LIB'ing Legends

LIB’ING Legends: Shane Dolan

From the humble beginnings of the Grand Artique trading post in San Diego to the town-sized spectacle that it has become today, one man always appears to usher in the next level with an ear-to-ear grin and a glass full of class. As a Founding father of Frontierville, Shane Dolan brings with him a slick disposition and a speak-easy demeanor that without fail is as helpful as it is hilarious. Known affectionately by about a half dozen nicknames including “Boss Whispers” and “Blackie Dearheart” for his conversational tenacity and negotiating prowess, Dolan delivers a razor sharp wit wrapped in a rustic grace. Alongside his role as Proprietor of the Grand Artique, Dolan is a revered leader among the townsfolk; distinguished both for his contributions to LIB mainstay, the Lucent Dossier Experience and for his ongoing contributions to the festival. Which, like his LIB persona, are quite boss.


LIBing Legend: Shane Dolan – First Year at LIB: 2009 – Total Years at LIB: 7 years – Offering: Frontierville Boss  Shane-Boss-Whispers---JORGPhoto Credit: JORG Photo

Tell us about your first experience contributing at LIB.

My Brother and I had been trying to infiltrate the Do Lab for about two years. We finally penetrated the shield disguised as Bathroom Clowns for Lucent L’amour at the Shrine Auditorium. From there we realized in order to make the LIB roster we’d have to up our game. So we built the very first Gypsy Wagon Trading Post. We made a deal with Do Lab saying we’d roll it in and set up next to the Porto-Poties to activate the toilets for free. We explained how we’d make the area more fun and entertaining all while wheelen’ dealing and hustling. It was a huge hit, and surprised a lot of people. It was part performance, completely interactive but also provided guests with the necessities. I remember it as a magical time, we were hobo’ gypsy clowns and we’ve managed to stick around thanks to the help of so many Grand Artiquer’s and romping Frontillians.

What do you think makes LIB different from other festivals?

Going to LIB is like going to a Reunion. The Do LAB makes it different, from the site scouts to the strike and all the cracks in between, they make it better. They make you feel like your part of the team, something bigger than yourself. We are not just a contract that needs to be signed, we are a handshake and a hug. We are respected, honored and treated as such every step of the way. When the people building and creating the festival feel that respect, it ripples rings upon rings of gratitude, health, wealth, and happiness and it vibrates through the entire event. That’s just one of the things that makes LIB different.

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

Guests here can expect the unexpected. If you don’t think you’ll cry at The Grand Artique you probably will. You see, you just might end up trading your favorite ring and realizing it was time to let go of that old relationship, yep you’lll cry. If you don’t think you like outlaw country music you might want to reconsider, because you’ll dance. If you think that the Grand Artique is old west and no sacred geometry, you will be enlightened. There’ll be Gypsies, Traders, Wheelers, Dealers, Floozies, Mayors, Players and Poly’s. There’ll be Dj’s, Jazz Bands, Magic hands, Carnies, and Games, Clowns, Dust Dirt, Romping, Stomping, Rip Roaring, Hooten Hollering. And there will for surely be No good down home rusty funky flipping kissing dance dipping good times all day all night as the Boss I’d bet my Wife on it.

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

Most likely find me scrubbing off the grime at the Dr. Bronners tub or getting a massage in the healing sanctuary. Possibly taking a nap on the grass by Lightning in a Paintcan, drinking some omm-shantea, listening to a speaker at one of the workshop areas or rushing the stage at the jive joint. You might find me shaking down the Imagination crew, those fellas have sticky hands at The Trading Post.

Describe LIB in three words or less.

Thornbush 4 Mayor!

What are you currently working on?

Since our old Brick and Mortar passed away, we’ve been on the hunt to find a space that would work for all things Grand Artique. Universe willing, we may have found oursleves a new home. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for something unique on the horizon. In the meantime we recently partnered up with Kensington Brew Company and have a small show room at the Brewery. If you’re in San Diego stop by for a cold one. #genuine&unusual #thegrandartique #grandartique

Featured Image Credit: Courtesy of Eleonora Barna 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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