Among some of the more interesting points of a rave promoter's $1million-plus lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles for canceling a planned Halloween weekend show featuring superstar DJ Tiesto at the Convention Center is the argument that the event is a concert rather than a rave.
The suit, announced this week, claims that the city pulled the plug as a result of the promoter's controversial Electric Daisy Carnival rave in June, after which a 15-year-old attendee died of a possible ecstasy-triggered malady. The suit states that the Tiesto event for October "is entirely distinguishable:"
"EDC was a 'music festival,' far different from the Tiesto 'concert,'" the suit states among four reasons why the city and the Convention Center lack "good cause" to cancel its existing contract to let the show go on.
The other three reasons:
-An "incident" involving the death of teenager Sasha Rodriguez, and other incidences of ecstasy use, facility damage and injuries at EDC are also separate from the proposed concert.
-The promoter complied with all the contract's provisions.
-The Convention Center's action will ultimately create a backlash that could force similar events underground and actually cause more injuries than it sought to prevent.
On that last point, it's not exactly what was said. Verbatim: "LACC's actions will create a backlash and potentially create chances for injuries." Later the claim goes on to explain that having such events in an orderly environment is safer than denying them.
At the same time, the promoter's claim distinguishing a Tiesto "concert" from the EDC "music festival" is a stretch. While the hours are different and it's multiple acts versus one, the Tiesto crowd represents perhaps the most ecstasy-crazed facet of electronic music culture: Trance music.
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While Tiesto's one-man events have brought rave and club culture together under a more-organized tent, make no mistake: Tiesto's fans are ... let's just say ... ecstatic.
Just what constitutes a rave, as if raves were by definition illegal places of pill worship, would make for a good debate in court.
On the other hand, the promoter, Insomniac Events, makes a good point in the claim: Deaths and unruliness happen at rock concerts and even sports events. The suit lists several events, including the vaunted Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and event a San Francisco 49ers game, at which patrons have died.
Tiesto, by the way, was guaranteed $250,000 for his appearance according to court papers. The promoter's profit was projected to be $436,250 with productions costs of $668,750. Tickets were slated to go on sale this week.