A Case For Electric Daisy

Have local authorities and Southern California media been too hard on the Electric Daisy Carnival, which was effectively run out of Los Angeles following the death of a teen concertgoer last year?

Insomniac Events CEO Pasquale Rotella seems to think so, and submitted a recent op-ed to the Los Angeles Times making a case for his electronic festival.

Rotella contends the death, while tragic, as well as a riot situation during the recent premiere of the “Electric Daisy Carnival Experience” documentary in Hollywood, led to his company being “unfairly placed under a microscope” that other promoters of festivals, rock concerts and mass gatherings have dodged.

“The strenuous objections to our events should sound familiar to anyone who remembers early reactions to rock ’n’ roll or hip-hop music,” he writes. “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.”

And there are plenty of reasons the community should embrace a festival like Electric Daisy, he says.

For one thing, there’s the fest’s economic benefits. Rotella claims an impact study of the 2010 event found that EDC boosted the county’s economic output by $42 million.

Security has also become a priority for Insomniac and the Electric Daisy Carnival, which reportedly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on security personnel, ID scanners and other measures to ensure safe events.

If the issue is public safety, he continues, where was the outrage over the L.A. Rising festival, during which 15 attendees were transported to local hospitals, or a recent volleyball tournament at Manhattan Beach, which had 35 alcohol-related arrests?

“What I’m asking for is a dose of perspective,” Rotella writes. “What started in the underground is now mainstream, and we continue to learn from past events. But we also believe that the self-destructive behavior of a few people shouldn’t cause a ban against a music genre, and no one presenter should be ostracized when crowd control is a problem every event faces.

“Electronic music, Insomniac and its fans are here to stay.”