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Coliseum commissioners vote unanimously to lift moratorium on raves

Los Angeles Coliseum Commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to lift a moratorium on raves that was put in place after the drug overdose death of a 15-year-old girl who attended a massive festival at the stadium in June.

“There’s a way to do it right, where we protect the public and allow this opportunity to take place,” said L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe, who serves on the commission and noted that it's better to regulate raves at a public venue than to see them “driven to the back alleys.”

Instead of reinstating the ban, commissioners voted to require that all future raves come before the commission for approval 60 days in advance, and promised to consider additional safeguards to protect participants and the surrounding community.

“We’re going to limit whatever abuses take place and improve conditions for the neighbors,”  said Commissioner David Israel.

“By lifting the moratorium we have not abandoned jurisdiction over what occurs at these events,” said Barry Sanders, who chairs the commission. “We’ve got recommendations from the county on how to go forward and do them safely.”

The joint city, county and state commission had voted to ban raves June 30 after Sasha Rodriguez, a high school student and drill team member from Atwater Village, passed out at the Electric Daisy Carnival and died days later.

Six of the commission’s nine members voted to lift the moratorium Nov. 3. The vote outraged Commissioners Rick Caruso, a shopping center magnate, and L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who were absent and complained that there was no advance notice that the ban might be reconsidered.

The added safety protections come from a Department of Public Health report on improving safety at raves, which was submitted to the Board of Supervisors two days after the commission dropped the rave moratorium.

Yaroslavsky and Knabe have proposed that the board adopt all of the report’s recommendations and instruct the Department of Public Health to monitor their implementation through the end of August  and report back in September. Supervisors are expected to consider the proposal Tuesday.

The safety protections come in addition to measures commissioners put in place for two raves scheduled before the ban took effect, which included hiring doctors and nurses to work on-site, enforcing an age limit of 18 and ending the events at 2 a.m.

Coliseum managers said they were satisfied that no major problems were reported at the raves on Aug. 21 and Oct. 23. But both raves were one-day events that attracted 6,000 and 22,000 people, respectively, compared with the two-day Electric Daisy Carnival that attracted 185,000 participants.

But Caruso questioned whether such safety measures will be enough to prevent future injuries and deaths at raves, and whether commissioners were unwilling to reinstate the ban because they have become dependent on electronic music events as money-makers.

“Even with these additional measures that were out in place for these last two events, there were still people who needed treatment for alcohol or drugs,” he said. “We have a health problem here.”

Raves are a significant source of revenue for the Coliseum, which is publicly owned but not supported with tax dollars.

The next rave at the stadium is scheduled for New Year’s eve.


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-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo: Rave earlier this year. Credit: Los Angeles Times


Comments () | Archives (9)

Only a matter of time until the next death.

Seems fair. The regulations are making these raves unattractive anyway. Together as One ending at 2am for $80, no thanks.
These promoters can't charge more for an event that offers less--which means along with lower attendance they can expect lower profit.
Time to pack up and move, but something tells me it won't be to a "back alley" (so you can take that argument and shove it).

“There’s a way to do it right, where we protect the public and allow this opportunity to take place,” said L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe, who serves on the commission and noted that it's better to regulate raves at a public venue than to see them “driven to the back alleys.”

This is exactly right. Far more harm than good comes from Prohibition.

"“We’re going to limit whatever abuses take place and improve conditions for the neighbors,” said Commissioner David Israel."

Uh-huh. And if you believe that this isn't really all about the money I have a bridge I'll sell you. Comes with numbered parts!

"Only a matter of time until the next death."

@Greg: You could say the same thing about car accidents. I guess we should ban cars too, then?

Lets see we have Coliseum Commissioners, L.A. County Supervisors, Additional Safeguards, Outraged Commissioners, Department of Public Health, Board of Supervisors, Safety Protections and Coliseum Managers.

I've always been told to read the last couple of paragraphs of an article first to get a better understanding of the over all article. Lets see we have ELECTRONIC MUSIC EVENTS AS MONEY-MAKERS AND RAVES ARE A SIGNIFICANT SOURCE OF REVENUE FOR THE COLISEUM, WHICH IS PUBLICLY OWNED BUT NOT SUPPORTED WITH TAX DOLLARS - UNLESS ALL THE ABOVE ARE (including tax payers) SUED BY THE ATTENDING ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSING HEALTH PROBLEMS.

I do believe that if a High School diploma was required to enter the event that you could achieve a successful venue.

As a person who's attended raves, I'm extremely happy they're staying here. Think about, stupid kids overdosing will happen everywhere not just at raves. It's much safer to have people in a secure location with strict security and paramedics versus having this type of event in an abandoned warehouse. It's not just at raves where people will get hurt, I've been to plenty of different musical events and have seen people being trampled on, beaten severely in mosh pits and others that were extremely intoxicated. I understand the great concern because of that girl Sasha's death, but at the end of the day she knew she wasn't allowed to be there (she was what 15 and the age limit was 16) and it's not like someone shoved ecstasy down her throat. Regardless, a sad fatality like this can happen anywhere. So all you nay sayers can complain all you want, but we're here to stay.

@ rockyriot - I couldn't agree with you more. I don't believe that everyone that attends these kind of events should be punished for one girls death, when she shouldn't have been there anyway. And the new rules were applied also at the recent HARD event and it worked out great, me being one of the people that needed assistance from the paramedics (not for drugs, but for a foot injury) they were every helpful and very fast. If you're there for the music, then the new rules shouldn't make that big of a difference. And like said before... it's better to have these kind of events in a secure place, then in a warehouse where there would be no one to help if something did go wrong. Can't wait till next year!

Such a disaster! This is much to be expected on this kind of event. However this can be minimized provided with strict safety precautions and regulations. Teens are much to be protected on this because their stage are more keen on pleasures not knowing such dangers. Before launching such events prioritize safety instead of such advertising.


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