When Eric “Helix” Wolfson was invited by Tyler Hanson and Ian Xavier to participate in a mock mayoral election at LIB, he probably didn’t anticipate that his cavalier charisma and sexual innuendo slinging persona, Paul E. Amori, would grow into the fan favorite he became. Or that after winning the election, he would be able to take his character to the people to fund the construction of a truly breathtaking spectacle that would become the prestigious, Amori’s Casino and Burlesque. As the first and only crowdfunded immersive environment at Lightning in a Bottle, Amori’s stands apart as a symbol of success through festival love and an iconic example of what can be achieved by those who dare to dream.
PhotoÂ Credit: Harmonic Light
In 2012, one of my best friends Ian Xavier, who also happens to be one of the founders of Frontierville and the Grand Artique, told me that they were bringing back the faux mayoral election for Mayor of LIB that they had begun the previous year. Ian wanted to take it up a notch and asked me if I would run. I decided it would be much more fun to run as a character than myself. Amori, was born out of my background as a stage actor and was meant to lampoon, in a tongue and cheek fashion, some of my friends in the polyamory scene – you’d be surprised how many people still don’t make the leap from Paul E. Amori to polyamory.
So I show up in full character with an entourage of beautiful, scantily clad women, passing out pins and stickers telling everyone to “Vote for Love!” The other candidates, WC Thornbush, Mayor of Frontierville and Tyler Hanson of the Do Lab, weren’t quite prepared for my non stop barrage of sexual innuendos which quickly won over LIB’ers so I ended up winning the election, albeit just barely.
I was announced as the Mayor of LIB on Sunday night before Bassnectar’s set in this bizarre piece of sketch comedy. I spent the entire night wandering around the festival greeting well wishers and the people of LIB as their mayor and later that night in a lightning bolt of inspiration told Ian that next year I was going to build Amori’s Casino and Burlesque.
The next year we raised $15K thru crowd funding and in 2013 brought Amori’s to LIB for the first time. And the rest, as they say is history!
LIB has always been one of my favorite festivals. It’s an amazing combination of fantastic people and community, interactivity, spirituality and incredible music that is hard to find outside of Burning Man. And back in the day when there wasn’t a festival happening every weekend this was doubly so. The Do Lab have always done an amazing job of creating beautiful spaces, curating a world class lineup and attracting talented people to share their creativity. Festival goers have so many different experiences to choose from at LIB that it’s almost like five festivals in one!
Amori’s brings the sexy, silly late night vibes to LIB. We have been the official unofficial LIB after hours party since our inception. Come watch a burlesque or cirque show, do some live painting with the H’art Temple, play some games for prizes and fun, relax in our lounge and dance your butt off to our fantastic DJ’s and bands. We’ve got something for everyone, from aerial shows, to fire spinning, wandering characters, casino games, an interactive art gallery, pole dancers and go-go girls. We are open all night so people inevitably end up at Amori’s, making it a great place to catch up with your friends. And we now offer Dinner at Amori’s, a delicious family style dinner with live entertainment, starting at 7 pm every night.
I love to explore the festival and meet the good people of LIB. I am, naturally, a big fan of the interactive areas and can usually be found getting silly with my homies at the Grand Artique, taking in a show at the Jive Joint, visiting friends like Dr. Solar’s Medicine Show, the Imagine Nation and Highlove’s, and taking in some art.
This year Amori’s expanding to Burning Man and Paul E. has his sights set on a bigger political arena, check www.vote4love.com for a special announcement coming soon!
Featured Image Credit: Harmonic Light
In a new series by Do LaB, we take a walk down the immersive side of memory lane with the co-creating characters that have returned to Lightning in a Bottle time and again with a full-fledged world in tow. To hold onto those moments that transport us to other realms and deepen our connection to one another, we commemorate the greats who made them possible in a weekly interview series that we like to call LIBing Legends.
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