L.A. rave producer responds to death at Dallas event
A 19-year-old man who attended a Dallas rave last weekend died later of a possible drug overdose, Texas media reported Monday, putting new pressure on the event's Los Angeles-based producer just days before its next rave opens in Las Vegas.
"Our condolences and deepest sympathy go out to the family and friends of the man who passed away," Pasquale Rotella, the CEO of Insomniac Inc., said in a statement issued over the weekend. "To go from a moment of happiness and enjoyment, to the loss of life, is very heartbreaking."
The death was the second linked to an Insomniac rave after 15-year-old Sasha Rodriguez died of an Ecstasy overdose after attending the Electric Daisy Carnival rave at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum last summer.
Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Times reported that a Coliseum manager had been hired to work for the rave company while the continuing to be employed by the Coliseum. The conflict-of-interest scandal caused the Coliseum commission's president to drop support of Insomniac remaining at the Coliseum, and Insomniac moved its annual late June rave from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
About 23,600 people attended Saturday's rave in Dallas, according to Insomniac spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish. Los Angeles' Electric Daisy Carnival attracted 185,000 people over two days in 2010. Raves had become a major source of revenue for the aging Coliseum complex in recent years.
The Dallas Morning News reported that Andrew Graf was taken from the rave at Dallas' Fair Park for a suspected overdose. Fifty-one minutes after paramedics were called, he was pronounced dead at Baylor University Medical Center, the Morning News reported. The Dallas Observer said a total of 30 people were taken to hospitals from the rave.
Insomniac is set to host its next Electric Daisy Carnival beginning Friday night and ending Monday morning at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Rotella was welcomed by Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman during a news conference last week previewing Electric Daisy Carnival Week. He dismissed concerns that the rave comes with risks, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
When told about Rodriguez's death last year, according to the Sun, Goodman said, "An underage girl could die anyplace where she misbehaves. Really, I don't think, if you have 100,000 people, you don't hold the developer responsible for somebody's ill choices."
--- Rong-Gong Lin II