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Party's Over: L.A. County Wants To Ban Raves

Day 1 of the HARD Summer music festival in Pomona (via HARD presents...)
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L.A. County is considering a ban on raves after two teens died of suspected drug overdoses this weekend at the Pomona Fairplex.

Pending further investigation of the the deaths of two young women that occurred on the first night of the HARD Summer music festival, County Supervisor Hilda Solis plans to propose the temporary ban today on major music festivals at all county-run venues. The goal of the ban is to determine if steps can be taken to better address drug issues at festivals and prevent similar tragedies at future events. Solis tells the L.A. Times, "Obviously this is of great concern and very tragic, and I cannot underscore how distraught it is to know two young women are going out to a concert and have to lose their lives thinking they are going to be enjoying themselves."

The proposed rave ban would be similar to one imposed at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum after a teenage girl's drug-related death in 2010. Following that incident, a task force was created by county supervisors who recommended preventative measures for electronic dance music (EDM) festivals. The steps included creating adequate pathways for medical personnel, plenty of water stations, increased screening for illicit drugs and paraphernalia and more security. Solis tells the L.A. Times that she believes the steps taken by the board at that time were insufficient and that stronger measures are now needed.

The county’s interim public health director, Cynthia Harding, tells the L.A. Times that she is not sure if such measures were in place for HARD Summer. While the event took place at the county-owned Fairplex, it was operated by an outside vendor. The county's interim legal counsel, Mary Wickham, explained that officials “are gathering the facts on exactly what was done.”

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The county will be taking a particularly close look at safety precautions taken at this past weekend's festival in anticipation for the next HARD event, which is scheduled for September 10 at the Fairplex. Wickham explains, “We will be operating on a timetable to address these issues prior to that date."

The two women who died of suspected overdoses at the festival on Saturday have been identified 18-year-old Tracy Nguyen, a UCLA student from West Covina, and Rebecca Dix, 19, of Camarillo.