Don't Trample The Electric Daisy
Posted: August 22nd, 2011
Featured in the editorial section of Monday's Los Angeles Times, "Don't Trample the Electric Daisy" is an article written by Founder and CEO of Insomniac, Pasquale Rotella. See what he has to say about how the media captures and covers our electronic dance music community and events, and his commitment to the fans and future of dance!
The article is live now on the web edition of the LA Times!
Check it out, and don't forget to like and share it:
By Pasquale Rotella
August 22, 2011
The media and some public officials have had plenty of bad things to say about the Electric Daisy Carnival, and a lot of it can be summed up by the word "rave." But this isn't 1993, and Insomniac, which produces EDC, isn't throwing parties in warehouses with no rules and no security.
Insomniac creates multimillion-dollar productions with top artists like Tiesto (who performed at the opening of the 2004Olympic Games in Athens) and Will.i.am (who performed for President Obama). Don't know them? Your kids certainly do. Both have also performed at Electric Daisy Carnival, an event that until last year had been held in Los Angeles for 15 years without major incident.
A snowball of negative press and political fallout followed the tragic death of a teenager after the Electric Daisy Carnival in June 2010. Attention focused on such an alarming incident is understandable, but ever since then Insomniac has been unfairly placed under a microscope. The same scrutiny has not been applied to individuals engaging in illegal behavior or to other festivals and mass gatherings that endure similar issues.
In late July, a documentary, "Electric Daisy Carnival Experience," capturing the largest electronic music festival in the world, premiered at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Unfortunately, a small group of people disrupted the event when a popular artist sent out a tweet offering a free concert before the premiere. Although the film showcased an Insomniac production, Insomniac had nothing to do with the tweet or what followed, yet much of the media incorrectly labeled the situation with the words "Electric Daisy Carnival Riot."
And though that kind of characterization now comes easily to the media, many of the same outlets have managed to make just a small footnote of any good news related to Electric Daisy.
Insomniac commissioned Beacon Economics to study the economic impact of the Electric Daisy Carnival, finding that the two-day event in 2010 boosted Los Angeles County economic output by $42 million, bringing in $14.6 million in income for workers in the region and $3.1 million in tax revenue — local governments earned more than $1.2 million in revenue, and $1.9 million went into the state budget.
This isn't to say that the economic benefits outweigh security concerns. They certainly don't.
Our events are successful only if they are safe for attendees. Insomniac has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars during just the last year in additional security personnel; it has purchased state-of-the-art ID scanners to guarantee that our events are limited to adults; and we continue to enforce a zero-tolerance policy for illegal substance possession and use. Additionally, by releasing medical and law enforcement statistics after our events, Insomniac has become more transparent than any other major U.S. festival producer.
We continue to learn from the past; however, there are only so many factors we can control. At some point individuals are responsible for their own behavior. We can't prevent every instance of self-destructive behavior, or tweets that others send out without our knowledge. Any time there is a mass gathering of people, event organizers are going to face challenges. There is no such thing as a "perfect" event.
If the issue is public safety, where is the avalanche of bad press in reaction to the L.A. Rising festival, headlined by Rage Against the Machine at the Coliseum in July, when among 50,000 attendees there were 15 medical transports to area hospitals? That same weekend at an Insomniac event in San Bernardino attended by 20,000 people, there were two medical transports, and one of those was for knee pain.
There are plenty of other examples. Where was the outrage in early August over the Manhattan Beach six-man beach volleyball tournament, where there were 35 alcohol-related arrests? Where were the editorials in June 2010 calling for an end to Lakers championship games in downtown Los Angeles after fans actually rioted, causing damage to businesses, setting cars on fire and assaulting innocent people?
If the issue is drug use, I'm certain that those criticizing us haven't been to either the Hollywood Bowl or UCLA's reggae festival, because with the thick haze of marijuana smoke laying over the crowd, those events should be on the outs too.
The strenuous objections to our events should sound familiar to anyone who remembers early reactions to rock 'n' roll or hip-hop music. But to suggest, as this newspaper and Coliseum officials have done, that an event such as the Electric Daisy Carnival has no place in Los Angeles is like saying rock concerts should have been banned in California after violence erupted at the Rolling Stonesconcert in Altamont in 1969.
