Riot police respond to rowdy film crowd
The premiere for a movie about a music festival with a controversial past got out of hand itself late Wednesday when thousands of people attempted to crash the Hollywood event, police said.
Crowds spilled into the street around Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, with some people throwing bottles at police. Witnesses said others were dancing on a police car, taunting officers and “planking” -- lying down in the street. There were also sporadic fights among people in the crowd.
Police in riot gear shut down streets around the theater, and dozens of other officers in police cruisers responded to the disturbance.
“I knew it was going to get out of hand when they started taunting the police,” said Adam Bloch, 20, who works in a building across from the theater. “They were asking for it.”
There were no reports of injuries or property damage. But by early evening, a row of riot police with masks and batons were pushing against the crowd. Police also fired beanbags to disperse people.
Late in the evening, the LAPD set up a mobile field jail at the scene. At least two people were arrested on felony vandalism charges.
The crowd had assembled outside the premiere for the movie about the Electric Daisy Carnival techno music festival. The premiere was to feature acrobats, DJs, celebrities on a red carpet and an after-party at the nearby Supper Club, hosted by DJ Kaskade, who has played at Electric Daisy events.
The premiere of “Electric Daisy Carnival Experience” had been promoted for weeks, and was intended to be followed by a nationwide showing of the film at theaters across the country on one night -- Aug. 4. Wednesday’s event was by invitation only, said LAPD Capt. Andy Smith.
When news of the premiere went out on the Internet, hundreds of people showed up who were not invited, Smith said.
DJ Kaskade himself may have been part of the reason.
About 2:30 p.m., the DJ, whose real name is Ryan Raddon, took to Twitter and told his more than 90,000 followers that he was heading to the theater for a block party.
“Let’s see if the magic of social networking will work today,” he tweeted. He followed that with: “ME+BIG SPEAKERS+MUSIC=BLOCK PARTY!!!”
Later tweets from the DJ reflected the mayhem.
About 7:30 p.m. he tweeted: “News choppers overhead. The man trying to shut us down.... This is crazy.”
A short while later, he wrote, “EVERYONE NEEDS TO GO HOME NOW! I DON’T WANT THIS TO REFLECT BADLY ON EDM OR WHAT WE ARE ABOUT. BE RESPECTFUL AND CHILL OUT!!!”
Witnesses said a few in the crowd yelled at police that Kaskade was offering a free concert. One fan shouted at officers, “You know, it’s our money that pays for you.”
Neither Raddon nor the Supper Club could be reached for comment Wednesday night.
About 8:20 p.m., the Supper Club tweeted that “KASKADE IS SOLD OUT! If you are not holding an authentic ticket, or have a confirmed VIP res, you will not be allowed access.”
The Electric Daisy Carnival, attended by tens of thousands of people, has been highly controversial since last year, when a 15-year-old girl died of a drug overdose at the two-day event in June 2010 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Exposition Park.
The death prompted increased Coliseum scrutiny on raves. Earlier this year, the Electric Daisy Carnival moved out of Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
Insomniac Inc., which promotes the Electric Daisy events, issued a statement Wednesday night: “We are disappointed that a small group of people would try to mar a private documentary screening of ‘Electric Daisy Carnival Experience’ and we are thankful that the LAPD were able to quickly restore order.”
Times staff writer Rong-Gong Lin II contributed to this report.