LIB'ing Legends

LIB’ING Legends: Ian Xavier

When the southern california-based trading company, The Grand Artique wanted to make a statement about the future of sustainability with a rustic flair, Ian Xavier stepped up with fellow cofounders WC Thornbush and Boss Whispers to bring an experience unlike anything else to Lightning in a Bottle. What started out as a one-stop source for bartering and hilarity has under the watchful eye of Xavier evolved into a fully functioning town affectionately known as Frontierville with its own trading post/general store, gypsy encampment, bar aka Skinny DeVille’s, hotel and an autonomous stage that offers its own lineup full of genuinely incredible musical flavors. As the music selector and man on the ground, Xavier keeps operations at Frontierville running smoothly so that all who visit it get a true, double-distilled sample of all the Grand Artique has to offer.


LIBing Legend: Ian Xavier - First Year at LIB: 2008 - Total Years at LIB: 7 years – Offering: Producer at the Grand Artique
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Photo Courtesy of AOK Photography

Tell us about your first experience contributing at LIB.

I came to LIB my first year without any expectations, none of my friends had been and I hadn’t attended many festivals up till then so I was going in somewhat blind. Once I was set up and on the move many hours later I stumbled upon the art gallery and the curator of it Mike Russek… he was attempting to have a open free bar for the festival, I quickly realized he needed some help so I told him I would be back to help him facilitate this open bar…I came back the next day and the day after and the day after that where we proceeded to serve free drinks and debauchery to pretty much the whole festival. Many of the friends I keep to this day came out of that experience contributing…every year after I have been involved in LIB.

What do you think makes LIB different from other festivals?

What sets LIB apart is the attention to detail in every aspect of the festival, from the way each sign is hand painted to the playful sayings on the wrist bands to the stages that are more art pieces than stages…you can tell at every turn that everything has been thoughtfully and heartfully planned out!

What can guests expect to experience in your area this year at LIB?

If you have experienced the Grand Artique in the past you can expect a more polished version of what you have come to love with a couple new additions up our sleeve! If this is your first time stepping inside our world you can expect to find a place that caters to everything you may or may not of known you needed….trading post/general store, stage, hotel, late night secret jazz lounge, gypsy encampment and much more! Our stage will open up on Wednesday evening and goes till late night on Sunday. We are producing our version of a Talent Show this year so if you have a special talent come sign up!… “Meet at The Grand Artique!!”

Where can we most likely find you at LIB when you’re not at the Grand Artique?

You can find me roaming from area to area, there is so much creativity going on it would be a shame to not try and see it all. I enjoy most genres of music so all the stages speak to me in one way or another, when I have time I will be bouncing around dancing to the tunes…

Describe LIB in three words or less.

real nice time

What are you currently working on?

The Grand Artique is currently working on a number of other festival installations, a couple I’m proud to share are for Symbiosis Gathering where we will be bringing back for the second year the Silk Road and Electric Forest where we have built a permanent Grand Artique Trading Post with stage, tree house, museum, school and much more to add this year! Come find us!

A group of friends and I in San Diego have a non profit event we produce every year called Jump Start Your Heart, 100% of the proceeds go to The Children’s Heart Foundation, we have raised over $125k the last 5 years! Find out how you can be a part at Jump Start Your Heart.

In a non instrument playing way I’m part of the music group Vokab Kompany who will be playing two set at LIB so don’t miss um!

Featured Image Credit: AOK Photography


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.

by: Graham Berry

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