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Citing coroners' records and law enforcement reports, The Times reported Sunday that at least 14 people who attended concerts produced by two Los Angeles rave promoters since 2006 have died from overdoses or in other drug-related incidents.
The story focused on Insomniac Inc., led by Pasquale Rotella, considered within the industry as the nation’s leading rave promoter, and Go Ventures Inc., headed by Reza Gerami. Both men once had their largest raves in Los Angeles, but in 2012, they were indicted on bribery and other charges in connection with bribing a manager at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and adjoining Sports Arena to keep a lid on concert costs, such as expenses for security.
The report cited deep concerns about these events from law enforcement and health officials, who describe hospitals being overwhelmed by severely ill overdose victims on a scale not seen in any other type of concerts or sporting events. The events attract tens of thousands of attendees.
Ecstasy can cause temperatures to spike in the body to as high as 108 degrees, and according to physicians, can cause organs to essentially melt and multi-organ system failure.
After the article ran, Rotella’s company defended the concerts and criticized the story. In a statement, Insomniac did not address the deaths specifically but said the story sought to "twist facts" and "turned everyone who enjoys electronic music events into villains."
"At Insomniac, we aim to create inspiring environments where you don't need drugs to have a wonderful, spiritual experience," the statement said. "Behind the scenes, we work long hours with the brightest security, health and safety experts in the business to create safe environments for you."
-- Times staff