Nanny State

Electronic Music Task Force Setting Up in Reactionary Los Angeles County

No one should die at a music event, government officials say while mulling options that would make that more likely.

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Patrick Savalle

Yesterday the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted, unanimously, to relaunch a task force on electronic dance music—first put together in 2010 when a 15-year-old girl died at a rave—after an 18-year-old and 19-year-old girl died last month of suspected ecstasy overdoses at a 65,000-person music festival in Ponoma. 

Authorities are eyeing a ban. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports

"Ultimately, in the interest of public safety, a ban of electronic music festivals at county-owned properties remains a possibility that will continue to be evaluated," the joint motion by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Michael Antonovich reads. 

The task force will include representatives from county counsel, the sheriff's department, public health, health services and the fire department, according to Solis. 

"I want to emphasize that our efforts around this motion, above all, are about the health and safety of those attending these events," she said in a statement. "No lives should be lost while attending any music event." 

Antonovich called for strong prohibitions on the festivals known for ecstasy-use. 

"They should be alcohol free, no drugs allowed," he said of the festivals. 

The newspaper found that while festival organizers appeared to implement medical and security recommendations made by the 2010 task force, "educational" initiatives hadn't done as well. It reports "at least" four deaths since 2011, including the two last month. Any given electronic dance music festival may have thousands of attendees. More people die on the way to raves, or to work or to school for that matter. 

Were ecstasy and other "party drugs" legalized and sold openly, of course, it would be easier to prevent use by minors and contamination by some dealers. Politicians mulling bans on alcohol at dance music festivals, and even of the music festivals themselves, won't consider how the prohibitions they've put in place might be affecting the health and safety of electronic dance music fans. 

It's nothing new. Joe Biden, whose still mulling a presidential run, is proud to have been there for the federal anti-rave push in the 1990s, after which ecstasy deaths increased. Bans on non-violent activities don't make them safer, and not just because it means the government is introducing violence into a non-violent thing—there are costs to not being able to acquire and do what you want openly because of prohibition. But maybe Joe Biden can meet the desire of progressives looking for a candidate to keep people safe from getting too turned up to dance music. As long as they're not banning the dance music for religious reasons.

Related: Ravers vs. The Man: CA Bans LED Gloves and Pacifiers

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  1. If it saves even ONE life, Ed. C’mon – even ONE.

    1. -1 life

  2. So, the logic here is that drugs at music festivals are bad because someone might die. As a result, we can’t allow efforts at music festivals to prevent people from dying of drugs because that might be seen as sanctioning drug use. And drugs at music festivals are bad because someone might die.

    1. Oh, its *worse* than that.

      They’re going to *ban* openly held ‘electronic music festivals’ (which is going to be upheld on what ground?) – so these festivals will go back to being underground raves conducted by people who need to get in, make a buck, and get the punters out before the authorities show up.

      So you can imagine the concerns for arranging on-site medical care or even setting up spaces for cooling off, making water available, or even (horror of horrors) *vetting* the ‘large-scale’ illegal drug vendors for reputation will be non-existent.

      1. And ban alcohol use….so that you have a bunch of people getting loaded BEFORE they even get to the event.

  3. Joe Biden, whose still mulling a presidential run, is proud to have been there for the federal anti-rave push in the 1990s,

    Joe Biden, whose late son purportedly wanted him to run for President, is the person who’s mulling a run.

    Nit: Picked!

  4. Youth is wasted on the young.

  5. It’s safe to assume that drug-fuelled hippie boomer festivals will continue as planned, right?

    1. Well sure but those drugs are all blood-pressure medications and boner pills.

      1. Hey – stay outta my briefcase, Akston.

    2. Buts that’s just pot and LSD, it’s not like it’s ecstasy and meth. Completely different.

    3. I’m pretty sure the only things being passed around at those are thermos’ full of Metamucil.

      1. And post menopausal women.

        1. Great, now I’ve got the image of Hilary Clinton pulling a train…

    4. Yeah. At the retirement community.

      1. The drill is getting too hot from all the hippies!

      2. +1 now all we need is a black guy to sacrifice himself…

  6. the federal anti-rave push in the 1990s

    So we’re recycling moral panics from the past now? Could a re-hash of the satanic cult/ child molestation panic of the ’80s be far behind?

    1. +1 Mazes and Monsters

      1. Well, I DID see Goodwife Prynne, with her familiar, down by the crossroads consorting with the devil….

        Oh, I thought you meant the 1680’s…

  7. If our Lord wasn’t testing us, how would you account for the proliferation, these days, of this obscene EDM, with its gospel of easy sexuality and relaxed morality?

    1. Can I get the easy sexuality and relaxed morality without the EDM?

      1. Sure, you can even get it without the god part.

        1. That’s good. Otherwise I’d have to stick with prog rock and its strict puritanical code.

  8. So, “ecstasy” overdoses are pretty much all from pills that aren’t actually MDMA, right? That’s been my impression.
    Drugs like LSD, MDMA, pot and a bunch of the other party/”designer” drugs that got illegalized early on are pretty safe if you know what you are getting (and you are reasonably psychologically stable). This is on the prohibitionists.
    To make it extra absurd, they somehow make it about the type of music as if that has anything to do with the problem.

    1. To answer your question about “The most dangerous drug” it was meth, but I haven’t watched the documentary yet.

    2. they somehow make it about the type of music as if that has anything to do with the problem.

      But doesn’t? Damn kids with their electronica dance music and their raves and designer drugs. Almost as bad as the immigrants in their low riders listening the raps and smoking their reefer. /get off my lawn /sarc

    3. MDMA is very frequently adulterated. Especially when you have 65,000 people trying to buy it at the same time and place.

      1. From what I can gather, it’s frequently completely substituted with other things like sketchy speed-like things or coke and heroin.

    4. MDMA interferes with the bodies heat regulating ability so people die from heat exhaustion. It can happen even if the pills are pure

      1. I’ve heard of that. Not really an overdose, though.

    5. Will there be court cases decided on whether music was of that type or another?

  9. No one should die at a music event

    Why not? Is it considered uncouth or what?

    1. Unless the death rate is lower than in the population at large, it is far too high. Right?
      I mean, it’s for the kids, none of whom can be permitted to expire.

      Of course, this means depopulating LA because the death rate there is considerably higher than 2 per 65,000.

      1. it’s for the kids, none of whom can be permitted to expire.

        Of course not, they need them to stay alive at least long enough to pay some taxes to prop up the old age entitlements.

      2. Uhm, while I *think* I can see your point – you’re leaving out *time* in your numbers.

        Otherwise, the death rate *everywhere* is 1/1.

      3. Yeah, this was my thought – in a city of 65,000, wouldn’t you expect at least one death per day or so? I even ran some numbers just to check; the US had a population of about 320 million and about 2.6 million deaths last year, which means about 0.8% of the population died. Spread out over the year, that means each day about 0.002% of the US population dies each day. If two people died at a one-day festival of 65,000 people, that means a death rate of about 0.0031%, barely over the US as a whole. But DRUGZ, so we must all freak out.

    2. I say it should be left up to the individual whether or not they die at a music event.

  10. “We found out later on that constitutionally, you cannot ban a type of music.”

    -Fiona Ma, D-ipshit California Assemblywhatever

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_v_n0yIcXNU

    1. Shit, not even Dave Matthews?

    2. Yeah, but the Founding Fathers couldn’t have foreseen dubstep.

      1. Restrict the 1st Amendment to only cover music available at the time it was written.

      2. You clearly have never heard of Mozart’s wubwub period.

        1. True, he did pioneer the bass drop…

  11. The UK already tried this with the “Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994”

    It resulted in this : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlEs9udOquE

  12. The problem molly iscompletely related to its llegality. Unless you buy on the dnm you have no idea what you are getting.
    But boy is it a hell of an experience.
    Took it at a few concerts and for a Tame Impala show and it was euphoric.
    Im pretty laid back and quiet but it ade me dance as every movement felt amazing

  13. Recently some guy fell to his death in the stadium at a baseball game. So I assume we’re banning sports next? Or just ban baseball?

    See that’s why I can’t be a government official. I don’t know how to make these decisions.

  14. So, “ecstasy” overdoses are pretty much all from pills that aren’t actually MDMA, right? That’s been my impression.
    Drugs like LSD, MDMA, pot and a bunch of the other party/”designer” drugs that got illegalized early on are pretty safe if you know what you are getting (and you are reasonably psychologically stable). This is on the prohibitionists.
    To make it extra absurd, they somehow make it about the type of music as if that has anything to do with the problem.

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