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L.A. Coliseum imposing temporary ban on raves after girl's death from suspected drug overdose

Fan on the run

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is imposing a temporary ban on raves, a decision made less than 24 hours after a 15-year-old girl died of a suspected drug overdose after attending the Electric Daisy Carnival over the weekend.

After receiving a request from Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky for a rave moratorium, Coliseum Commission President Barry A. Sanders said he was instructing Coliseum managers not to enter into any new agreements with rave producers until the commissioners can meet in a special session scheduled for July 16. Commissioners will review all criteria required for organizers using the venue.

Although Yaroslavsky proposed a temporary ban on all raves, including any that are currently scheduled, Sanders was less specific, saying he would endorse a moratorium on the Coliseum “entering into any contractual arrangements with persons or entities promoting raves.”

It was not immediately clear whether the Love Festival, marketed as “America’s longest-running dance music festival,” would continue to go on as planned. It is scheduled for Aug. 21 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, which is next to the Coliseum.

The Love Festival is being produced by Go Ventures, which co-produced a New Year’s Eve rave at the Sports Arena in which 18 people were transported to emergency rooms after taking Ecstasy.

No raves are scheduled between now and the commission's meeting date. A rave is a dance party with electronic music.

The Coliseum and Sports Arena are on state land and are run under the authority of a joint commission of the city and county of Los Angeles and the state. 

The 14th annual Electric Daisy Carnival attracted 185,000 people over two days, according to organizers. The event featured numerous high-profile DJs and performers on five stages that stretched across the Coliseum property.

Health officials said about 120 people were taken by ambulance from the event to emergency rooms. Several emergency physicians earlier this week called for an end to such events at public facilities.

"The general public deserves to be assured that when the Coliseum's tenants stage an event, the health and safety of the promoter's patrons are protected.  Clearly, there was a breakdown at the Electric Daisy Carnival which put the public at risk," Yaroslavsky wrote.

At 15, Sasha Rodriguez did not meet the minimum age requirement of 16 to enter the event without a legal guardian. Family and friends said that she attended the party with a 16-year-old friend and that doctors told them she had the hallucinogenic drug Ecstasy in her system when she was taken by ambulance to the emergency room.

Rodriguez, who lived in the Atwater Village neighborhood of L.A., died at California Hospital Medical Center downtown before 5:30 p.m. Tuesday after her family decided to remove the comatose teen from life support.

For the first time since her death, a statement was released on behalf of the event organizer, L.A.-based Insomniac Events.

"The passing of a young woman who attended Electric Daisy Carnival is a tragic circumstance," the statement said. "Our hearts and prayers go out to her family and friends at this difficult time. We are currently reviewing the entire event and planning process with our security team, law enforcement and the city officials who participated in organizing and planning Electric Daisy Carnival."

-- Rong-Gong Lin II

Photo: A woman runs from a police officer as crowds rush a fence during the 14th annual Electric Daisy Carnival at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times / June 25, 2010)

Comments () | Archives (78)

So, the next time someone dies from a car wreck, can we temporarily ban cars? I would like that.

That's like canceling a concert for too many drunks...stupid! Take responsibility for yourself AND your kids!

Stupid teenagers ruining it for us responsible twentysomethings!!! Check IDs at the door. Raise the age limit even. I feel terrible for the girl and her family, but she chose to enter an event which she should not have been allowed to enter, and she chose to take illegal drugs. We don't even know what caused her death. These sorts of music festivals happen all over the country and have been taking place for decades. That festival was like fort knox in terms of police and security presence, and it went off without a hitch considering the massive attendance. People drink until they pass out at Coliseum football games, and I'm sure more people went to the hospital as a result of USC's home football games in the past year than they did because of this music festival (it is, technically, not a "rave"). Although I hear USC isn't allowed to play football anymore because they are such cheaters, so maybe that point is moot.

This is discrimination and it's ridiculous. Why are electronica concerts referred to as "raves" and given such a negative connotation? People are injured at concerts for other types of music as well but they aren't going to start banning rock concerts or pop concerts.

It's very sad that this child died, however it was at her own hand. The rest of the citizens need to stop being punished whenever another one does something stupid.

RIP, Sasha. My condolences to your family.

Its sad this happened but maybe now they can make these events 18 and over and check ID's to make sure nonw of these little kids who are not responsible stop going and perhaps now parents can take better care of their own children.

