The promoter of the troubled Electric Daisy Carnival rave last month, where a 15-year-old who later died apparently took ecstasy, is moving to an 18-and-older format for his next big event, the Audiotistic Festival July 24 at the National Orange Show Events Center San Bernardino.
"What he's doing for the first time is he's going to 18-and-over," Dan Jimenez, general manager of the Orange Show venue, told LA Weekly. "He felt bad that someone of that age was there."
Electric Daisy Carnival drew as many as 200,000 people over two days and marketed itself as an event for those 16-and-older, but a source who worked at the event told the Weekly that IDs were not checked.
Indeed, video depicts dozens upon dozens of gatecrashers plowing over barriers to get into the party that featured Will.i.am, Moby and Deadmau5, among many other other DJs and dance music acts. More than 200 medical emergencies were reported, and 60 arrests, mostly on suspicion of drug-related offenses, were made by Los Angeles police.
A county task force is being formed this month to reconsider how raves are organized and policed at public venues such as the Los Angeles Coliseum, where EDC took place.
Unlike an Eastside rave that was cancelled in the wake of EDC and another plug-pulling for the rave-like Hard festival this month, the Audiotistic show will go on. (The Los Angeles Times reported, without evidence, that the Hard event was canceled as a result security concerns related to EDC-like fears, and that story was picked up by the likes of MTV, but it appears Hard's might be a case of slow ticket sales).
In fact, Jimenez defended EDC promoter Pasquale Rotella as professional and safety minded, noting that he's been throwing events at the Orange Show grounds for 14 years.
"Pasquale makes sure there's enough security and police here to ensure that his patrons have a safe, good time," Jimenez said.
Asked if sheriff's or city officials have expressed concerns about having an EDC-related event come to town following the troubles at the Coliseum-based party last month, Jimenez said no: The main complaints in the past, he said, have been about noise.
The raves (Jimenez preferred to call them electronic dance concerts) bring a lot of business to San Bernardino in a down economy, he noted. A local gas station traditionally runs out of fuel before the night is over, and area hotel occupancy rates go from about 55 percent to 97 percent. Audiotistic should draw 20,000 to 25,000 people, Jimenez said.
Though there have been reports of allegedly overzealous deputies and security personnel at Orange Show raves in the past, the venue's most-trouble concert happened in 2006, and it didn't involve electronic dance music.
The British Invasion 2K6 saw a mini-riot as fans exiting the venue smashed store windows, threw bottles, vandalized cars and set small fires, according to the San Bernardino Sun.
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The raves, Jimenez says, attract a more peaceful crowd:
"I would say that probably the punk's a little darker than the kids who come to the electronic dance festivals."
And EDC's Rotella, he vows, wants to keep that vibe.
"Pasquale is a very driven and he always wants to make sure his shows are great," Jimenez says. "He doesn't want to get a bad rep out there."