Once again, Pasquale Rotella has stepped up to voice his opinion on something much larger than any of us, with a voice that reaches much further than any of ours. Nearly every time there is a loss of life at an event, the headlines read, “Young Person Dies Of MDMA Overdose At [Insert Festival Here].” We won’t go into our frustration regarding the assumption that every person who dies is on drugs, despite the multiple other factors involved. What we will go into is the fact that the latest deaths have incited what may end up being an all out ban on music festivals on L.A. County property.
Rotella, Insomniac CEO and all around EDM big wig, took to Facebook to voice his concerns over the reaction to the latest deaths. He suggests that festivals are not the problem, our country’s problem with drugs is the problem. And that, “banning these events at facilities where we are able to provide first-rate medical care and emergency services is not the answer.” Besides, history has shown us that banning things doesn’t make problems disappear.
The latest deaths occurred at a festival hosted by HARD CEO Gary Richards, who is basically Pasquale’s arch nemesis. The two used to do business together years ago, but have since moved on separately with their own companies and hold a bit of animosity toward each other. Enough that hardly any artists booked for EDC were also booked for HARD Summer. Mysterious, huh? What’s important here, is that Pasquale is going to bat for a cause that stemmed (this time) from a competitor’s event. You would think that he’d be celebrating the bad HARD publicity, but instead he’s pleading that we don’t go back to the days of an unregulated underground scene.
“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.” – Pasquale Rotella
We can only hope that moving forward, this ban is not put into place. Both Rotella and Richards do a lot of business in the L.A. area and this could impact them both in a negative way. But on a much broader scale, this could set a precedent for other counties banning music festivals. If it gained enough traction, it could even affect us here in the Northwest. Something that none of us are rooting for.
All we can do for now is to be responsible and make good choices, while encouraging others to do the same. You can also research how the RAVE act has affected our scene, and sign the petition to amend current legislation here.
Read Pasquale’s post below and tell us what you think. Do you think banning music festivals is going to stop the deaths, or will it only displace them?