Insomniac founder Pasquale Rotella (pictured) recently published a caption on his social media channels detailing concerns over the recent move to ban raves in LA County after the unfortunate passing of two HARD Summer patrons this August. Above the caption is a simple quote that reads, “The worst distance between two people is misunderstanding.”
He opens his message with heartfelt condolences to both the friends and families of the deceased before delving into his initial concerns over Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis’ proposition to ban raves at county-run venues. He speaks as the entire dance community in his statement saying:
“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.”
While the temporary ban would only cover county-owned venues and not private ones, Rotella’s larger point is that prohibition and scrutiny over dance music festivals and raves does not lessen drug overdoses in general, and actually does the opposite to increase public safety over the matter.
“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.”
Only a few days before the HARD Summer deaths, Insomniac posted a study which claimed that their company had generated over $3 billion for the US economy in the last five years. While HARD is a separate entity from Insomniac (though Live Nation is at least a part owner in both companies) both represent the core of dance music culture and share a massive youth demographic. The study demonstrates the sheer size and power behind the current dance community. If a culture this big is forced to “the unregulated underground,” without proper safety measures, there is no telling what kind of damage can take place.
Solis and other government officials are still investigating the two deaths from HARD Summer but have been working to have the ban in place by HARD’s A Night At Fairplex Sept. 10.
Rotella’s flagship festivals include Beyond Wonderland, Nocturnal Wonderland and Electric Daisy Carnival, and he is considered one of HARD Events’ biggest competitors in the dance music realm. He initially came under fire in 2010 after the death of an under-aged patron died at EDC, and has remained under authorities’ microscope for other drug-related deaths at his events.