With a storm approaching and an army of cops and DEA agents, one woman named Paris Hilton, and even a few politicians in the house, the controversial rave promoter Insomniac Events said its Beyond Wonderland party over the weekend in San Bernardino was a success.
We received reports of an overdose, a missing raver, and some party-goers taken out of the venue in stretchers. Even state Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, who has proposed to ban raves at public venues in California, said she knew of 24 drug-dealing arrests there.
And she left at 10:30, when the Saturday night party was just beginning. But ...
... Insomniac Events, which recently moved its embattled Electric Daisy Carnival from the publicly run L.A. Coliseum to Las Vegas, stated it was all good:
About 46,300 attended the event at the National Orange Show Events Center to see the likes of Kaskade, Calvin Harris, Cosmic Gate, Dirty South, Richie Hawtin, Noisia and Funkagenda.
"I'm so pleased that decision-makers ... were able to witness first-hand that Insomniac creates the most entertaining and safe events for our fans and artists to enjoy," said Insomniac honcho Pasquale Rotella.
A light-show ban imposed by the promoter to discourage displays of ecstasy use didn't seem to materialize.
EDC got the rave scene in a lot of trouble last June after it saw 200 medical transports, 60 arrests, and the subsequent death of a 15-year-old who had taken ecstasy.
The June rave was on thin ice with the public Coliseum Commission for a return this June. But it totally fell apart when the Los Angeles Times revealed that a Coliseum events manager was double dipping as an employee of Insomniac.
The Coliseum's general manager resigned, and commission president David Israel said he would not support a return to the Coliseum for EDC.
Ma told our sister publication SF Weekly that she had a decent time at Insomniac's Saturday night party:
For me, this was more like research. So it wasn't fun per se. But I could see how people could have fun.
Update: San Bernardino police Lt. Jarrod Burguan told the Weekly there were 57 total arrests, including 33 for suspicion of drug sales, 20 that were mostly intoxicated-in-public misdemeanors, and four for vandalism before the party.
In addition, he said, 67 citations were issued, mostly involving alleged traffic and parking violations.
Bernie Horak, the city fire department's emergency medical services coordinator, said rescuers were called to 20 medical emergencies, but that three of the calls were cancelled.
Additionally, he told us, the promoter contracted with a private ambulance company, American Medical Response, for additional transports that would go under the radar of public scrutiny like ours.
In fact, Burguan told us, "There's a confidentiality agreement between the ambulance company and promoter, so I don't know the complete count on the number of people transported."
(Interestingly, if you'll recall, the promoter wanted to implement a similar, under-the-radar system of private treatment of medical emergencies and ecstasy overdoses at its proposed 2011 Electric Daisy Carnival in Los Angeles).
We're told that "several patients" from the event ended up at Loma Linda Medical Center -- "all drug related."
According to a police statement 75 cops and 800 private security guards worked the 12-hour party.
Update No. 2: A spokeswoman for Arrowhead Regional Medical Center got back to us and said it had seen 13 patients from the party, all of whom have since been "discharged."
A San Bernardino County Coroner spokeswoman told us no deaths had been reported, but that she had seen an average of about one ecstasy-related death per rave at the National Orange Show in the last three years.
First posted at 1:25 p.m. Monday, March 21.