L.A. rave promoter moving concert to Devore

Live Nation

After complaints about drug use and noise, a Los Angeles-based rave company is moving one of its annual concerts from its longtime home in San Bernardino to Devore, but some neighbors of the new venue are angry about the change.

Insomniac Inc. decided to shift the Beyond Wonderland rave from the National Orange Show Events Center near downtown San Bernardino to the San Bernardino County-owned San Manuel Amphitheater after tensions with Police Chief Robert Handy and residents. It stages at least two other raves a year at the events center.

Handy said the raves have been marred by increases in crime, along with drug and alcohol abuse among concertgoers. He said undercover officers who attend the raves are routinely offered drugs for sale.

In September, an officer was injured while trying to arrest a suspected Ecstasy dealer at an Insomniac rave, the chief added. He also said Insomniac refused a police request to lower the music volume at an October rave after neighbors complained.

"That's where we reached the impasse," Handy said. "They said, 'We will do what we have to do to continue to make a profit,' " Handy said.

Insomniac spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish denied that the company is relocating Beyond Wonderland because of poor relations with the city. She said in an email response to questions that Handy's statements about the October concert were "categorically untrue."

"We are left to believe that the police chief must have been misinformed," Forkish said. "His comments are his personal perspective based upon secondhand information [that] in no way reflects what occurs at our festivals."

The county Board of Supervisors voted 3 to 2 last week to allow raves at the amphitheater for the first time. County officials said the venue manager, Live Nation Entertainment Inc., the Beverly Hills-based concert and ticketing giant, and the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department would deploy extra security staff and sheriff's deputies to keep the concert safe and orderly.

That didn't satisfy Supervisor Janice Rutherford, who voted against the raves and said many Devore residents would not welcome them. "They are just a horrible public safety concern, certainly for the young people who attend," she said. "It's not fair to just transfer the impact."

Rutherford said she was troubled by a Los Angeles Times article about raves that was published Sunday. Citing coroners' and law enforcement records, the article disclosed that at least 14 people who attended raves produced by Insomniac and another L.A.-based company have died in circumstances involving drugs since 2006. Two people fatally overdosed at Insomniac raves in San Bernardino, in 2006 and 2009, according to coroners' reports.

Devore resident Darcee Klapp, 51, said she was unhappy about the prospect of raves held less than two miles from her home. "If it doesn't work in one area, why would you jam it down another area's throat and say it'll work here?" Klapp said.

Supervisor Josie Gonzales, who supported the prospect of raves at the amphitheater (formerly called the Glen Helen Pavilion), said in a statement: "By increasing security and limiting the events to those over the age of 18, we can make these events as safe as any other concert we have at the amphitheater. If that proves not to be the case for the first concert, I will urge the Board of Supervisors to join me in banning future events like this."

San Bernardino City Atty. James Penman, who is pushing for an end to raves at the events center, said the move to Devore was not a solution.

"I'm very disappointed that the Board of Supervisors made the decision that they made," Penman said. "The focus ought to be the illegal drug activity that's going on there — that's what caused the deaths."

Forkish, the Insomniac spokeswoman, said in her email that the city attorney's perspective "does not reflect reality."

"We look forward to having a discussion with him and educating him on the issues," she said.

Beyond Wonderland will be held March 16.



Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
Live Nation
  • L.A. Coliseum scandal
    L.A. Coliseum scandal

    For more than a year, The Times has been reporting on financial irregularities at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, stories that have triggered several criminal and civil inquiries. Three former Coliseum managers, two nationally prominent rave promoters and a stadium contractor have been...

  • New database details pay of California public school employees
    New database details pay of California public school employees

    Last year, James Hammond, the superintendent of the Montclair-Ontario Unified School District in the Inland Empire, was paid $492,077. Jonathan Eagan, the principal of a junior high school in the Bay Area city of Martinez made $279,669.

  • LAPD investigating allegations of artificially inflated patrol numbers
    LAPD investigating allegations of artificially inflated patrol numbers

    The Los Angeles Police Department has opened an investigation into allegations that command staff in some of the city's police stations artificially inflated the number of officers they had on patrol to comply with department regulations.

  • 2 Santa Ana women found guilty in fatal nightclub brawl
    2 Santa Ana women found guilty in fatal nightclub brawl

    Two Santa Ana women were found guilty of voluntary manslaughter Thursday for the fatal beating of a 23-year-old newlywed outside a nightclub, in a case made infamous by claims of bystander indifference and marked by wildly conflicting eyewitness accounts.

  • Coastal Commission enters fray over San Mateo County beach access
    Coastal Commission enters fray over San Mateo County beach access

    The California Coastal Commission on Thursday took what it called a "significant step toward restoring public access" at Martin's Beach in San Mateo County by calling on members of the public who have been there over the decades to fill out declarations saying so.

  • USC grad student dies after being attacked near campus
    USC grad student dies after being attacked near campus

    A graduate student at USC walking home from a study group was attacked by at least three men early Thursday morning and died sometime later at his apartment, university officials and police said.