The Missing LIB Temple of Consciousness: A Message from Dream Rockwell
Dear LIB Lovers and Consciousness Tribe,
My name is Dream Rockwell, Co-Creator and Co-Founder of The Do LaB and Lightning in a Bottle Festival as well as the Founder of Lucent Dossier Experience.
I wanted to shed light on the countless inquiries that have been circling me over the last few months: “What happened to the Temple of Consciousness?” “Why aren’t you going?” “Why isn’t Lucent Dossier on the bill?” “What is happening?”
The answers to these questions are extremely difficult for me to address, and I’ve remained quiet for over a year, — but now I feel it is time to tell my story.
The difficult answer is no, the Temple of Consciousness, nor most of my incredible and very dedicated team will be present at LIB this year. My beloved co-curators Pluma and D Miller will not be present. Crystal Ops, as we like to call ourselves, have not been welcomed back because there has been a grave break between the original founders, Josh Flemming, Jesse Flemming and myself.
Just over one year ago I discovered that my trusted partners and dear friends who I cofounded The Do LaB, and created LIB with, secretly dissolved our company The Do Lab, Inc. and set up an identical new company, which they called The Do Lab, LLC, to strip me of my ownership interests. I didn’t agree to this action. They removed the Temple of Consciousness and myself from LIB this year. They replaced it with a much heavily funded replica to the original heart of the festival, the Temple of Consciousness.
For our friends and loved ones here who find this information disturbing or even heart breaking… I understand, I thank you, I’m sorry, I love you, please forgive me. I can not remain silent any longer. I am a momma now and the natural instinct to protect runs through me. I must call out what has been happening. To learn how to be stronger and more graceful, to awaken this learning in myself and others. We must face our mistakes in this world and learn from them. On every scale. My beloveds, who have been on this journey with me, there is so much here for us. I pray for learning and growth and the ultimate expansion of the heart. For all the words unsaid over the years, I pray you truly hear these words from my heart.
As this story unfolds before us, while I continue to pursue my usual speaking engagements and create new endeavors for myself and my family, the brothers (or maybe one of them) have been relentless in sending cease and desist letters, threatening legal action against any company or event that might employ me to speak while/or by publicizing my credits as Co-Founder of LIB.
Now that I have eyes to see and ears to hear, I can tell you they are endeavoring to erase my name from The Do LaB history and my title as the Co-Creator and Co-Founder of one of the 7 top Transformational Festivals in the world (according to Rolling Stone). And that festival is Lightning in a Bottle with it’s equal masculine and feminine influences, conscious culinary, GREENing initiatives, Temple of Consciousness, immersive areas, and more.
This leaves a few crucial questions to be answered:
How can any founder (as seen in the copy of the original articles of incorporation below, as introduced alongside other Co-Founder Jesse in the video below, and as described by The Do LaB’s own head of press in 2015 for Fest300 ) be removed of founderhood?
What is the real difference in “The Do LaB, Inc.” founded in 2005 and “The Do LaB, LLC” founded in 2011 and Do LaB, Inc. founded in 2014 and were all founding partners/owners involved in making these changes?
When will it feel good for a man to stand beside a woman, as equal partners, in business, in creation and for it to make the man feel proud that he is the trusted equal partner of a female?
Difficult questions can be the most important ones to answer. I feel deeply that honesty, respect, and communication should be at the center of all organizations, especially those centered around transformation and growth.
All that said, the situation has completely broken my heart. I’m no stranger to pain, I’ve had my fair share, but this one has cut so deep. I love those boys. I believed in them. I fought for them. I cared for them. I trusted them. And so, this has taken me to my knees. It’s the kind of pain that comes from betrayal. It catches you in moments you don’t expect and makes it hard to just breath.
The ‘story’ of how the festival was started by ‘3 brothers’ isn’t true. Lightning in a Bottle was started by two brothers, Josh and Jesse, and a girl, me.
And with that I must stand up for myself in the name of all people, all women who have been erased and overpowered. The microcosm is the macrocosm. It’s happening everywhere.
In the past, Josh told me that the press just eats up the story of three brothers, drawing more attention to the festival as an explanation for why the new story came to be. A fantastic tale, but one that leaves out a pretty ridiculous and special piece of the journey (maybe more ridiculous than special, but hey!) — that’s me!
