Government's Rave Lawsuit Against EDC Promoter Dismissed
Aaron Leming for LA Weekly
A lawsuit against rave promoters at the L.A. Coliseum and Sports Arena was thrown out by a Superior Court judge, festival organizer Insomniac Events announced today.
The civil suit by the government-controlled Coliseum against the promoters alleged the organizers bilked the venues out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by paying a Coliseum employee for work on the side:
The claim mirrors an indictment of promoters Insomniac and Go Ventures that alleges bribery for doing the same.
Los Angeles Angels vs. Cincinnati Reds
TicketsMon., Aug. 29, 7:05pm
UCLA Bruins Double Header: M Soccer vs Duke & W Soccer vs Penn St.
TicketsFri., Sep. 2, 5:00pm
UCLA Bruins Men's Soccer vs. University of Akron Zips Men's Soccer
TicketsMon., Sep. 5, 5:00pm
UCLA Bruins Women's Soccer vs. North Carolina Tarheels Soccer
TicketsFri., Sep. 9, 7:00pm
Insomniac has argued that its payments to ex-Coliseum events manager Todd DeStefano were for work he performed on his own time.
The Coliseum's suit was already against the ropes: Parts of it were thrown out last year, and in July L.A. Superior Court Judge Terry A. Green threw out the filing's remaining seven claims and told the Coliseum to amend its complaint.
Kevin Todora for LA Weekly
Apparently that didn't work.
Gary Jay Kaufman, attorney for Insomniac and its founder, Pasquale Rotella, said this today:
We have maintained from day one that the Coliseum's meritless lawsuit was ill-conceived, politically motivated and publicity driven. We are very pleased that the Court recognized that Insomniac and Mr. Rotella's business with the Coliseum was lawful and transparent.
With this civil suit behind them, Insomniac can now focus on doing what they do best - putting on the world's greatest electronic dance music festivals.
A hearing on arguments to dismiss much of the criminal case against the promoters was scheduled for Sept. 18.
The case surfaced after a 15-year-old girl who had sneaked into Insomniac's Electric Daisy Carnival died following the event in 2010. She overdosed on ecstasy.
The death brought increased scrutiny to the four-times-a-year parties at the Coliseum and its sister venue, the Sports Arena. The Los Angeles Times discovered that DeStefano was allegedly taking payments on the side.
After that, the festivals were shut out of the venues and, with USC taking them over, it doesn't appear they'll probably ever be back.
Insomniac, however, has only seen greater success after moving EDC to Las Vegas, where 100,000 people a day have come to party for three-day events each June.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.