Los Angeles County to Create ‘Electronic Music Task Force’
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion Tuesday to reinstate a task force that would explore ways to make electronic music festivals safer. It would include reps from county counsel, the sheriff’s department, public health, health services and the fire department, according to San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Its formation does not preclude a ban on all EDM festivals in the county, which is an option that’s still being explored.
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,” according to documents obtained by Billboard. It will also determine whether a ban on EDM events is a violation of First Amendment rights. The task force will deliver an initial report within 120 days.
“I want to emphasize that our efforts around this motion, above all, are about the health and safety of those attending these events,” L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis said in a statement. “No lives should be lost while attending any music event.”
L.A. County Mayor Michael Antonovich added, “They should be alcohol-free; no drugs allowed.”
The County previously organized a “rave” task force in 2010, according to Billboard, following the overdose death of a 15-year-old named Sasha Rodriguez at Electric Daisy Carnival. The Assembly approved a bill in 2011 called the Concert and Music Festival Safety Act, which required events with expected attendances of over 10,000 people to be held on state property or be operated by a state agency that would explore the likelihood of drug use.
The Tribune reports that it led an investigation that found that most festivals were implementing the bill’s health and security requirements. Its educational components – videos and literature explaining the effects of drug use – were not implemented because they were not in accordance with the county’s zero tolerance policy.
Interest was renewed in a task force and a possible ban on EDM events in August when two teens died of suspected ecstasy overdoses at the Hard Summer Festival.
Concert promoter Live Nation has subsequently canceled the event Hard Presents…A Night at Fairplex, which was supposed to take place on September 10th, according to Billboard. It also agreed to lower the attendance cap of the two-day fest Hard Day of the Dead, scheduled to begin on Halloween, from 65,000 to 40,000. Live Nation will not be admitting any persons under the age of 21 and said they will provide more security and cooling stations.