Insomniac boss Pasquale Rotella took to Instagram yesterday to weigh in on the ongoing debate about drug deaths at dance festivals. The conversation, always in the background of festival culture in the United States, rose to a boil once again after two drug-related deaths were reported at the HARD Summer music festival outside of Los Angeles last weekend.
Political pressure to ban festivals in Los Angeles county has been voiced in the Los Angeles Times newspaper, and the internet has been aflutter with opinion. Rotella, widely considered a leading voice in stateside dance culture, weighed in:
"We don't condone or tolerate drug use, but the problem here isn't raves or dance music, or even festivals in general," stated Rotella. "The health impact of drug abuse in our country extends far beyond what happens at our events."
"Banning these events at facilities where we are able to provide first-rate medical care and emergency services is not the answer," he went on. "If we're trying to create a safe and secure environment for these passionate fans, sending them back into the unregulated underground isn't a step in the right direction."
Political pressure following the death of a 15-year old girl at Electric Daisy Carnival in Los Angeles, 2010, is widely considered to have been one of the driving forces behind the festival's subsequent move to Las Vegas the following year.
The statement has been considered a show of solidarity between HARD and Insomniac, two Live Nation-owned properties that operate in competition with one another. Rotella closed with "We all need to do our part in creating a national dialogue that educates our youth and encourages them to be accountable for their choices—especially when it comes to drugs."