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More than 400 arrested at Nocturnal Wonderland rave in San Bernardino County

Arrests at Nocturnal Wonderland rave
A festival-goer was arrested at the Nocturnal Wonderland rave in Devore.
(San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department)

More than 400 people were arrested and five people hospitalized during a three-day Labor Day weekend electronic music festival in San Bernardino County.

Attendance at the Noctural Wonderland rave topped 67,195 over three days. 

On Friday, the first night of the Nocturnal Wonderland rave, 111 people were arrested during security screening at the entrance to the San Manuel Amphitheater in Devore, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. One sheriff’s deputy was also injured during an arrest Friday evening. He was hospitalized with minor injuries and later released.

Six were arrested for being younger than 18, the legal age for admission. Another person was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and smashing into a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputy and his motorcycle, authorities said. The deputy was not injured in the crash.

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On Saturday, 141 people were arrested on suspicion of offenses including drug possession, drug sales, assault and battery, and being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. One person was arrested for indecent exposure, sheriff’s officials said.

On Sunday and Monday morning, when the festival ended, 176 people were arrested, mostly for being under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Two people were transported to local hospitals for medical reasons. 

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One person was assaulted and suffered traumatic injuries to his face. It’s unclear why the other two people were hospitalized, but sheriff’s officials said one was later released.

The sprawling festival — with performers on five main stages and headliners including Above & Beyond, DJ Snake and Bassnectar — was put on by Insomniac Events, a Live Nation subsidiary, which leases the amphitheater from the county.

Similar music festivals have brought a rash of deaths of young concertgoers, often from drug overdoses.

Ecstasy and similar club drugs are seen by some as part of the music festival experience and consumed for their stimulating and euphoric effects. Three people died in July after attending the Hard Summer rave near Fontana.

Three overdose deaths since 2006 took place at Nocturnal Wonderland festivals. The most recent occurred in 2013, when a 22-year-old man died of an Ecstasy and methamphetamine overdose.

Several emergency room physicians have said raves threaten public health and overwhelm hospitals and emergency rooms with cases of seizures, comas or deaths from illicit drugs. 

Noting that there had been noise complaints, the Sheriff’s Department said a sound engineer and a deputy visited the area and determined that the volume was under the threshold of the county’s noise ordinance.

matt.hamilton@latimes.com

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Twitter: @MattHjourno

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UPDATES:

3:30 p.m. Sept. 5: This article was updated with current arrest and attendance figures.

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This article was originally published at 11:05 a.m. Sept. 4.


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