warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Disneyland Dipped Into L.A. Coliseum Rave Battle As Another Dies At Chicago Rave

Paresh Dave |
December 1, 2010 | 5:33 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

Real estate developer Rick Caruso owns the Grove, Americana and several other high-end shopping centers.
Real estate developer Rick Caruso owns the Grove, Americana and several other high-end shopping centers.
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission unanimously voted Thursday to require prior approval of any electronic music events to be held at the Coliseum or Sports Arena in the first half of 2011.

The only event expected to be held early next year is the Electric Daisy Carnival in June. The venues typically hold a total of four electronic music events yearly. Before the Coliseum can sign a contract with event promoter Insomniac to host the Carnival, the commissioners will have to sign off on plans to keep the attendees safe.

The decision marks yet another temporary compromise in a six-month saga about the fate of the events in L.A. County since a 15-year-old girl died in June at the Carnival. The electronic music events are commonly known as raves. The commission lifted a moratorium on raves in November, but three commissioners who were absent from the meeting were angered that the vote took place without them there.

Commissioner Rick Caruso, an L.A. real estate developer, was the most outspoken about reinstating a moratorium. He said whatever you call the new compromise—it still stops raves for the time being—which accomplishes his goal.

Caruso has repeatedly said it's “morally wrong” to hold events at a public venue that take so much effort to prevent attendees from dying.

“Why are we planning an event knowing that the likelihood of someone getting or dying is high?” he said.

But Caruso directed his harshest comments at Coliseum general manager Pat Lynch. When Lynch said electronic music festivals had become so mainstream that Disneyland was holding a similar festival every night, Caruso said it was “ridiculous to loop in Disneyland.”

“That's baloney, silly stuff,” Caruso said. “Don't use Disneyland to justify what you are trying to do here.”

In a preview of Disneyland's ElecTRONica spectacle, the O.C. Weekly called it the “PG version of Electric Daisy Carnival.”

Insomniac released a statement after the commission's vote, expressing support for Wednesday's decision.

“It is clear that the Commission recognized the effectiveness of the new safety measures that we have already implemented, including thorough checks of identification and having medical personnel on standby during the events,” Insomniac chief Pasquale Rotella said. “We look forward to working with Coliseum Commission to produce shows that not only set the trends when it comes to live entertainment, but are safe and secure for our guests.”

Commissioner W. Jerome Stanley said he wants to see the commission continue to fine-tune the new regulations on raves until they end up with the safest event possible and eventually set an industry standard.

His vision isn't unrealistic because Chicago may be about to wade into its own troubles with electronic music concerts. A 20-year-old male collapsed and become unresponsive at a Tiesto concert on Nov. 20 at the University of Illinois, Chicago Pavilion. He died shortly after at Rush University Medical Center. The cause of his death won't be determined until January. The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office spokeswoman said they are doing a toxicology report—a sign that drugs and/or alcohol may have been involved, though to be clear nothing is certain.

The Los Angeles Convention Center cancelled a Tiesto concert scheduled for October at its facility because of fears of drug use, dehydration and possible deaths and injuries.

Insomniac, which was behind both Tiesto concerts, filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the convention center, seeking more than $1 million in damages. Insomniac later dropped the lawsuit, hoping to work out an agreement with the Convention Center outside of court.

Reach executive producer Paresh Dave here. Follow him on Twitter: @peard33.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.