EDC Rave Could Lose Vegas Permit if Promoter is Convicted in L.A. Scandal
Updated at the bottom with a Vegas official saying EDC's license for next year could be denied if convictions are successful in the bribery case against rave promoters in L.A. First posted at 3:24 p.m. Tuesday. Headline has changed to reflect new info.
The promoter of Electric Daisy Carnival, the controversial mega-rave that moved from L.A. to Las Vegas last year, has not been fully vetted by Sin City authorities as part of the event's business licensing, the Las Vegas Sun reported today.
Earlier this month the second-annual installment of the three-day party happened at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The promoter has a five-year deal in place to hold the event at that venue.
However, the Sun says a key aspect of the business license for the festival has never been completed:
Las Vegas Metro Police's background check of the head of Insomniac, the event's promoter, was never finished because the L.A.-based organizer, Pasquale Rotella, didn't make himself available for an interview, according to the paper.
Nor was the application completed, according to a Metro report on the situation.
The Sun, which obtained the document, quotes this from it:
Ravers at EDC 2012.
This investigation also revealed multiple Areas of Concern, all surrounding the character of Mr. Rotella and the business operations of Insomniac Inc.
... LVMPD cannot accurately complete this background investigation without a completed application and cooperation from Mr. Rotella. Without this critical information the investigative report is severely compromised, incomplete and of limited value to the licensing board.
Is this a deal breaker for upcoming versions of EDC in Las Vegas? Nevada is strict about what kind of folks can conduct gambling operations in the state, but it's not clear if the same rules apply to concert promoting in Clark County.
Insomniac holds five licenses in the county, including ones for promoting, selling clothing and novelties, advertising and charging admission fees, according to county records.
We reached out to Jacqueline R. Holloway, director of the Clark County Department of Business License, to find out whether this could jeopardize future EDCs. A representative got back to us to ask further about the nature of our inquiry but otherwise had yet to respond.
A representative for the promoter told the Weekly that the background check would have no bearing on Insomniac's ability to hold EDC next year and thereafter.
Rotella seems fairly clean-cut. But there is the small issue of his being under indictment for alleged bribery as part of the L.A. Coliseum scandal.
L.A. prosecutors say that he and fellow rave promoter Reza Gerami of Go Ventures paid a Coliseum official nearly $2 million on the side to ensure that their events continue at the publicly run venue and its sister location, the L.A. Sports Arena.
EDC in Los Angeles has also seen controversy, in the form of a 15-year-old girl who died after taking ecstasy and attending the 2010 event. It turned out that she had sneaked into the party. But EDC has had a long history, through no fault of its own, of ravers dying after attending its events.
In fact, two deaths of festival attendees were reported this month in Las Vegas.
[Update at 4:12 p.m. Wednesday]:
Dan Kulin of the Clark County Department of Business License kindly explained the deal to us this afternoon.
EDC was run on a temporary carnival license this year. It's first year in Vegas, in June, 2011, the license was held by the venue, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kulin said.
In all likelihood, the background check of Rotella would and should be completed before next year's planned event, and then officials will be able to approve or deny a more permanent license.
However, Kulin noted that folks who have been convicted of felony crimes such as fraud, embezzlement and the like, would normally be denied.
As you know Rotella is under indictment for alleged bribery, but he maintains his innocence. That case should come to a conclusion by the time EDC 2013 rolls around.
Is it possible for EDC to get another temporary license? Possibly, but it wouldn't be the norm for such a situation, Kulin seemed to indicate: Temporary licenses are usually issued in cases like this one -- when everything else has been satisfied except for a background check. But there's been plenty of time now ...