L.A. Rave Canceled Following Suspected Drug Deaths
Hard 2014 by Timothy Norris/L.A. Weekly
UPDATE at 8:23 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015: See a response from HARD, which praised the speed of this compromise, below.
Organizers of raves at the county-run Fairplex in Pomona have canceled an upcoming event in the wake of two teenagers' deaths at their HARD Summer festival at the same venue in August.
Eighteen-year-old Tracy Nguyen of West Covina and 19-year-old Katie Dix of Camarillo died during the first day of the two-day electronic dance music festival. Ecstasy use was suspected, but autopsy results were still pending.
Another HARD event, Sept. 10's HARD Presents ... A Night at Fairplex has been canceled by promoter Live Nation, the office of L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis announced today.
HARD's annual Day of the Dead party, scheduled for Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, will be scaled back, too, her office said. Instead of a 65,000-per-day capacity, it will invite 40,000 attendees each day, Solis' people said. Hours will be reduced and security will be enhanced, they said.
What's more, the minimum age for partygoers was raised from 18 to 21.
While Live Nation has "agreed to significant conditions to address health and safety concerns at the second event," Solis' office says her original proposal — to probe either ban raves at county-run venues or working to make them safer — is still in play.
Promoter concessions include "cooling stations, shaded areas, misting stations and free water," things that have been done in the past.
"Anti-drug/drug education messaging will be produced and distributed in consultation with the county's Department of Public Health," Solis' office states:
We continue to study this issue and the propriety of continuing to hold such events on county property. We are considering additional health and safety measures. We are also considering the creation of a specialized task force that will include health and safety representatives from the county’s Departments of Public Health, Health Services, Fire and Sheriff.
Several ecstasy deaths have been connected to large-scale raves in recent years.
UPDATE at 8:23 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015: A spokeswoman for HARD sent us this statement:
Festival organizers and promoters are pleased to have worked quickly with the County Supervisors in order to complete the county’s inquiry and bring about the agreed upon modifications to our operations for HARD Day of the Dead at Fairplex, which will further allow our fans to have a safe and fun time.
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