We recently had the opportunity to speak with Dream Rockwell regarding her early life, career, ideologies, and her festival Lightning in a Bottle. LIB will be held in Bradley, CA this May 21-25. The festival is an experience that is unparalleled to any other, and features art installations, the Temple, the Village, Immersive Environments, the Marketplace, and of course, the Music. Tickets are still available here.
Dream Rockwell is a Canadian stage director for cirque, rock music, EDM shows and concert tours. She is also a music video director. She specializes in interactive theatre as well festival production and public speaking. She doesn’t limit her time and talent to music however, she also founded Cuddle the World Foundation, a non-profit organization that distributes and supplies hope and imagination to underprivileged children in orphanages worldwide.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us! So, let’s talk about LIB. At Lightning in a Bottle, attendees can always count on a real sense of community. Do you find community to be important?
Yes, the sense of community is very important to myself, and to the team. I feel like we built the community, and the community built us. It’s more of a lifestyle than anything else. The people of this community we’ve built don’t just want to come together once during their year. They continue to meet, and create their own events outside the festival. It’s really a whole village of people.
Did you ever expect that your event to be like that when you first started?
I definitely did. The concept and the vision were based around the concept of “community.”
Did you always consider yourself to be an artist? What does art and music mean to you?
It’s always been that way, I’ve never known a time when I wasn’t an artist. There has never been a time that I haven’t been creating events and performances.
Was that something that your family supported growing up?
My mom was very creative. I definitely had an “alternative” childhood. My dad raced cars and motorcycles, so we were traveling every weekend for races. My mom participated and performed in the local theatre, so she got me into shows when I was super young.
How did Lucent Dossier Experience come together?
When The Do Lab first started, it was Josh, Jesse and I. They were really into the building aspects of the structures and stages, where I was more interested in the entertainment and the show that would be going on. The common interest that we really had was our love of bringing people together. I wanted to create interactive art, and create worlds for people to fall into for a period of time.
You can really tell how much goes into the Lucent Dossier Experience. I have to say, the set this past year at the Coachella was one of my favorites of the entire festival. How were you involved? How did the group come up with the choreography?
I don’t do the choreography; it’s actually done by the dancers themselves. We are very interactive; it’s a very different style of operating that I have ever been involved with. At some point along the way as a dancer, I realized I wasn’t able to be creative. Someone would always telling me the next step to take, or what to do next. The concept of Lucent was to really abolish that way of thinking, and to create an environment where the dancers are involved in the creative process. They help create the costumes, the moves, and everything that happens.
What was the concept behind the Temple of Consciousness this year?
Will Wilkes came up with the concept behind it. And we are really excited to bring powerful female presenters. And if I could say anything to the female audience, it would be to hone your skill. The world needs powerful women! Also, we are doing something new this year. We created a Healing Sanctuary, we brought an oracle reader in, we have an “Ask the Elder,” essential oil wizardry, and a lot of other cool treats inside.
You yourself are a very influential women that our community really looks up to you. If you had to chose one specific event that you have created as your favorite or most meaningful, what would it be and why?
Hm, I would have to say Lightning in a Bottle, because there was a vision and it’s actually come true.
I feel like when you go to Lightning in a Bottle, it’s more than a festival. It’s almost more like a retreat.
I feel like the festival is a “reboot.” I feel like in life we deal with society forces these ideas and concepts onto us, and these ideologies that sometimes aren’t us or who we really are. We tend to lose sight of how we want to be with each other, and I feel like LIB is a reboot, and the community gets to be with each other the way they really want to be. And I think that it’s kinder, more playful, and more communicative. I think that we want to be more engaged with each other, but society doesn’t always allow for that. I know that after I leave LIB every year, I’m better. I try to hold onto that feeling as long as I can. That’s why I think it’s so important that we keeping meeting with each other in this community that we have created, so that we don’t forget who we are and who we want to be.
Do you think that Lightning in a Bottle and Burning Man shares the same community?
Yes, definitely. The two festivals draw a very similar audience. And we intentionally decided to hold the festivals at the beginning and end of summer. In the beginning, we held LIB in July, and we moved it to the May 24th weekend to be a celebration for the beginning of summer.
What does music mean to you?
Music is so important. I’m a person that believes that there are spirits and guides that are communicating with us all the time. We can’t see them but they are always guiding us and helping us, giving us clues on how to navigate earth and our lives. I think if they all had a voice, it would be music.
Stepping outside of music, can you tell me a little about Cuddle the World?
Yeah of course! Back in 2006 it really all started, and was the height of creation. I love my work, so it’s very easy for me to work 7 days straight. I was feeling very tired, and felt like I wanted to give more back to the world. I had been in an orphanage in Thailand right before we started The Do Lab, so I was carrying around the experience with me. The babies were in these cribs that had a screen similar to chicken wire under the mattresses. So the kids would relieve themselves, and the cribs would get hosed down after. Nobody was holding them, or touching them. There was one woman working with all of these children, and she was really doing her best, but they were underfunded and overworked. It really made an imprint on my mind. I wanted to go and bring these children cuddle blankets and teddy bears, so they could cuddle themselves if they found that they couldn’t get the cuddles from the workers. I just really wanted to cuddle all of them, the whole world. It’s actually how I met my son; I adopted him through one of the orphanages. http://www.cuddletheworld.org/
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to talk with us! I know you’re very busy; it’s fantastic to have the chance to talk with you.
Of course! Thank you, we hope to see you all at Lightning in a Bottle this year!