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San Bernardino County Moves Forward on Renewed Attempt To Ban Raves

The Board of Supervisors is pushing to revisit a ban on EDM events.

by Krystal Rodriguez
Aug 12 2016, 6:37pm

Photo via Flickr user Mel Marcelo

Members of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors are pushing to revisit a ban on rave-like events at the San Manuel Amphitheater in Devore, the current home of Insomniac events, following the deaths of three attendees at HARD Summer last month.

Read More: How Do We Stop Drug Deaths At Festivals?

As local outlet The San Bernardino Sun reports, County Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos brought up the issue to the board on Tuesday (August 9). However, he must wait until the conclusion of Insomniac's Labor Day Weekend festival, Nocturnal Wonderland, which is the last event the promoter can hold on the property per its three-year contract with the county.

Since Insomniac started using the amphitheater in 2013, there have been two drug-related deaths during these events, in addition to complaints from residents about noise, traffic, and loitering. Multiple deaths at festivals thrown by Insomniac and HARD, the latter being owned by Live Nation (with whom Insomniac are entered into a creative partnership), have led to all large-scale dance music events coming under scrutiny due to the presence and risks of drug use by attendees. Already, Live Nation is facing two lawsuits stemming from festival deaths in recent years. [Disclosure: THUMP's parent company VICE publishes a Live Nation-owned music site]

Ramos's push is supported by Supervisor Janice Rutherford, who previously called for a ban at the venue back in May. Last week, she told THUMP she was still committed to banning raves at the venue, but as her proposal was rejected due to lack of a majority vote, she is not allowed to bring it up for reconsideration. In the meantime, Ramos says a task force—similar to the one assembled by Los Angeles County last year in lieu of an all-out rave ban after two teenagers died at HARD Summer 2015—has been approved and is "ready to go to work" come September.