– Dream Rockwell
The birth of Lightning in a Bottle
Yes, before the festival, there was a small party named ‘Lightning in a Bottle,’ thrown by a group of ravers called the Orange Kids and the Passion People and by a guy named Justin Leffler, Jesse Flemming, and a girl named Peggy. Josh lived in NYC at the time and Dede Flemming was still in school back in PA. But this party really has very little to do with the festival you now know, other than the fact that we thought the name was really awesome and Justin kindly agreed to let us use it. Mostly we loved this photo of the farmer couple catching and holding mason jars filled with lightning and I wanted to write a story around it that would inspire people to dive into their imaginations for a weekend.
The first Lightning in a Bottle Festival was held in 2004 at Jack’s Ranch, in the Angeles Mountains. I had attended another event there and became friends with the owners; they had been dealing with some personal issues and in order to generate income they had opened up their beautiful piece of land to a number of small event producers. We needed land so it was a win/win situation and Lightning in a Bottle Festival had its first home.
But the birth of the festival happened for me, almost a year earlier, at Burning Man when an amazing human named Mariano Diaz encouraged me to get a “point on my arrow”’ or, in other words, to get my shit together. The thing was I thought I had my shit together, at least somewhat. But he saw something in me and to him I wasn’t living up to my potential. He strongly advised me to get to the business of becoming laser focused on what I’d come to do here on earth. He then took off into the dust of Burning Man and left me alone on the playa to contemplate what this point on my arrow would be. Within an hour I saw it all. Over the next 6 days, as I searched for Mariano to tell him what my point was, the ideas deepened and I saw more and more pieces of the puzzle.
The first week back in LA, I met a wild artist named Mikiko, she was dressed in a million different colors and patterns all put together in the most unique and wacky ways. She was a visionary of epic proportions and she had an event company called Dream Circus with her husband Teo. I’d recently come off a year and a half on the road with Madonna and I wanted to be around freethinkers and artists, people that moved more fluidly in the world. I became the Production Manager for Dream Circus.
Three months later at a party thrown by the princely DJ Wolfie called the Pajama Jammy Jam, I met Josh Flemming in a back room that I was hiding out in. I was still new to LA and I’d gone to this underground warehouse party by myself. Josh was there doing the lights for the party, as he and Jesse had started a lighting company. Josh’s nickname at the time was “Lightbulb”. He had the greatest sense of humor and made me laugh so much. He introduced me to his twin brother Jesse and from that moment on we were together.
Shortly after we met, Josh flew over to Thailand to surprise me. Dream Circus was doing an event, and I was coordinating and performing. We travelled around Thailand and discussed all our ideas for what we wanted to create in the world. We decided that at the end of it all, whatever we did in the world, we’d make enough money to buy an island and create a real, live, so inspiring and positive and much improved ‘Fantasy Island’ and every adventure on the Island would end in a beautiful party created and produced by all the participants. Artists could come and live there for weeks or years or as long as they like as long as they contributed. We were committed to changing the world and/or creating a better world, together.
Shortly before our first LIB, Jesse had joined us as the ‘straight line’ to our wiggles. Josh insisted that we needed Jesse to pull off our ideas as Jesse was the organized one and could keep track of the money. We were the perfect team. Josh focused on structures and lighting, I focused on content, flow and infrastructure. We invited all our friends to DJ, bring their magic, art and whatever else anyone wanted to contribute. I had been personally collecting my friends’ and all my contacts’ emails over a few years, which in those days was revolutionary as people weren’t using email that much yet to communicate. I had a 5000+ person list, which at the time was ginormous.
800 people showed up that first weekend of LIB, including two pivotal characters: Marsi Frey and Monica Fernandez.
Marsi Frey was a spunky, self expressed sweetheart and an amazing producer working in Hollywood. She danced to her own drummer while getting more shit done in a day then a team of superheros, all with good cheer and a smile. Truly remarkable human. She was also one of about 12 people that agreed to follow me up into the mountain to do a prayer for the Mayan celebration of Day Out of Time, a moment that sparked the humble beginnings of the Temple of Consciousness, an endeavor Marsi would come on board to help me steward into the world for years to come.
