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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Electric Daisy Carnival In Los Angeles Shelved By Insomniac

Paresh Dave |
February 24, 2011 | 5:38 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

Music events organizer Insomniac has indefinitely postponed its Los Angeles' Electric Daisy Carnival, a two-day event that drew 185,000 people to the Los Angeles Coliseum last June, the company announced Thursday.

Turmoil at the L.A. Coliseum Commission appears to have been at least one reason for the postponement. Neither Insomniac representatives nor Coliseum officials immediately answered calls for questions.

"Without an executed contract in place at this time, it has become impossible to guarantee to all of the fans and talent that EDC can be produced at this venue this year," said Insomniac CEO Pasquale Rotella in a press release.

A 15-year-old girl died two days after attending EDC last year. The use of the drug Ecstasy is common at the type of events Insomniac promotes, and the girl died because of an overdose of Ecstasy she consumed the weekend of last year's rave.

The death prompted a chain of events that put the Coliseum Commission, which oversees the Coliseum and Sports Arena in Exposition Park, under great scrutiny. The Commission temporarily banned Coliseum officials from signing contracts to host raves, but later lifted the moratorium. Insomniac started to a plan for an event for June 24 and 25 of this year, unveiling preliminary details at a meeting early this month. Then circumstances changed.

The scrutiny peaked a few days later when the L.A. Times reported that a Coliseum official--Todd DeStefano--also consulted for Insomniac and had a hired a lobbyist for his own company. The revelations led to the resignation of Coliseum General Manager Patrick Lynch and more of the nine commissioners to drop their support of raves.

Insomniac had planned to cap attendance to this year's rave to 150,000 people over two days.

"Recent events have created an environment that makes producing Electric Daisy Carnival at an appropriate venue in Los Angeles an insurmountable challenge for 2011," Insomniac's press release stated. The company has chosen to hold EDC in Las Vegas on

Commission President David Israel along with commissioners Rick Caruso and W. Jerome Stanley have voiced their opposition against holding raves on the publicly-owned properties.

After Thursday's announcement, two of them commented to the L.A. Times:

“They probably made a good business decision for them,” Israel said. “The writing on the wall was as clear as graffiti.”
Caruso said, “My first reaction is good riddance.”

Commissioners Barry Sanders and Bernard Parks have vocally supported holding raves. Sanders suggested the importance of upholding freedom of speech and expression. Parks has highlighted the postive economic impact of holding raves in South L.A.

The three L.A. County Supervisors on the commission--Zev Yaroslavsky, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Don Knabe--were absent from the group's February meeting. Neon Tommy had not yet polled them on their updated thoughts about raves. Earlier this month, commissioner Fabian Wesson declined comment.

The Coliseum and Sports Arena together held about 50 events in 2010. Four of the events were raves, generating almost a third of overall revenues for the venues, which receive no taxpayer subsidies.  Besides EDC, the other raves were Monster Massive, Love Festival and Together As One. Insomniac has been holding at least one rave at the venues for the past 13 years.

Insomniac had tried to hold a concert at the L.A. Convention Center last year, but had to sue when they were the convention center reneged on the contract. The suit was settled out of court. Insomniac has also regularly used the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino County to hold its events.

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



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