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There Will Be No HARD 'Day Of The Dead' Rave This Year

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HARD Day of the Dead 2015 (Photo by Perhansa Skallerup/LAist)
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HARD Day of the Dead, Live Nation’s Halloween-centric rave, will not be happening this year. According to HARD spokesperson Alexandra Greenberg, this is not a cancellation. "…Technically, Hard Day of the Dead 2016 was never even announced," she wrote in an email to the L.A. Times. According to Greenberg, HARD, a subsidiary of Live Nation, had decided it would put too much pressure on the company to host both HARD Summer and HARD Day of the Dead at new locations. This is the same reason given on EDM site YourEDM.

Their former venue, the Fairplex in Pomona, has since decided not to host any raves this year. A 19-year-old woman named Katie Dix died at HARD Summer when it was last held in Pomona in 2015. Her family is now suing the L.A. County Fair Association and Live Nation, saying they failed to protect guests from illegal drugs and that conditions resulted in medical response being delayed. The family of Emily Michelle Tran, a 19-year-old woman who died at HARD Summer when it was held at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in 2014, is also suing Live Nation. They family has accused the promoter of not doing enough to discourage illegal drug use, and that the company "knowingly oversold the event and created an atmosphere that was overattended, overcrowded and dangerous."

It's not clear if HARD's decision is linked in any way to rave-related deaths, though that's certainly the connection the Times seems to be grasping at, pointing out that this would not have been the first year that HARD would have had to produce the two festivals in new venues. They did that in 2014.

However, raves have been under a lot of scrutiny lately, particularly those in Southern California. Just this past July, three people died at HARD Summer 2016, held at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. The combination of illegal drug use, alcohol, dancing and soaring temperatures is often a bad one. Dr. Brian Johnston, chair of the emergency medicine department at White Memorial Medical Center, was one of several E.R. doctors pushing for a ban on raves. He said that he was seeing teenagers brought into the hospital suffering heart attacks. "You don't see that from other events. This is a different kind of animal," he said.

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HARD Day of the Dead launched in 2008, though at the time it was called HARD Haunted Mansion.