Why did her mother allow her to go to an adult function in the first place?

Mick, you know as well as any other observant person that raves are a drug user's haven. The only reason these things continue is the money.

Turn the blind eye for money.

*turn a blind eye to safety, accountability, responsibility because of money

Her death was water intoxication -- not overdose. Her friends who lied to everyone to cover it up are at fault -- they probably convinced the doctors she was dehydrated when in fact she was lacking electrolytes and water was only diluting the problem. If you're an EMT this is basic training. This could happen to any anorexic girl dancing in the sun all day drinking nothing but plain water, pills or no pills.

Some other interesting commentary on the subject:

>> So the subtitle is *wrong*, her death was not an OD, she didnt have a heart
>> attack from doing too much meth or coke. You can just as easily die from
>> water intoxication at pill 1 as you can at pill 5!
> or none, since it's the water that's the problem. the doctor said
> that MDMA causes an issue in processing that, which is the first i've
> heard of that. the issue, i thought was more that it causes over
> heating and a lack of wanting to eat anything, added with a "you must
> drink lots of water" mentality.
>> "Doctors said "her sodium, electrolytes were so low that when she started
>> replacing them so quickly [with cold water], ecstasy messes up your body's
>> ability to process that, so it threw her body out of whack," said Keith."
> like you said, this is a sad case of a lack of good drug education and
> health education. it's hard because 99.9999% of the time, you probably
> need more water than you are getting. (when doing something like
> dancing in the sun for hours at a time)
> i bet most of the things they were dealing with medically was
> dehydration incidences, so it's hard to deal with the other extreme
> case that's probably happening to a dozen folks at an event like that
> otoh, it'd be a simple thing to sell electrolyte water at the same
> cost just to prevent it.

It's all about money w/these big massives. Every year it always sounds good as far as the dj's and artists go but once think about the crowds these parties bring and it turns me off completely. First off - everyone is WAY young. These parties should be at least 21 and over. Why? Because your a little bit more responsible w/your drug use the older you get and it's not so much about how high your are but about how good the artists are. And drugs are almost a given when it comes to electronic music. Secondly, they shouldn't have these things right in downtown LA because it makes WAY it too easy for just about ANYONE and their mother to show up. You need to ween out the kids (candy ravers) and bring in an older crowd (think Burning Man) that can bring in a better more chill vibe.

"hallucinogenic drug ecstasy."
First off, MDMA is not a hallucinogen. It's a "Euphoric Empathogen; Stimulant; Phenethylamine" according to erowid.org.

And secondly, this is ridiculous. One out of 185,000 people dies, and maybe another 200 require medical attention, so the other 184,799 people may suffer the consequences. I went to EDC, along with 11 close friends. We took care of ourselves and each other, were responsible, and even helped to assure the health and safety of other individuals there. Not to be callous, but that girl suffered the consequences of her actions, and there's no reason others should, too. To deprive me of my personal liberties because of someone else's reckless behavior is unjust.

Ughh... this absolutely disgusts me. It was not the fault of the security that she overdosed. It was not the fault of the authorities involved in co-ordinating the event... it was HER fault.

1 out of 185,000 fatally ODs and THIS happens... maybe if we didn't have such a ridiculous paradigm when it comes to drug usage this wouldn't have happened. If youths were educated about the health risks involved with drug usage,particularly MDMA usage, this could easily be avoided...

UUUGH rage...

I don't believe that Insomniac is entirely at fault. As a good parent that girl's mother should have checked online and researched the event beforehand! If you think about it....What company would allow A FIFTEEN YEAR OLD into a RAVE? Any responsible parent should have that common sense.

Then...after this girl LIES TO HER MOTHER she doesn't get ID'ed at the door!
Then! Best of all...her mother goes on television and says that the coliseum should be held responsible!

just like the water was laced right? right? yeah. that's what i thought. maybe people should start taking responsibility for their own actions

Sad about the death, but promoter's hands are tied, due to a 90s "anti-rave" law.

If the promoters try to provide the safest environment for all involved, they are likely to allude to the fact that illegal substances may be in use by some of their guests. Therefore, they scale back services, such as extra paramedics and ambulances, and are not allowed to get the help of organizations like DanceSafe.org, which does free voluntary pill testing to ensure that the pills being ingested don't contain chemicals more dangerous than the drugs that are believed to be ingested.

