even though we're sad to leave a very welcoming Oak Canyon Park, we're thrilled and excited to have this new home.”

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