Raves Will Not Be Banned
Hard Summer 2015
Mathew Tucciarone/L.A. Weekly
Raves will not be banned by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, but they could face tougher scrutiny. One county venue even plans on a rave-free 2016.
The board today eschewed a possible ban on electronic dance music events in favor of approving or denying them on a case-by-case basis. The unanimous vote applied to most such parties — those with 10,000 or more attendees.
The powerful government body approved a motion to implement rave task-force recommendations that include "improving security and medical response, ensuring appropriate venue-capacity guidelines and staffing, providing educational and safety messaging, and providing adequate access to hydration," according to the proposal.
A spokeswoman for Supervisor Hilda Solis, who first suggested a possible ban after the suspected drug deaths of two teenagers who had attended August's Hard Summer festival at the county-run Fairplex in Pomona, said an age limit of 21 and older was possible for some parties.
Hard organizers agreed to a 21-and-older policy for their Day of the Dead party at the Fairplex Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Nobody died.
Hard Summer, with an 18-and-older policy, has seen drug-related deaths in Los Angeles County two years in a row.
In 2014, 19-year-old Emily Tran died of "acute MDMA intoxication" after she attended Hard, a coroner's official said. Following last summer's event at the Fairplex, 18-year-old Tracy Nguyen of West Covina died from ecstasy (MDMA) "intoxication," another coroner's investigator said.
The cause in the second August death following Hard, that of 19-year-old Katie Dix of Camarillo, was still unknown. The coroner's office was still awaiting the results of drug testing.
Those deaths inspired the ban proposal and prompted local government officials to launch a second rave task force in five years.
Following the 2010 death of a 15-year-old who had sneaked into Electric Daisy Carnival at the Los Angeles Coliseum, a task force recommended tighter security and "harm-reduction" methods for ecstasy users that included tips on keeping cool and staying hydrated.
Solis had this to say about today's vote:
Today, the Board of Supervisors voted to accept the recommendations of the Electronic Music Task Force (EMTF) on a case-by-case basis. The Board also directed county counsel to prepare and submit an ordinance similar to the state's AB 74, which, on a case-by-case basis, allows health and safety issues to be considered at events with an expected attendance of 10,000 or more on County property and in the county's unincorporated areas. The health, safety and well-being of all attendees are of paramount importance and these measures are a step in the right direction to ensure this.
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This could be seen as great news for ravers. But the county has only a few venues for such parties. And at least two have said no.
Whittier Narrows Recreation Center appears to have shut out the 2015 return of Hard Summer.
Now it looks like the Fairplex in Pomona is deciding on its own to disallow raves this year. "We are not looking to host EDM concerts or related events in 2016," a spokeswoman told us today.
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