The nation's biggest electronic dance music promoter fired back at the Los Angeles Times after the paper reported that several people have died after attending Insomniac Events and Go Ventures parties.
The L.A. promoter Insomniac argued that the paper's description of "deaths ... linked to Ecstasy or similar designer drugs ... tightly bound with raves" was part of a "mission to twist facts to suit their sensational story."
Extolling its EDM fans who "don't need drugs to have a wonderful, spiritual experience," Insomniac posted its response at ...
... 4:20 p.m. yesterday. Yeah! F--- you L.A. Times! We're $100-million-dollar rebels who now book pop stars like David Guetta, Tiesto and Avicii. Yeah!
So Insomniac is for drugs? Against drugs? (Scratches head). We're confused. After all, the promoter's name is about staying up, and we all know how ravers stay up (and go). (There was one EDM label years ago called Stay Up Forever).
Anyway, the Times detailed 14 mostly drug-related deaths of young people who had attended either Insomniac or Go Ventures events since 2006. Just the facts, man.
Insomniac says the paper "ignored" that it has an 18-and-older policy, prohibits drugs and has strict security.
Of course, its 18-and-older enforcement was in question even after the promoter announced it would shift from a 16-and-older policy following the 2010 death of 15-year-old raver Sasha Rodriguez, who sneaked into Insomniac's Electric Daisy Carnival and later suffered a fatal ecstasy overdose.
Security was also a serious issue at the 2010 EDC event, where video showed a crush of fans rushing a barrier at the Coliseum. (Keep in mind that the Times' list of deaths goes back to 2006).
Yeah, the promoter's response yesterday was high on spin, low on facts.
Calling the reporting an "attack" on Insomniac and saying ecstasy is a "global problem," the organization said:
... The LA Times treated the opinions of a few people as gospel, turned everyone who enjoys electronic music events into villains, and ignored anyone that did not agree with their biased opinion.
Again, reality is that the chief of Insomniac, Pasquale Rotella, refused to speak to the Times; so did the head of Go Ventures, Reza Gerami.
It's strange and perhaps a bit disingenuous for Insomniac to accuse the reporters of ignoring those who did not agree with them when it's principals refused to speak out when they had the chance.
The statement, a "call to action," asks fans to email and tweet at the Times' reporters who worked on the story. (We're jealous).
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Insomniac's statement sounds less like a refutation of facts (there are no corrections to be found -- not one) and more like a marketing tool.
EDM audiences still need to believe that the pop-dance festivals of today still represent a fist in the air aimed at the man, even as contemporary promoters have become that man.
Like we said, it was posted at 4:20. So rebellious.