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Raves At L.A. Coliseum On Probation As Commission Continues Dance Party Inquisition

By Steve La and Dennis Romero

A scene from 'EDC.'
A scene from 'EDC.'
Timoth Norris

The Los Angeles Coliseum Commission over the weekend continued a temporary moratorium on raves at the Coliseum/Sports Arena complex while allowing three previously scheduled dance parties, including one slated for next month, go on as a result of contractual obligations.

The commission met into the evening Friday and heard from a mostly anti-rave group of attendees about the controversial events, including last month's Electric Daisy Carnival, which saw gatecrashing, drug arrests and the subsequent death of a 15-year-old who apparently took ecstasy to enhance her EDC experience.

The next three Coliseum/Sports Arena-complex raves, including the Aug. 21 "Love Festival" at the Sports Arena, a Halloween party called Monster Massive Oct. 23 at the Coliseum, and a New Year's Eve event called Together As One at the Sports Arena, will be under new guidelines that include an 18-and-older door policy and a requirement that medical doctors be on-site, according to the commission's wishes.

(Those three events are all promoted by a company called Go Ventures. The EDC rave that sparked the commission's inquiry was organized by Insomniac Events, although the Associated Press reports that Insomniac is cooperating in the organization of the New Year's event).

The moratorium, if it sticks, would prevent further raves after that. The commission wants to find out if the new rules -- the promoter of last month's troubled Electric Daisy Carnival already announced an 18-and-up policy -- will result in fewer problems.

Orange County mother Debbie Macaluso said her daughter, 19-year-old Aisha Armer, attended EDC last year under the influence of ecstasy and subsequently suffered four strokes. The teenager was on life support until six months ago, Macaluso said.

"We want them to stop the raves," the mom said. "They're here to make money."

AP reported that a raver also died after attending last year's Together As One New Year's Eve party.

A lawyer for a law firm that made an official report on Coliseum/Sports Arena raves to the commission said deaths and injuries aren't unusual at major public events such as rock concerts and sporting match-ups. A police official speaking to the Weekly estimated EDC's two-day attendance at 160,000.

Following the commission meeting, Insomniac CEO Pasquale Rotella issued a statement: " ... Your recommendations, along with the safety protocols we are establishing with Investigative Advisory Group, will set the standard for the nation. I personally look forward to continuing to work with the Coliseum Commission, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Fire Department, for many years to come."

Twenty-three-year-old EDC attendee Aron Camargo of Bell Gardens told the commission he wants the shows to go on: "There was some people who got out of hand, but it was a good turnout and atmosphere, and for the most part there was good atmosphere and vibe for both nights."

Following EDC Los Angeles city police and fire officials reported more than 200 medical emergencies, 60 arrests, and, according to Associated Press, "gatecrashers who trampled people waiting to get in, ... people trying to steal tickets from those who bought them and numerous people getting drunk or high on drugs."


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