ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL
JUNE 25-26, 2010
LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL COLISEUM
July 16, 2010
Louis R. Miller
James M. Miller
MILLER BARONDESS, LLP
1999 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, California 90067
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................. 1
II. THE EVOLUTION OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC FESTIVALS............................. 2
A. The History Of Electronic Music Concerts ................................................ 2
B. Safety Issues................................................................................................ 3
C. The Electronic Daisy Carnival (EDC) ........................................................ 5
D. The Promoter Of EDC ................................................................................ 5
III. THE ECSTASY EPIDEMIC .................................................................................. 6
A. What Is Ecstasy? ......................................................................................... 6
B. The Dangerous Health Effects Of Ecstasy.................................................. 7
C. The Increasing Prevalence Of Ecstasy Use ................................................ 8
IV. THE PLANNING AND PREPARATION FOR EDC 2010 .................................. 8
A. The History Of Electronic Festivals At The Coliseum/Sports Arena......... 8
B. Planning And Preparation For EDC 2010 .................................................. 9
C. Health And Safety At EDC 2010.............................................................. 11
D. The Field Incident ..................................................................................... 12
V. RECOMMENDATIONS...................................................................................... 13
VI. CONCLUSION..................................................................................................... 14
Preliminary Report Regarding Electric Daisy Carnival
June 25-26, 2010 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
This is a preliminary investigation and analysis of the Electric Daisy Carnival
(EDC) that took place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Friday, June 25 and
Saturday, June 26, 2010; it is necessarily preliminary because key reports from the Police
Department, the Fire Department, County Coroner and other agencies are not yet final or
have not been released publicly. While some information is subject to further
confirmation, we have developed an analysis to assist the Commission in assessing what
happened at EDC and what measures may be appropriate to further the Commission’s
commitment to providing safe venues for events at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
and the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.1
The analysis begins with an overview of the history of electronic music concerts
and their progression from underground parties to large-scale multi-day music festivals.
A sampling of fatalities reported at music festivals and other events is included, and the
use of age restrictions or lack thereof in music festivals is also examined. An overview
of EDC will be helpful in understanding the history of the event and why it draws
thousands of people from across the country and abroad.
Because illicit drugs are prevalent at these events, a description of the drug
Ecstasy and its increasing prevalence is provided. The health concerns raised by the
increased use of Ecstasy are not unique to music festivals like EDC. An understanding of
the dangers posed by the drug should help in developing and enhancing safety measures
The analysis also includes an in-depth overview of the planning and preparation
process leading up to EDC. The operations of the Coliseum and the Sports Arena are
overseen by a staff of professionals with more than one hundred combined years of event
planning experience. Over the last 12 years, the Coliseum has hosted 37 electronic music
festivals that were attended by over 1 million people. There is consistency between the
music promoters and the Coliseum staff involved in the festivals, which has created
institutional knowledge that is drawn upon during the planning process.
In connection with our preliminary investigation, we have interviewed the following people regarding
EDC 2010: Pat Lynch, Todd DeStefano, Lynda Habash, and Jon Lee from the Coliseum; Glen Akiyama
from MedCare Medical Service; Jonathan E. Fielding and Ben Lee from the Los Angeles County
Department of Public Health; Commander Andrew Smith from LAPD; Battalion Chief Michael Bowman
and Captain Philip Ayala from LAFD; Roy Sukimoto and Augustine Blas of Contemporary Services
Corporation; Tom Cunningham from Apex Security; Reza Gerami from Go Ventures, Inc.; and Pasquale
Rotella from Insomniac Events.
The Coliseum staff worked closely with – and implemented all recommendations
from - law enforcement, fire and health and safety and security firms to prepare for EDC.
The planning process took place over several months, and representatives from the key
agencies provided guidance at every step in the process. Consideration was given to
what was anticipated to be a larger attendance rate at EDC as compared to 2009. The
reported incidents of crowd control issues at EDC are examined, and proposed solutions
Finally, we have developed initial recommendations that address concerns raised
by events at EDC and build upon the health and safety measures that have been utilized
by the Coliseum for large-scale events. It is not possible to guarantee that an event will
occur without incident, and there is a strong likelihood that some attendees will disobey
health, safety and drug laws. We have proposed targeted recommendations that can be
implemented quickly and will help to minimize risks associated with electronic music
II. THE EVOLUTION OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC FESTIVALS
A. The History Of Electronic Music Concerts
Electronic musical festivals are the newest version of a cultural phenomenon that
has been occurring in this country for decades.2 Starting as early as 1967, with the
Monterey International Pop Festival, which was the precursor to Woodstock, music
festivals have played a significant role in youth culture. In the following years,
Woodstock and other festivals like US Festival and Bumbershoot began to bring
thousands of people together to celebrate music and the arts.
