Death clouds future of raves [UPDATED]

By Balzafire · Jul 16, 2010 · Updated Sep 2, 2010 · ·
  1. Balzafire
    As the 14th annual Electric Daisy Carnival came to its close, LA Coliseum officials were forced to contemplate the booking of future raves when they came under fire for a teenage girl's death among many injuries during the event.

    Electric Daisy Carnival, commonly referred to as EDC, is a popular two day music festival featuring world renowned performing artists, electronic music, carnival rides, and numerous stages decked with unique visual lighting among other stage effects. With such appealing elements, EDC is known to draw massive crowds to the Coliseum which oftentimes leads to mayhem and drug consumption, particularly MDMA, popularly known as ecstasy.

    When the suspected drug-related death of 15 year old Sasha Rodriguez sparked an uproar of criticisms, Coliseum Commission president Barry Sanders prompted a moratorium on rave events until the full commission addressed the issue.

    The controversy only worsened when YouTube videos surfaced and depicted overflowing crowds trying to break into the main stage despite security intervention. One video captured security personnel desperately trying to pull sardine-packed ravers out of a small passage as shoving crowds began to stampede over them. A bloodied teenage girl emerges from the riot and frantically makes way for medical attention while an unconscious boy is seen dragged out for assistance. In other videos, attendees were seen climbing over fences and plummeting to the grounds below, joining the crowd on the main stage despite efforts by security to stop them.

    With 226 reported injuries (114 of which needing hospital attention) and 118 arrests, Los Angeles officials were dragged into the fray and were criticized for allowing the Coliseum to sanction such an event.
    But while it only seems practical to blame and point the finger at Los Angeles and Coliseum officials, why isn't the behavior of the attendees being addressed?

    If a boy is playing dangerously near a well and falls in, who do you blame: the negligent boy or the inanimate well? That same sentiment goes for this dispute. Why blame the people who put together this successful event that is running on its 14th year when it's those who are attending that are causing the stirrup and ruining it for everyone?

    Doctors tending to Rodriguez told her parents that her respiratory arrest was probably triggered by the ecstasy found in her system. Though ecstasy is illegal, "pill popping" is an inescapable reality at EDC. But are the Los Angeles and Coliseum officials to blame when it was Rodriguez who acquired and consumed the drug? Are the officials responsible for the mass distribution and consumption of the drug of both the drug-related casualties and those who left EDC in one piece? Are the organizers responsible for the individuals who premeditated drug consumption at EDC just so they could enhance their experience?

    And though security may not have been effective in handling the problems as displayed on the various YouTube videos, to hold them accountable for teenagers who are clearly trying to breach an already crowded area is just absurd. If you look closely enough in the YouTube video where the violent traffic jam is shown, you'll be able to make out a sign that reads 'Exit Only," yet even so, you have a crowd pushing forward and shoving others, trampling over helpless teenagers in the process just so they could party and pull the stage capacity to its limits.

    In addition, people are climbing over fences and plopping to the floor in a tuck and roll that's almost absolutely vital in order to recover from the steep plummet. Not only are they risking injury, but upon landing, the ravers scramble to their feet and flee as security weaves in and out of crowds to chase them and throw them back to the stands. And the fact that people are cheering them on and encouraging them to fall and break both their bodies and the rules just contributes to the problem.

    In a crowd that is estimated to have reached a population of 185,000, problems will most certainly occur; however, many of the problems that have arise are due to the immaturity and the ill-intentions of those who capitalize on the success of EDC.

    Ravers and first-time attendees must remember that these events are held to celebrate the music, not to initiate riots and take drugs. In addition, they must also take heed to whatever safety procedures are set in the venues to avoid tragic consequences. Following EDC's events were a cancellation of other music events such as HARD L.A. while Fresh Squeezed required relocation for safety purposes. Unfortunately, it is the unruly conduct of crowds that has potentially damaged the future of raves at the expense of the city and those who abide by the rules and play it safe.

    Neil Protacio Posted on: 7/14/10

    Share This Article


  1. EscapeDummy
    Re: Death clouds future of raves

    Good article, and swim generally agrees with the sentiments presented. However there are a few things, apparently Insomniac overbooked the event, which contributed to the swarming problems. It also wasn't made clear enough that access to the main stage was not guaranteed, which is why people started jumping fences and what not (until Lil Jon put everyone in their place lol). Also the 'small passages' shouldn't have been the only entrances into the main field, they created a bottleneck and that shit looked terrifying in the vid. This isn't specific to Insomniac, but selling water for like $4 is messed up at these events also.

