In L.A. and all over the United States, EDM fans wait with bated breath for the verdict, resulting from the death of two teenage girls at HARD Summer. LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis plans to propose the temporary ban soon on major music festivals at all county-run venues, including HARD Summer. She says the goal of the ban is to see what steps can be taken to better address drug issues at festivals and prevent future occurrences.
A rave ban was placed at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum after a teenage girl died from drug-related causes in 2010. County supervisors put together actins steps to prevent further incidences, these included lots of water stations, increased screening for drugs, and better pathways for medical teams. Solis told the L.A. times that those measures were a good step in the right direction, but were insufficient and stronger measures are needed now.
Last week, Insomniac founder Pasquale Rotella spoke out about this topic: “I’ve been incredibly saddened by yet another loss of life that’s been attributed to our culture, and I have spent the last week reflecting on how the story has played out in the media. First and foremost, my heart goes out to the friends and family of those two young women. We don’t condone or tolerate drug use, but the problem here isn’t raves or dance music, or even festivals in general. The health impact of drug abuse in our country extends far beyond what happens at our events. I lost five friends to drug overdoses at a young age, none of which occurred at dance music festivals; most of them weren’t even fans of the genre. No one wrote about them.”
Rotella speculates that the banning of EDM events and festivals is a flawed measure; it doesn’t address the true issue at hand. He continues, “Dance culture has survived for decades and has never been more popular. Banning these events at facilities where we are able to provide first-rate medical care and emergency services is not the answer. I hope that policymakers and the media do not turn their backs on a cultural movement that is thriving and brings so much happiness to a generation that, quite frankly, needs an environment where they can feel loved and accepted.”
“If we’re trying to create a safe and secure environment for these passionate fans, sending them back into the unregulated underground isn’t a step in the right direction. We all need to do our part in creating a national dialogue that educates our youth and encourages them to be accountable for their choices—especially when it comes to drugs.”
Hopefully Rotella will continue this dialogue and comversations regarding drug use at festivals will open up. The state of EDM as we know it almost depends upon it. If this ban goes through, who knows what may be next? No Electric Forest, Electric Zoo, Paradiso, or EDC? Let’s hope not!