After a thorough shellacking over their controversial 2010 party, the organizers behind 2011's Electric Daisy Carnival rave announced late Thursday they won't be back to the publicly owned Coliseum this summer. The party will be in Vegas this year.
Pasquale Rotella, who owns EDC organizer Insomniac Events, sounded in a statement like he was pulling the plug on all his events at the Coliseum and sister venue Sports Arena after public officials decided to take yet another look in March at whether or not EDC would happen in June.
“Without an executed contract in place at this time, it has become impossible to guarantee to all of the fans and talent that EDC can be produced at this venue this year. We are grateful for all of the events we've been able to produce at the Coliseum and Sports Arena over the years, and for the support of the fans, Los Angeles, the Coliseum Commission and everyone who has contributed to those events.”
Despite an orchestrated lobbying effort that included a thumbs up from some of the members of the Coliseum Commission that can green-light the party, things fell apart this month after the Los Angeles Times revealed that the Coliseum's events manager also worked for Insomniac in 2010.
The double dipping could be illegal, and it raised eyebrows at a time when some on the commission appeared to bend over backward to accommodate the controversial party.
The two-day, 160,000-strong EDC in 2010 saw 60 arrests, more than 200 medical emergencies and the death of a 15-year-old girl, Sasha Rodriguez, who overdosed on ecstasy.
Public officials including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, questioned whether such events should happen at taxpayer-owned venues.
While the commission appeared to give the green light to the party in early February, the commission's new president, David Israel, and member Rick Caruso, said that in light of the Times' double-dipping story, they would be against allowing EDC to have its 14th annual event there in June.
“I grew up in Los Angeles,” Rotella states. “I began my business here when I was in high school and Los Angeles remains my home. I would love nothing more than to have our events return to the Coliseum in the future.”
The party will go on in Las Vegas June 24 and 25, according to Insomniac, but a specific venue has not been named.
Vegas could be a wise choice for a late-night dance party: Most of the clubs in the major luxury hotels on the strip host top electronic dance music DJs on weekends, and a whole generation of Angelenos have come of age driving to Vegas for DJ-driven partying.
Update: EDC was one of two events promoted at the Coliseum and Sports Arena by Insomniac. It co-organizes New Year's Eve's Together As One party with a company called Go Ventures.
The office of city Councilman Bernard Parks, who has voted to let the events happen in his role as a commissioner, states that EDC alone generates $33 million revenue and creates 4,000 jobs.
Caruso told the Weekly late Thursday, “Good riddance.”
He indicated that all the raves at the commission-controlled Coliseum and Sports Arena — there are four a year, including EDC, TAO, another in summer, and one around Halloween — could be done for.
[Insomniac states that the party was simply postponed; an Insomniac rep at the rave forum Plurlife writes, “Don't worry guys things are in the works! … EDC will be back guys… just be patient.”].
Asked if the commission would specifically vote to ban the parties, Caruso said he didn't think it was necessary.
Patrick Lynch resigned this month as longtime CEO and general manager of the venues after he admitted that he approved of the arrangement for the alleged double dipper, Todd DeStefano.
As the commission interviews candidates to fill those shoes, raves will be at the top of the list, Caruso said:
“I would find it hard to believe that any new general manager in that position is going to walk in front of me and propose raves, and that will certainly be vetted out in the interview process.”
“I've been a lone voice on this,” he said. “The tolerance for raves is finally at zero.”
Update No. 2: City council candidate Forescee Hogan-Rowles on Friday declared victory over the parties, which have been supported by her opponent, city Councilman and Coliseum commissioner Bernard Parks.
This is a great day for 8th District renters and homeowners near the L.A. Coliseum that had to fight Bernard Parks to have the Electric Daisy Carnival stopped. I fought the raves at the Coliseum with the people of the 8th Council District. Today, we won that fight!
Rave promoters did too little to stop illegal drug use at their event resulting in a record number of drug overdose emergencies. Bernard Parks said, 'Let the show go on.' I say, 'Wrong answer. Bad judgment.' Listen to the pleas of the people of the 8th District. Act to serve their needs, not your own.
While the community fought to shutdown the upcoming June rave concert event, Bernard Parks fought against the wishes of 8th District constituents. Parks was taking money from rave promoters and pushing to keep the rave concert operator in business at the Coliseum.
First posted at 5:49 p.m. Thursday