L.A. County Approves Formation of Electronic Music Task Force
Following the death of two teenagers attending the HARD Summer electronic music festival -- held at the Los Angeles County-owned Fairplex -- the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors yesterday (Sep. 1) unanimously approved the formation of an "Electronic Music Task Force" that would provide recommendations on ways to make electronic music fests safer for attendees. The motion was brought by L.A. County Mayor Michael Antonovich and L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis.
"I want to emphasize that our efforts around this motion, above all, are about the health and safety of those attending these events," Solis said in a statement.
The task force will "develop recommendations for enforceable health and safety measures and procedures, that would be required for all electronic music festivals on County-owned property." Its initial report is due to be delivered in 120 days. The motion also states a ban on electronic music festivals "remains a possibility." It will also consider whether a short-term or permanent ban on electronic festivals would violate First Amendment rights, or any existing contracts the County has with promoters.
Concurrent with the formation of the task force, Live Nation has canceled HARD Presents ... A Night at Fairplex, an event scheduled for Sep. 10, and agreed to restrictions on HARD Day of the Dead, scheduled for Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 including decreasing its attendance cap to 40,000 from 65,000, making the event open only to those 21 years and older, increased cooling stations and increased security.
AB 74, a bill passed on Sep. 8, 2011 in California -- better known as the Concert and Music Festival Safety Act, or Sasha's Law -- requiring all events with expected attendance over 10,000 that would be held on state property or operated by a state agency to examine the history of that event's promoters, the facility where it is to be held, whether law enforcement at the event should be arranged, and the potential for drug use at the concert, among other requirements. The law's passage was a result of the death by overdose of 15-year-old Sasha Rodriguez at the 2010 Electric Daisy Carnival.