Pasquale Rotella, founder of Insomniac Events - responsible for some of EDM's biggest and grandest productions including Electric Daisy Carnival and Nocturnal Wonderland - has an important message to the media and fans who have been following the heartbreaking story of the two women who lost their lives at HARD Summer Festival in Los Angeles earlier this month.
The unsettling events that occurred the weekend of HARD Fest were quickly met with accusations and finger pointing both at the festival and the EDM community as a whole. First, there was a proposition to ban EDM festivals all together from Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Major Eric Garcetti then responded with an official statement calling the city-wide ban "kind of silly" and instead blamed the deaths on "bad management" of the event.
Then yesterday, LA Times ran a story from the perspective of emergency room doctors, who pointed to the major difference in the number of patients after EDM events in the area compared to other events noting that 28 of their 50 emergency room beds were filled with rave patients over the course of the two-day event.
“I don’t know anybody dying at USC football games from drugs and alcohol.” - Dr. Philip Fagan Jr., emergency department director at Good Samaritan Hospital near downtown L.A.
Finally we hear from someone in the EDM community on the matter, but not just anyone... Pasquale Rotella, one of the single most important and influential people in electronic dance music.
Rotella originally posted his response with the Instagram photo included below, but since it is quite lengthy, we've pasted it here...
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.
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. Most just want healthy interaction with their peers. I know that if I didn’t have access to this community growing up, my life would have taken a much different turn.
I see nothing but great opportunity within large gatherings; opportunity to promote health, happiness, individuality, and human connection. 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.✌
So you've heard every side... what's your take on this pressing issue within our culture? Share your thoughts in the comment section below or on our Facebook post.
Cover photo by Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times