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Rave promoter defends Electric Daisy Carnival

August 22, 2011 |  8:40 am

Electric Daisy Carnival rave in Las Vegas June 2011
The producer of the Electric Daisy Carnival rave said Monday in the Los Angeles Times that his event is being unfairly portrayed by leaders and media as a social ill, in much the same way early rock 'n' roll was rejected by the establishment.

The number of people needing medical attention at Electric Daisy raves is no higher than other entertainment events in Los Angeles, Pasquale Rotella wrote in an op-ed piece published Monday in The Times.

He pointed to the L.A. Rising Festival in July at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where 15 people out of 50,000 attendees needed medical attention, and a Manhattan Beach volleyball championship in August that brought 35 alcohol-related arrests.

The Electric Daisy Carnival was heavily criticized after the fatal drug overdose of a teenage girl at its June 2010 festival at the Coliseum.

But that was the first major incident in 15 year of putting on raves, Rotella said.

It is also unfair to blame Electric Daisy for a near-riot in July outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre after a musician tweeted an offer to perform a free concert before the premiere of a documentary on the festival, he said.

"The strenuous objections to our events should sound familiar to anyone who remembers early reactions to rock 'n' roll or hip-hop music," Rotella wrote. "But to suggest, as this newspaper and Coliseum officials have done, that an event such as the Electric Daisy Carnival has no place in Los Angeles is like saying rock concerts should have been banned in California after violence erupted at the Rolling Stones concert in Altamont in 1969."

Bad press and political pressure prompted Rotella to move Electric Daisy from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. The festival drew 230,000 youths for an all-night party featuring flashing lights, electronic music, scantily clad dancers and illegal drugs, such as Ecstasy.

There were few police incidents.

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-- Catherine Saillant

Photo: Hundreds of rave fans attend the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas in June. Credit: Richard Brian / Reuters

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