The other creature I met at that first LIB was Miss Monica Fernandez. I was completely enchanted with her. She was adorable, quick-witted and Jesse’s new girlfriend. She would come on the maiden voyage of Lucent Dossier and also perform with Mutaytor before ultimately joining the LIB team in 2006 as Production Manager. I’m not sure if she even had that title at the time but she sat in our little cobweb filled office at the center of Live Oak Campgrounds and kept all the comings and goings of the weekend straight. An exhausting and mostly thankless job. For that I am deeply grateful to her. She gave us space to do what we needed to do, to create and build new ideas and areas of the festival. She has continued over the years to do the thankless and hard jobs for the boys with little gratitude and little recognition. And she is the backbone and often the moral compass of the company. I watched that adorable and quick-witted girl’s spirit get totally squashed in the wake of doing all the work. Production work can take a deep toll if not coupled with great self care which can be really hard to do when you’re working your butt off.
That same year, in 2006, I brought in a girl named Katrina ‘Kochina’ Zavalney to help us GREEN the festival. She’s the most passionate greening guru I’ve ever met. She’s the real deal. Between her and Shena Jade Turlington who took over the department with her organization and incredible dedication, Lightning in a Bottle has won multiple GREEN initiative awards over the years.
For three years we stayed at Live Oak and rocked a lot of people’s socks off, in every way. We apparently rocked some tops off too because the park rangers reported nudity and we were politely asked to not return. We’d by then, at more the 4000 people, nearly outgrown the land so it made sense to leave. The problem was in 2009 we couldn’t find land. So we sadly skipped that year.
In 2010 we moved to Oak Canyon in Silverado, CA – this was when Dede Flemming joined us officially. He had helped out at past festivals with build and different things, but now he had stepped into a bigger role. This is where it all began to go sideways for me. You see the very charming Dede was used to being the third wheel to the twins. He’s their little brother. And now in his usual place was a girl, me. Dede and I could not be more different in our beliefs and ideas.
Josh, Jesse, and myself continued to produce the festival every year like clockwork, but each year they would usurp more of my voice and try to diminish my contributions and power. I would hear they were making fun of me behind my back and saying very negative things to those willing to listen because of my interest in the conscious, interactive or learning aspects of the festival. From this I would say they encouraged bullying. They even printed t-shirts making fun of me. All very difficult and hurtful for me and challenging for my amazing team. Over and over they put me in awkward positions by bringing in people to over take areas I had developed thus creating weird and difficult communications as I would discover this by some backhand way that I no longer was over seeing something and someone else, who didn’t even know who I was. Many other tricky situations presented themselves and I found myself often dancing as fast as I could to keep up. I learned to navigate this quicksand. And with Pluma and D Miller by my side, we had lots of tears and laughs and made the best of everything that got thrown at us.
My main interest is and always has been expanding people’s minds, going beyond the expected, over delivering on awesomeness and the evolution of human consciousness. So regardless of what came our way, my team and I kept our eyes on the prize and each year when the gates would open and you, the people, came dancing in… whatever came before would melt away and you made it all worth it. Your smiling faces and bright shining spirits made every everything worth it. My greatest joy is helping others find themselves, truly. So regardless of whatever was going on behind the scenes, every year was a win.
LIB is our child. Josh and I really birthed the founding ideas, with the incredible execution of Jesse first and then ultimately joined by Marsi, Monica and so many others. Over the years we often interchanged rolls to get the job done. These days it takes the teamwork of hundreds of people to make all the magic happen.
I hope you will go, laugh, dance, learn, swim!, grow, inspire, create…I’m there in spirit. I wish nothing but the best for the brothers and hope to find a peaceful resolution for the preservation of our child amidst the chaos that has ensued. While I believe in accountability, the goal is for a harmonious return to what made the festival so special, the love, creativity and good intentions of the true founders.
Although I may not be attending LIB this year, I will be with you in spirit. Sending enormous love to each of you who have supported the festival and everyone involved over the years. I ask that you remain positive, strong, continue to support LIB with your presence and positive change, and have faith that this will all be resolved in due time and in the right way. Send lots of love to the brothers. We are all learning and growing. Big steps, little steps and wipe outs, grand achievements, small hurdles and everything in between. I prefer the sunshine but I like the rain too, it makes things grow (and fills up the reservoir).
Thank you LIB for all the learning and growth. I just adore you.
Together We Rise!
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