L.A. County Task Force Recommends Increased Security & Education Rather Than Rave Ban

Erik Voake for HARD Summer
A view of the stage during HARD Summer music festival on Aug. 1, 2015.

Los Angeles dance music fans can breathe a sigh of relief... for now.

According to the Pasadena Star News, Los Angeles County’s Electronic Music Task Force will not ask the Board of Supervisors to ban dance music festivals on public land.

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The task force's 55 recommendations reportedly include a minimum age of 18, a requirement of four police officers per 1,000 guests, greater access to water, and suspension of alcohol sales one hour prior to closing. 

Members also recommended tighter security measures, such as drug-sniffing dogs, DUI checkpoints, as well as the creation of amnesty boxes situated outside security checkpoints and development of "evidence-based" education materials on drug and alcohol use.

If approved, dance music festivals may not be the only events affected. The task force recommended applying the requirements to all large-scale music events on county-owned property; it also requested the creation of a group to continually review and update the recommendations as needed.

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L.A. County Mayor Michael Antonovich and L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis approved the task force's creation after 19-year-old Katie Dix of Camarillo, Calif., and 18-year-old Tracy Nguyen of West Covina, Calif., died of drug overdoses while attending the Hard Summer music festival at the Fairplex on Aug. 1.

The deaths also prompted Live Nation to downsize its Hard Day of the Dead event on Halloween to 35,000 attendees, while the Pomona Police Department increased security and distributed educational pamphlets. While the task force initially suggested an attendance cap of 40,000, the measure does not appear in its final draft of recommendations. 

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If approved, the education requirements are likely to please advocates who cite the RAVE Act as an impediment to promoters distributing their own education materials for fear of legal liability.

“I think this is a win,” Electronic Music Alliance founder Janine Jordan told the Pasadena Star News. “There’s a benefit to having the government approve this first.”