San Bernardino Considers a Rave Ban

Nocturnal Wonderland 2013
Nocturnal Wonderland 2013
Timothy Norris/L.A. Weekly

Raves have had to move from venue to venue around Southern California as hosts tire of their decibel levels and drug issues.

The latest victims might be Nocturnal Wonderland and Beyond Wonderland at San Manuel Amphitheater in Devore. They're produced by Beverly Hills–based Insomniac Events.

The office of San Bernardino County Supervisor Janice Rutherford says she'll propose an end to such electronic dance music festivals at the county-run amphitheater during an upcoming meeting of her fellow leaders.

Neighbors are fed up with noise and drug use, her office tells us.

When the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors inked a deal with Live Nation, Insomniac's partner and the largest concert promoter in the nation, rave organizers pleaded for a curfew of 2 a.m. instead of the usual 11 p.m.

The supes conceded on the condition that promoters keep the noise down, said Scott Vanhorne, communications director for Rutherford.

But that hasn't happened, he argues, thus possibly invalidating the contract. June 14 is when the board is likely to vote up or down on prematurely ending that contract, thus banning raves at San Manuel, Rutherford indicated.

The parties moved to San Manuel in 2013 from the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino after similar complaints. EDM has since returned to the Orange Show grounds.

In Los Angeles, raves also have had to play a shell game as politicians feel the heat from voters upset about nearly two dozen drug-related deaths tied to SoCal EDM events.

Another hurdle for EDM parties is noise: The culture from which the music comes is enveloped in late-night partying and momentous bass. In Los Angeles, downtown raves could be heard on the Westside.

Neighbors of San Manuel who were already barely tolerant of 11 p.m. closing times have complained bitterly about thumping bass well into their snoozing hours.

These aren't party people.

"We've been getting is complaints from residents saying, 'My windows are rattling at 1:30 in the morning,'" Vanhorne told us. "A guy woke up and drove around not knowing where the noise was coming from. The county can back out of the contract if there are these kinds of noise complaints. We've reached that point."

However, it's likely Insomniac events will go on at San Manuel this summer. Vanhorne said that even if the board votes to boot raves from the venue, the move probably wouldn't go into effect until after Insomniac's Nocturnal Wonderland festival, scheduled for Sept. 2-4.

If the ban happens, at least it would give the promoter time to seek yet another new home.


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