Near-riot in Hollywood: DJ's 'marvelous stunt' went 'terribly wrong’
A popular DJ known as Kaskade who may have encouraged uninvited fans to converge on Hollywood on Wednesday night had visions of a grand entrance to the "Electric Daisy Carnival Experience" film premiere.
But Kaskade, one of the film's stars, appears to have underestimated his popularity.
"What he tried to pull off at the Chinese Theatre was a marvelous stunt that went terribly wrong," said Michael Duddie, general manager of Supperclub Los Angeles, which invited the DJ to perform at an after-party but did not organize his film entrance. "I don't think he knows the gravity of his popularity."
Kaskade had tricked out a flatbed truck with his equipment -- and had planned to roll up, play two songs and head into the premiere, Los Angeles fire officials said. The event was permitted by the Los Angeles Fire Department, which planned a 30-minute lane closure of Hollywood Boulevard "with amplified music on the back of a flatbed truck," according to the permit.
About 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Kaskade tweeted to his 92,000 Twitter followers that he was heading to Grauman's Chinese Theatre for a block party: "ME+BIG SPEAKERS+MUSIC=BLOCK PARTY!!!"
But as people began showing up, Duddie said it became clear that "a crisis was headed our way."
"I walked out and saw a flatbed truck with an over-the-top sound system just blasting, and it became evident after a minute that this would create quite a scene -- just the magnetic effect of that sound system and Kaskade rolling down Hollywood Boulevard," Duddie said. "In two minutes there were 100 people, in three minutes there were 1,000 people, and by the time he got to the corner of Hollywood and Highland there were 3,000 people around me. Cars couldn't go anywhere."
Instead of continuing down Hollywood Boulevard, they turned onto Highland Avenue, Duddie said.
"Another 1,000 kids ran down the street at top speed -- right down the middle of the street with traffic coming at them. It grew out of control," Duddie said.
The chaos prompted police to respond in riot gear. And Kaskade began urging people to leave.
"EVERYONE NEEDS TO GO HOME NOW! I DON'T WANT THIS TO REFLECT BADLY ON EDM OR WHAT WE ARE," he tweeted.
"When you have that many people it can become a powderkeg, and this one exploded," Duddie said. "It was really unfortunate, but thank God nobody got hurt. It's hard to place blame on anyone."
After the crowds died down, Kaskade was able to appear at a celebrity-studded after-party, which Duddie said went off without a hitch. Security was tripled and extra precautions were taken after witnessing the evening's events.
Kaskade, who is scheduled to return to Europe on Thursday, released a statement regarding the events of the previous night.
"I'm incredibly disappointed that last night ended the way it did," the statement read. "It's unfortunate that a few disrespectful people turned what was supposed to be a celebration of music into a regrettable event. This is not what EDM is about."
Duddie said the size of the unexpected crowd “speaks to the power of social networking.”
“He sent out a tweet and everybody’s pockets just buzzed,” Duddie said.
Los Angeles police and prosecutors said they are gathering evidence to determine whether any further criminal charges or civil actions are warranted.
-- Jessica Gelt and Andrew Blankstein
Photo: Kaskade performs at a pool club in 2010 in Las Vegas. Credit: Isaac Brekken / For The Times