I have a feeling the dead young lady will test positive for ecstasy, but that will not have been the drug that killed her.

I used to go to Grateful Dead Shows where a group of VOLUNTEER MDs, Psychologists and other Health Care Professionals used to offer a "talk down" service for those concert goers that maybe weren't having the best time on whatever combination of psychedelics they may have ingested.

If a patient needed medical help, doctors and other HC providers were right there, and paramedics and ambulances were also standing by. In most cases, the people who visited the ROCK MED tent, were taken care of without outside medical help. Few to none were arrested, most were fine by the time they left.

A promoter trying to offer this free service, now puts culpability and liability on the hands of the promoter, and as such less services are offered, so that the event may be provided at all.

Again the death of this young lady was tragic, but I'm sorry to see the media already hype the 120 hospital visits into a drug addled zombie fest.

In an earlier version of the story on the LA Times blog, it was reported that most of the hospital visits were for treatment as a result of disorderly conduct in "gate rushing" events.

185,000 party goers, and 120 hospital visits (some probably avoidable with DanceSafe.org testing, and Rock Med type talk down services). I'd like to see how those numbers compare to a USC Game, (Coliseum) pro sports event or other large concert experience.

It is unfortunate, but once again, these numbers will be distorted to advance an agenda that may or may not address the real problems at hand.

Car accidents are preventable. Raves that obviously do not regulate drug use or even age limitations are reckless and preventable. Clearly if multiple drug overdose patients are admitted after the event, there is a problem. A ban on these type of events is not overboard, it is necessary.

It's about time the city does something right. This is a drug party... 200+ people sent to the hospital and 60+ arrested. Do you know who's ultimatley payingthe price? Tax payers for the extra police, doctors, emergency care..

Mick- Moot point, next!!

Seriously? What a knee-jerk reaction to the media. Exactly Mick R, how come cigarettes and alcohol are still legal then? Guess they should shut down bars, clubs, fairs, parties and anything else that can cause a death. I'm sorry for the people affected whether intentional or not, but this banning of everything from a single incident seems a bit politically half-baked.

That's horrible that a child just died from a drug overdose, but thats not the city's or the event planners' or promoters' fault.

Ya Mick, I'd feel MUCH safer if cars were banned. Wouldn't you? I mean, it's logical, considering you have a 1/100,000 chance of dying in a car crash, while dying at EDC is apparently only 1/186,000. Oh, and alcohol, of course- that causes way more deaths than ex ever will (plus the ban last time worked wonders). Oh... well, maybe prescription painkillers should go too. All of them. OMG, definitely Tylenol- people OD on it all the time and their livers are never the same. And, most importantly, peanuts. You know how many people are allergic to peanuts?? A LOT.

I disagree with the ban on raves at the LA Coliseum. Why are they simply targeting that event? There have been several of other occurrences at the Coliseum where people have unfortunately died and no restrictions have ever been placed on those events. Although the nature of the event is quite clear to everyone, 1 person out of 185,000 is a pretty good percentage.
Unfortunately, a young girl did die from the overdose of drugs and Insomniac events should be liable for such occurrences. However, it was the personal choice of that individual to not only partake, but overindulge themselves in Ecstasy. Its obvious that the growth in popularity of this drug has doubled in the last decade and is at the root of the problem..

Ecstasy is not a hallucinogenic drug. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT

Yeah, you freaks, it's no big deal, no culpability for anyone; not the city , not her parents, not the promoters. Just a dead 15 year old girl. I bet her parents still have a pet that is still alive though.
Party on !!!

To those who want to confuse the argument with reference to percentages, Dodger games, and alcohol, I have a simple request. Talk to an EMT or a staff member of an ER. What you will hear, time and time again, is that Raves are an entirely different event when it comes to drug use. I have heard from more than one experienced EMT that the first rave s/he worked was unlike any other experience in terms of the number of drug-related incidents. Far more people were treated than were arrested or hospitalized. You can rationalize all you want. My favorite argument is, "you can't stop raves by banning them." We have laws against murder, yet people still murder. Should we get rid of those laws too? Besides, no one is talking about banning raves - just refusing to allow these events to be held on public property. But I am guessing all of these folks who are decrying the critics have never spoken to an EMT about this.

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