Monday, July 5, 2010

To Rave or Not to Rave? (Electric Daisy Fest)

Seven Dharmachari (Wisdom Quarterly)

I went to this year's massive Electric Daisy Carnival (June 26, 2010). We thought it would be the best way to pretend it was the 60's -- except general admission is now $75. The fireworks were going, the helicopters were buzzing, the techno beats ricocheted off the concrete jungle in the sleazy environs of USC and the California Science Center (with its great exhibit on mummies).

It's not safe to walk, it's not safe to park, it's not safe to eat -- but dancing inside a large sports complex with 100,000 people for 12 hours, why not? As we sweat in our costumes, my friends rave about the transcendent experience to be had. They swear it's significant that the Moon is full and summer's finally here. Every city needs a venue for whirling-dervishes-in-training like us (because Coachella's an expensive dud way out in the boondocks, and Burning Man is for burnouts and voyeurs the next state over).

But the popo (LAPD riot squad) weren't making things easy: keeping ticket holders out, marching in riot formations, and looking for any excuse to shut the event down. Inside, the world revolved on a dance beat. And either we were all united under the umbrella of one enormous Buddha mind or just making some self-centered, small minded bid to be hedonists. I'm not sure which. We had to jump.

I screamed Kanzeon, Kanzeon! (Japanese for Kwan Yin, goddess of compassion, the new Zen mantra my friend Jan gave me) as I radiated my love in all directions. But in the days since, EDC has had a lot of explaining and cleaning up to do.

Six Ways the Dance Massive Can Clean Up its Act
Chris Martins (LA Weekly)
(Photo: EDC 2010, LA Weekly/Tim Norris). Our friends at URB brought you the indispensable guide to the Electric Daisy Carnival last week. So it's only fitting that the L.A.-based electronic music magazine pens a recap of the event that includes a little loving criticism.

At this point, the festival's failings are writ large across the headlines, largely thanks to the drug-related death of an underage patron. Staff wasn't supposed to let anyone in under the age of 16, and yet it was a young girl of 15 who died.

Others were trampled, overly self-medicated, and accidentally drugged (one attendee reportedly ended up in the hospital after sating himself with a stranger's water bottle [and there's usually more than water in a water bottle at a rave]), leading to over 100 people being hospitalized and a temporary ban on "raves" at the L.A. Coliseum.

To get a feel for the music, which was quite good, read our review of EDC. After the jump, URB gets into the nitty-gritty.

After a boisterous weekend, a dark cloud has befallen Electric Daisy Carnival following widespread reports of hospitalized attendees, perilous incidents of fence jumping, and the drug-related death of a 15-year-old girl. While local hospital staffers call for the end of "raves" in public venues and the CBS Evening News picks up the story, here are five ways we thing EDC can improve for the safety and enjoyment of everyone:

What a rave really like? Boredom and mayhem.

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