In recent years 14 people have died from overdoses or drug-related incidents after attending raves put on by some of the nation's biggest electronic-music event promoters, Insomniac Events and Go Ventures, both based in L.A.
Most of the deceased were teenagers or twentysomethings attending events that often had the approval of local officials eager to see the economic benefits of thousands of concert-goers coming to town.
Namely, in the words of the Times' report …
… As raves have moved into the mainstream, there have been more tragedies across the country.
That finding is contrary to what local officials, including city Councilman Bernard Parks, argued in defending Insomniac and Go Ventures raves at the L.A. Coliseum — that putting a once drug-fueled, underground phenomenon out in the open is safer than when they were smaller and unregulated.
But even as major music corporations have elbowed in on this multi-million dollar business, with rumors that Live Nation and other companies were bidding last month for a piece of Insomniac for as much as $100 million, the drugs and drug-related accidents appear to be deadlier than ever.
The Times got details on 14 people who died after attending Insomniac and Go Ventures parties since 2006.
Most involved ecstasy overdoses or drug-related accidents. Some of those stories, including a handful of deaths connected to Electric Daisy Carnival events in L.A., Las Vegas and Dallas, as well as one at 2007's Monster Massive, were reported by the Weekly as well.
In fact, more than two years ago the Weekly filed California Public Records Act requests with the Los Angeles Coliseum Commission. We sought, among other things, its records related to rave deaths since the parties at the Coliseum and sister venue Sports Arena.
We also reminded the commission of our requests more than once. Our inquiries bounced around to different personnel, including the counsel for Los Angeles County government, but the commission never formally responded, which is a violation of the law.
Times reporters dug into coroner's and law enforcement reports from 9 states to come up with its tragic list.
James Penman, the San Bernardino city attorney, told the paper that officials shouldn't let the sometimes millions of dollars that electronic music fans bring to town justify the deadly fallout:
The city should have zero tolerance for any activity where drugs are an integral part. A rave without drugs is like a rodeo without horses. They don't happen.
San Bernardino city officials are considering legal action after Insomniac allegedly refused authorities' requests during one event at the National Orange Show Events Center to turn down its music following complaints from residents who live miles away.