Coliseum Cuts Rave Concerts

A joint state, county and city commission that oversees the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum has temporarily banned contracts with rave organizers following the suspected drug overdose death of a 15-year-old girl who attended the June 25-26 Electric Daisy Carnival.

“The general public deserves to be assured that when the Coliseum’s tenants stage an event, the health and safety of the promoter’s patrons are protected,” County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky wrote in a letter, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Clearly, there was a breakdown at the Electric Daisy Carnival to put the public at risk.”

The girl was reportedly in respiratory arrest and non-responsive when an ambulance took her to the emergency room. She died June 29.

Festival organizer Insomniac Inc. called the death a “tragic circumstance.”

“Our hearts and prayers go out to her family and friends at this difficult time,” the promoter said in a statement. “We are currently reviewing the entire event and planning process with our security team, law enforcement and the city officials who participated in organizing and planning Electric Daisy Carnival.”

The weekend festival drew roughly 185,000 people and featured performances by artists including Moby and and carnival rides. More than 100 concertgoers were taken to local hospitals, authorities said, mostly for drug intoxication.

Deputy Police Chief Pat Gannon told the Times 40 undercover officers worked the concert, but added, “if I had 1,000 I would have made 1,000 arrests it was so packed with drugs.”

County district attorney’s office officials have filed 34 felony drug charges, the paper said, and 25 additional cases alleging possession with intent to sell are reportedly pending in the city attorney’s office.

The Electric Daisy drug issues echoed those at a May 29 electronic music concert at the Cow Palace near San Francisco, where two concertgoers died of suspected overdoses following a Memorial Day weekend festival.

Dr. Brian Johnston, ER medical director at White Memorial Medical Center, told the Times the event was “basically a government-encouraged drug fest. That’s the wrong message.

“It’s putting people at risk, unnecessarily,” he said. “It’s putting people’s health at risk.”

It appears the Center for Disease Control agrees. The organization recently issued a report that questioned the hosting of raves at publicly owned venues in the wake of the deaths at the Cow Palace and Los Angeles Sports Arena.