    As for the poor girl who died, swim would definitely say the promoters are somewhat to blame. Taking the ecstasy was her fault (I wonder what the dosage/specific cause of death was?) but the fact a 15 year old was allowed into a 16+ event is the promoters' fault. Not checking IDs means they might face some blame. IMO all raves should be 18+ for so many reasons, legal, social, moral, for the promoters, for the attendees, etc.
  2. Balzafire
    Re: Death clouds future of raves

    Coroner confirms Ecstasy overdose caused death of 15-year-old who attended massive rave

    [imgl=white][/imgl]Los Angeles County coroner's officials said Tuesday that Sasha Rodriguez, the 15-year-old girl hospitalized after attending the Electric Daisy Carnival rave in June, died as the result of an overdose of MDMA, a drug commonly known as Ecstasy.

    Officials listed the cause of death as an accident due to drug intoxication.

    [Updated at 5:40 p.m.: Coroner's officials said the official cause of death was determined to be complications of ischemic encephalopathy from methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) intoxication.]

    In effect, the ingestion of the hallucinogen caused Sasha to lose oxygen to her brain, leading to inactivity and death, said Dr. Marc Futernick, head emergency room physician at California Hospital Medical Center, where Sasha was treated.

    Although a drug overdose had been suspected from the start, it took weeks for toxicology tests to be completed.

    Futernick said Sasha arrived at the hospital in a coma. During the ambulance ride and for a short time after she arrived at the hospital, she experienced seizures, he said. Her sodium levels were severely low and she had abnormal heart rhythms, Futernick said. Two days after she was admitted, tests showed Sasha had no brain activity. On June 29, she was taken off a life support machine and pronounced dead.

    Sasha and another critically ill patient had been taken to the downtown Los Angeles hospital by ambulance directly from the Los Angeles Coliseum on June 27, officials said. Both were treated for drug intoxication in the intensive care unit.

    Doctors told Sasha's family that she had Ecstasy in her system when the ambulance got her to the emergency room. Although many partygoers consider Ecstasy to be safe, doctors and researchers warn that the drug can cause high blood pressure leading to stroke. The drug can also trigger seizures, releasing toxins that cause kidney failure.

    The Electric Daisy Carnival, held June 26 and 27, drew about 185,000 people and featured carnival rides, five stages and performances by Moby,, Steve Aoki and Deadmau5. About 120 people had to be taken to local hospitals, mostly for drug intoxication.

    A family spokesman said Sasha's mother and father did not know of her plans to attend the rave, which was restricted to people over 16 unless they were accompanied by a legal guardian.

    Insomniac, the company that staged Electric Daisy Carnival, filed a seven-figure lawsuit against L.A. on Friday, claiming the city did not have proper cause to terminate a concert planned for Oct. 30 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

    In its complaint, the company cites more than a dozen recent deaths at or after major music or sporting events as an indication that their event was being unfairly singled out because of public perceptions of dance and electronic rave-like concerts.

    Sarah Ardalani
    August 31, 2010

  3. Wavvv
    Tragic story, but a good lesson to those who think MDMA is completely safe and that one cannot overdose on it.

    Its far from being a benign drug.
  4. SamanthaRabbit
    I saw the video and it was a horrifying sight to see. It turned me off to ever wanting to go to a big rave. It is so sad to hear about the young girl who overdosed :(
  5. Lethargy
    Ahh, EDC. While we find it incredibly tragic that such an event occurred we cannot help but think that some fault may lie with the rave-goers. Having attended in the past (as well as knowing several others who have) we'd have to say the idea of compassion and generosity seems largely absent at this event. Times, they do change, and the modern raver often has less and less to do with the old PLUR ethic...
  6. Spucky
    AW: Death clouds future of raves [UPDATED]

    Do they have a legal Drug-Checking in LA..?
  7. Terrapinzflyer
  8. Samadhi
    MDMA overdose is pretty rare. She must have taken quite a bit, I mean, 200mg of MDMA is harshly over stimulating for the lab cats, but they have never had serious medical consequences from it. Tragic that this happened to any person let alone a 15 year old, but this is an example of the sad state of raves now-adays IMO.

    Swim has not participated in the rave scene in quite some time due to the increase of younger kinds, bad music and lack of general good vibes in his area, but it is indeed a scene that doesn't pose much threats, but the events are more often than not grossly oversold and the overpriced water is just mean.
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!