Kids dancing in crazy outfits to music that editorial page editors don't understand aren't automatically evil. Insomniac's events aren't meant to be staid performances. When you buy a ticket to our events, you are not going to be sitting in your assigned seat and leaving when the house lights come up two hours later. You're buying an experience, one filled with extremely talented musicians and state-of-the-art effects.
What I'm asking for is a dose of perspective. What started in the underground is now mainstream, and we continue to learn from past events. But we also believe that the self-destructive behavior of a few people shouldn't cause a ban against a music genre, and no one presenter should be ostracized when crowd control is a problem every big event faces.
Electronic music, Insomniac and its fans are here to stay.
Pasquale Rotella is the founder and chief executive of the Los Angeles-based Insomniac concert production company, which has produced more than 250 music events for more than 2 million concertgoers in California, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
Posted: July 20th, 2011
On July 20th, Insomniac present $75,000 to Las Vegas charities from funds raised through Electric Daisy Carnival ticket sales. The Clark County School-Community Partnership Program, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and the Injured Police Officers Fund each received checks for $25,000.
"This year's festival was one of the best in Insomniac history, and we are incredibly appreciative of the Las Vegas community joining together to welcome us and assist with a memorable event," said Pasquale Rotella, Insomniac's owner and founder. "We are thrilled to be able to present $25,000 donations to key organizations that will only help improve the city where our fans and partners reside."
We would like to extend a thank you to the residents and key organizations in Las Vegas who welcomed our event with open arms last month. We would also like to thank our fans in attendance at Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas. Without you, this contribution could not have been possible.
Electric Daisy Carnival Experience
Posted: July 11th, 2011
Insomniac, NCM Fathom and Manifest Present World Premiere
Featuring Deadmau5, David Guetta, Will.I.AM, Moby & Other Stars at More than 520 Movie Theaters from Noted Director Kevin Kerslake
In August, one of the largest and most prestigious electronic music festivals in the world will take over more than 520 movie theaters nationwide as NCM Fathom, Manifest and Insomniac present ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL EXPERIENCE from Director Kevin Kerslake. Captured live in concert and broadcast in theaters for a nationwide one night event on Thursday, August 4 at 9:00 p.m. local time, the film will showcase the biggest DJs in the world including Deadmau5, David Guetta, Will.I.Am and Moby as well as many other top electronic music stars.
Tickets for ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL EXPERIENCE are available at participating theater box offices and online. For a complete list of theater locations and tickets, click here (theaters and participants are subject to change). The film will be broadcast to select movie theaters across the country through NCM’s exclusive Digital Broadcast Network.
Fans will experience Insomniac legendary Electric Daisy Carnival as a cinematic tour de force in the comfort of their local movie theater. Featuring fist-pumping performances, exclusive interviews with top artists and cultural icons, ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL EXPERIENCE provides an inside peek into the dazzling world of electronic music culture. Noted Director Kerslake (“Fallen,” Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rise Against) captured live performances of over twenty top artists including (in alphabetical order) 12th Planet, Above & Beyond, Afrojack, Benny Benassi, Boys Noize, David Guetta, Deadmau5, Duck Sauce, Fedde Le Grand, Kaskade, Laidback Luke, Major Lazer, Moby, MSTRKRFT, Simian Mobile Disco, Steve Aoki, Swedish House Mafia, Travis Barker vs A-Trak, Will.I.Am, with a special tribute to DJ AM.
“Attending EDC is a vibrant, visceral, colorful experience which translates extremely well to the big screen,” said Director Kevin Kerslake of Manifest. “Cinematically, we tried to make Electric Daisy Carnival Experience as close to attending the actual event, itself. It’s always best to see electronic music in a shared environment and we are getting that opportunity on August 4th.”
“Electric Daisy Carnival is a phenomenon that is sweeping the world,” said Dan Diamond, vice president of NCM Fathom. “Fans can enjoy this amazing experience front row center in their local movie theater.”
Select fans will also be able to attend a private event on July 27 in Los Angeles. For more information on the event, please visit www.facebook.com/EDCExperience.