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L.A. County Is Cracking Down On Raves, Cancels One Event

The crowd at Hard Sumer (Photo by Perhansa Skallerup/LAist)
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The party's not completely over, though things are going to be different.

While L.A. County isn't banning raves right now, they've made some significant changes to two upcoming electronic dance music festivals, one of which has been cancelled.

Earlier this month, L.A. County officials announced that they were considering a temporary ban on raves after two teens died in suspected drug overdoses at HARD Summer, a two-day event that took place at the Pomona Fairplex on August 1 and 2. Even ER doctors called for a ban on electronic music festivals. The purpose of the ban would be figure out better measures to prevent these kinds of tragedies in the future.

Live Nation agreed to cancel its upcoming "HARD Presents...A Night at the Fairplex" event on September 10, according to a statement from L.A. County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis' office. In addition to that, Live Nation has also agreed to make some major changes to its two-day "HARD Day of the Dead" festival coming up on October 31 and November 1. That includes significantly dropping the number of tickets they can sell from 65,000 to 40,000 per day, restricting the age limit to 21 and over, and adding more cooling stations, misting areas, free water stations and shaded areas to the venue. The event's hours will also be shortened, anti-drug and drug education info will be handed to fest goers, and there will be more security and emergency medical services at the festival.

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That won't be the end of all of this. "We continue to study this issue and the propriety of continuing to hold such events on County property," Solis' office said. "We are considering additional health and safety measures. We are also considering the creation of a specialized task force that will include health and safety representatives from the County's Departments of Public Health, Health Services, Fire and Sheriff."

Tony Bell, spokesman for Supervisor Mike Antonovich's office, told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that more changes could be on the way. They're planning on collecting more data before making a final decision on what to do about electronic music festivals.

"This is certainly not the end of the story, there will be additional discussions, additional research and additional corrective actions moving forward," Bell said. "This is an evolving review, we're not through with the assessment yet."

This comes on the heels of a motion that Solis and Antonovich co-wrote on August 4 that passed unanimously 5-0. It requested the Interim L.A. County CEO and Interim County Counsel to report back to them about issues with raves, including if they could temporarily ban raves, creating an educational campaign, and what extra safety measures could be implemented.

"You want people to have a good time, you're not trying to prevent that, it's a unique kind of concert, event, whatever you wanna call it," L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe told CBS Los Angeles. "But at the end of the day, you just can't allow craziness."

A spokesperson for HARD said in a statement: "Festival organizers and promoters are pleased to have worked quickly with the County Supervisors in order to complete the county's inquiry and bring about the agreed upon modifications to our operations for HARD Day of the Dead at Fairplex, which will further allow our fans to have a safe and fun time."