California City Looking to Halt Oceanfront Rave; Organizer Calls It 'Overkill'


On September 6, Huntington Beach City Council members voted to file suit to halt the Wet Electric rave event from occurring at Huntington State Beach on Sept. 14. The city is worried that Wet Electric, which will happen on land that belongs to the state of California, will become a burden on the city.

"The planning commission didn't hear it, the city council didn't hear about it, our fire department didn't hear about it, the police didn't hear about it, no one heard about it. They just decided to do it," said city council member Joe Shaw to KCAL9.

One of the promoters for the event is Premiere Media Group and its president, Steve Thacher, has called the city's reaction an "overkill," pointing out that they will have more than 100 state police officers and security guards at the event. From the LA Times:

"It doesn't surprise me," said PMG President Steve Thacher, who said he hadn't received notice of the lawsuit as of Wednesday. "They've been pretty irrational up until this point, so I wouldn't expect anything else to change."

Even an officer with California State Parks was shocked that the city has decided to make an issue out of the event:

Kevin Pearsall, a peace officer with the California State Parks who has been involved in the planning of the event, said he was shocked to find out that the city is trying to halt the rave. He said the promoter and state have done everything possible to ensure the safety of those in and around the area.

"All safety precautions and permits are in process," he said. "Everything to make sure that everybody is content and that the event is as safe and successful as possible has been put into play or is currently being put into play."

Despite the inability to ban rave music outright, California Assemblywoman Fiona Ma was able to squelch aspects of rave culture like LED gloves and pacifiers by keeping the pressure on event organizers with Assembly Bill 74 (formerly the "Anti-Raves Act" ), which became law on Oct. 9, 2011 when CA Governor Jerry Brown signed it. Ma spoke with Reason TV about the bill in Ravers vs. The Man: CA Bans LED Gloves and Pacifiers: