Raves? A Different Perspective.. What The Mainstream News Sources Should Know!
By: Doug G
In Response to Original Article: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2013/02/raves-records-show-deadly-toll-of-drugs-among-concert-goers.html and other articles published by mainstream newspaper outlets.
I would like to take some time this morning to respond to the LA Times article that was recently published regarding our Electronic Dance Music culture. As a college educated, retired military, white collar, 40+ year old attendee at Pasquale’s events (Insomniac),I feel as though the article is extremely biased, does not correctly describe what occurs at these events – and most importantly leaves the readers with an incorrect perception of the genre. For the record, I am not an employee of any promoter or DJ/group.
My question to the authors is simple. Have you ever attended a music festival hosted by Mr. Pasquale and his company? Based on what was written, my guess is no. You will not find a more organized, safe and secure event. I have never witnessed the sale of illegal drugs or violence at an Insomniac event – and I have been to dozens of them. Are drugs present at these events? I’m certain they are but I would offer that you could easily compare today’s events to the rock concerts of the 80’s/90’s where drug use was open and tolerated – and violence was very common. Pasquale and his team at Insomniac promote the true essence of the Electronic dance lifestyle – #plur – Peace Love Unity Respect, in everything that they bring to the attendees – my invitation to you is to try finding that mentality at a big name concert or sporting event today.
Let me give you some history on my experiences. I first attended “raves” in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Characterizing one of Insomniac’s events as a “rave” is simply not correct. Early raves were underground events. There was no advertising, no bathrooms, no security and certainly no medical services provided. Today’s large scale music events with multiple artists should be referred to as a music festival, since the term “rave” is derogatory and implies a reference to the unsafe and unorganized events of many years ago. While I will not dispute that deaths have been linked to music festivals, your article is a failure as it neither places blame where it is due nor does it offer any solutions to what you perceive as the problem. Nowhere in your article do you mention the personal responsibility that all adults must accept should they make the decision to consume illicit substances. Nowhere in your article do you offer solutions to the problems you identify. My heart goes out to the family of the deceased 15 year old girl, Sasha – but you fail to mention that she was not a legal attendees of the event – she snuck into the venue and was present without her parents’ permission.. Your article makes it appear to the casual reader that drugs are freely available throughout these events. This is simply not true.
Are Pasquale and his company responsible for your child consuming illegal drugs? No, they are not.
The root cause of overdoses and accidents at any event, music or otherwise, can be traced not only back to the individual consuming the substance, but the supply chain providing those substances to the market. Since the quality and purity of illegal substances is never known, users never know exactly what they are consuming. There aren’t instructions on the back of ecstasy tablets with how many you should take. Couple the questionable sources and no dosing schedule with the mentality of a young adult where “more” is often regarded as “better” and you have a disaster waiting to happen, especially if the user is consuming alcohol simultaneous with drug use.
I had the misfortune to slip and twist my ankle at last year’s Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, resulting in a ride over to the on-site clinic – which you characterize as like a military MASH hospital. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was provided high quality medical care by true professionals in a safe, clean and professional environment, and then sent on my way. I did not witness scores of young adults being treated for overdoses as you attempt to portray using the “MASH” comment. When you are putting on an event with 100,000+ attendees on each day (Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas) – any reasonable person would want the best medical care and facilities possible – and that’s what is provided by the EDC staff.
Insomniac has taken the underground raves from 25 years ago and turned them into something much more fun, safe and organized. Believe it or not, as a parent of two teenage boys, I would have no problems with them attending an Insomniac organized event. Why? Because Insomniac does it right. I would ask that before any parent rushes to judgment based on your article, that they attend an insomniac event with their children to help them better understand exactly what the event and music is all about. Keep in mind that most music festivals are now 18+ based on previous events – and I concur with this decision. Keeping music festivals out of your city is certainly your prerogative; however there will always be other options for venues. One cities loss is certain to be a huge win for another. I fail to understand why elected officials never seem to learn the lesson that when anything; guns, alcohol, music, etc. is “banned” – it drives that activity further underground, sometimes with tragic consequences. Attempting to tie any responsible music promoter directly to the drug related deaths of attendees is not only morally bankrupt, it is indicative of continuous failures of our society to hold each one of us accountable for our actions.