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Should A Los Angeles Public Venue Be Used For Raves? Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Says Maybe Not

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Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 9:03 AM

click to enlarge Electric Daisy Citizens. - TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris
  • Electric Daisy Citizens.
[Update: A 15-year-old has died after attending the event].

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa this week questioned whether a public venue should continue to be used for a massive rave that claims to have drawn 185,000 people to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum over the weekend.

The 14th annual Electric Daisy Carnival Friday and Saturday was the source of 114 hospitalizations, 226 reported medical emergencies and as many as 65 arrests. Said Villaraigosa:

"We're going to have to assess whether or not these events will occur in the future,'' the mayor told KCAL 9 News.

His comment came after doctors complained to the Los Angeles Times that such an event should not have been allowed to take place on public property. Dr. Phil Fagan of Good Samaritan Hospital made the most noise about it, talking to the Times and then Fox 11 News.

He told the latter, "I think this is just a catastrophe waiting to happen. We have a hundred thousand people taking multiple drugs, anywhere from alcohol to methamphetamine, to cocaine, to MDMA to PCP. And something needs to be done to stop that availability."

He told the Times about a minor taken to his hospital's intensive-care unit from the party: The teen claims to have taken a swig from a water bottle not knowing it contained drugs. The child ended up unconscious for eight hours.

"The fire department has to assume their responsibility," the doc said. "The hospitals

have to assume their responsibility, and the people that put on the concert are taking the money and assuming no responsibility.''

Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck sounded conciliatory, however, telling KCAL9, "This year I think was the most impactful on public safety, so we have to look at limiting the event a little bit next year, but we'll work with the promoters on that.''

"Promoters" is mainly just one man, Pasquale Rotella who, under his Insomniac banner, has been organizing such events since the mid-1990s. Pop stars Will.i.am and Moby performed at this year's EDC.

Last summer the DJ-drive Hard Summer festival at the Forum in Inglewood was shut down by authorities after some members of the crowd of more than 17,000 started to rush into the venue.

At EDC, as it's known, crowds also rushed the gates Saturday, trampling over tents placed at the entrance of the venue.

It seems that every five years or so raves peak anew in popularity, and authorities and health professionals say something needs to be done about them.

Read Scott Sterling's review of EDC. Check out our photos of EDC.

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