The Story Behind Lightning In a Bottle's Co-Founder Fall Out
Dream Rockwell at Lightning In A Bottle 2016
Fire dancers, whimsical aerial artists, haute couture and elaborate headdresses—the Lucent Dossier Experience has become a festival culture staple. Whether you’ve stumbled upon them in the dust at Burning Man, sought them out at the Do Lab stage at Coachella or laid in the grass as they dazzled a late night crowd at Lightning in a Bottle, the Lucent Dossier Experience has provided a place of refuge for freaks, lovers and wild souls for over a decade.
But something seemed off when the Do Lab replaced LIB’s Temple of Consciousness and the Village with an area called the Compass. Things seemed even weirder when the exotic dance collective was nowhere to be found on either Lightning In a Bottle or the Do Lab stage's lineups. On Thursday, May 25—the first official day of LIB— Dream Rockwell, a co-founder and co-creator of the Do Lab and LIB, the lead curator of the Temple of Consciousness and the founder of the Lucent Dossier Experience, released a statement addressing why Lucent wasn’t on the bill this year.
“[Neither] the Temple of Consciousness, nor most of my incredible and very dedicated team will be present at LIB this year,” Rockwell writes. “[We] have not been welcomed back because there has been a grave break between the original founders, Josh Flemming, Jesse Flemming and myself.”
Rockwell goes on to say that just over a year ago she discovered that the Flemmings secretly dissolved their company, The Do Lab, Inc. and set up a new, identical company called The Do Lab, LLC. Rockwell claims she didn’t agree to it and that it was done in order to strip her of her ownership interests. Under the decisions of the new company, Rockwell says she was, essentially, pushed out and the Temple of Consciousness was replaced with a replica (The Beacon Stage).
“I was creating a living trust for my son with the help of a friend, and I wrote to Jesse for some information that I needed,” Rockwell told the Weekly in an interview. “He stated that I was no longer an owner. We pulled all the incorporation articles from the state, and I discovered that a new entity with the same name had been created and that I was no longer listed as an owner. It was earth shattering for me. They were my friends. We built this together.”
Tawna Renee, an LIB 2017 festival attendee brings protest sign to festival: "Justice for Dream, make LIB great again"
Courtesy of Alyssa McDermott
But it doesn’t stop there. Rockwell alleges in her statement that as she continues her usual speaking engagements and new endeavors, the Flemming’s have sent her relentless cease and desist letters, threatening legal action against any company or event that might employ her to speak and publicize her credits as Co-Founder of LIB. In other words, The Do Lab, LLC. will sue Rockwell if she publicly states that she was one of the founders of LIB.
“I could never have imagined they would take steps like this,” she says. “It's beyond comprehension to me. Maybe it was getting time to consider parting ways, as our beliefs about the direction of the festival, our thinking and ideas were going in different directions. I don't know for sure. But that should have and could have been handled in the proper way. In a way that preserved the integrity of the festival and what we have built together. Not like this.”
Rockwell’s statement is posted on Lucent Dossier’s website, along with the legal paperwork showing Josh and Jesse Flemming’s, and Rockwell’s signatures (Rockwell uses her formal name, Marcia Webb) officiating their partnership and co-foundership of LIB under The Do Lab, Inc.
The Do Lab, however, released a statement the following day (day two of LIB), completely discounting Rockwell’s testimony. “We are saddened and disappointed to read the message posted by Dream Rockwell née Marcia Webb earlier this week,” the Do Lab’s statement reads. “The long list of disparaging inaccuracies and calculated timing of its release detracts from the efforts of thousands of doers and creators out here working so hard to build a gathering that raises consciousness, and we must set the record straight.”
The Do Lab alleges that Rockwell brought a lawsuit against the Do Lab and the Flemming brothers in June of 2016 “without cause or warning,” which is, thus, their reason as to why Rockwell isn’t working with the Do Lab or LIB anymore. “The lawsuit contains many baseless accusations and inaccurate claims,” the Do Lab’s statement says, “and set in motion a series of events which forced us to cease working with Dream.”
Lucent Dossier is fire—LIB 2017
The Do Lab’s statement alleges the dissolution of the Do Lab, Inc. wasn’t done in secret as Rockwell stated. The statement says that after The Do Lab, Inc. was formed, Rockwell was more focused on leading Lucent Dossier, while the Flemming brothers were focused on leading the Do Lab. According to their story, Rockwell formed a new business entity for Lucent and “cut the Flemmings out without their knowledge.” In 2010 the Flemming brothers and Dream decided to end the existing business structure.
“Dream kept Lucent Dossier which was already functioning as its own entity while the new The Do LaB, LLC entity was formed under the Flemming brothers’ leadership. Under this structure The Do LaB and Lucent Dossier continued to support each other creatively with Lucent Dossier performing at our events and Dream curating the Temple of Consciousness. During this time, both Dream and Lucent Dossier were paid by the very LLC she claims she was unaware of for 6 years.”
The Do Lab states that they do not know what changed or why Rockwell decided to bring her lawsuit. They claim to have repeatedly tried work something out, but the invitations have been ignored. The communication lines between the Do Lab and Rockwell, according to the Do Lab, has ceased to exist since June 2016. The statement goes on to say that Rockwell has sent cease and desist letters to the Do Lab attempting to halt production of LIB and stop publication of the Do Lab’s statement her Flat Earth panel she gave at LIB 2016.
Rockwell told the Weekly that their response was very upsetting. The bigger issue though, Rockwell points out, is that this is—yet again—another example in which the feminine voice is being silenced. “I believe that the time is now for women to step forward and stand in their truth,” she says. “The Dali Lama has predicted that the world will be saved by a group of western women. So let’s join together as women and heal this planet.”
Rockwell says that after taking time to recover, she has beautiful visions of gatherings she’ll curate in the future that are “totally different” from LIB. “I've begun connecting with a powerful chain of enlightened women who want to see the return of love to the world,” says Rockwell. “But first we must wake ourselves up to all the lies and misconceptions. We must turn of the TV and movie programming and educate ourselves to the world…My story is just a tiny little story of greed and manipulation by the male powerhead. The issue is large and rampant. We must stand up.”
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