In the last 20 years, a number of new music festivals have become popular around
the nation, some of them continuing annually, such as Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits
Music Festival, Coachella and Bonnaroo. As the popularity of electronic music
increased, promoters began to organize music festivals focusing on electronic music in
the late 1990’s.
The emergence of dance parties set to electronic music can be traced back to
England in the late 1980’s. These early dance parties were held inside night clubs or
warehouses, and became more secretive after police closures. The events were often held
at illegal locations that were not disclosed publicly. Because of their underground nature,
and often dangerous conditions because of the lack of regulations and police presence,
these parties became known as “raves.” A rave is defined by the Oxford Dictionary
(1999) as a large, often illicit all-night party or event, held in a warehouse or open field,
with dancing to loud fast electronic music.
A discussion of the history of electronic music concerts can be found in a book titled “This is not a rave”
written by Tara McCall. Relevant excerpts are attached hereto as Exhibit 1.
In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, underground parties or raves began to catch
on in the United States, particularly in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. In the
early years, the parties maintained the secretive nature that developed in England. While
sometimes being held in dance clubs, they would also often take place in areas such as
woodlands, warehouses, brickyards and other unauthorized locations. Within a few
years, the parties were attracting thousands of attendees and were popular around the
The increasingly strong demand for electronic dance music changed the scene
dramatically. The electronic artists and DJs who were celebrated in Europe began to
develop a large following in the United States, and soon became akin to mainstream
music artists. Electronic dance music was taken from the secretive and often illicit rave
scene, and brought to all day festivals – an electronic music version of the hard rock
These electronic music festivals exhibit stark differences from their rave counter-
parts. Raves in the mid 1990’s often had no enforced capacity limits, insufficient or
nonexistent security, no police or emergency medical personnel presence, and inadequate
water and sanitation. There were reports of sexual assaults, untreated drug overdoses and
other crimes associated with raves.3
In contrast, electronic music festivals are often held at the same venues as other
popular rock or country music festivals. Because the festivals are held at legal venues,
they are planned in conjunction with law enforcement and typically provide proper
security, water, sanitation and medical personnel. Unlike unregulated raves, the festivals
function within the same health and safety guidelines that apply to other music festivals
B. Safety Issues
It is not uncommon for fatalities to occur at music festivals and other large
entertainment/sporting events. In the last five years, multiple people have died at events
from causes ranging from drug overdoses to heat stroke to accidental falls. Set forth
below is a sampling of deaths that have occurred at music festivals and other events in the
last five years:4
2004 – Bonnaroo Music Festival, Manchester, Tennessee – 90,000
attended (20 year old man and 22 year old woman died from drug
overdoses); 2005 – 75,000 attended (32 year old man died – cause
unknown); 2009 – 75,000 attended (26 year old man died – cause
unknown, 7th death in eight year history of festival)
Excerpts from “This is not a rave” describe the dangerous criminal activity occurring at illegal raves in the
United States. Relevant excerpts are attached hereto as Exhibit 2.
Selected news articles regarding the incidents highlighted below are attached hereto as Exhibit 3.
2005 – Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival, Clinton State Park,
Arkansas –14,000 attended (29 year old man died from drug overdose)
2007 – San Francisco 49er Football game, San Francisco, California (31
year old man fell to his death)
2007 – Lifefest, Oshkosh, Wisconsin (16 year old woman died after
falling 50 feet off ride)
2007 – 10,000 Lakes Music Festival, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota – 15,000
attended (two men died, one possible overdose); 2008 (17 year old girl
died of drug overdose)
2007 – Glastonbury Music Festival, UK – 177,000 attended (26 year old
man died from drug overdose); 2010 – 178,000 attended (45 year old man
and man in his 70s died from unknown causes)
2008 – Rothbury Festival, Rothbury, Michigan – 50,000 attended (33 year
old woman and 28 year old man died from drug overdoses)
2008 – Coachella, Indio, California – 150,000 attended (21 year old man
died from possible heroin overdose)
2009 – Fat Fest, Wabash, Minnesota – 1,700 attended (20 year old woman
died of apparent ecstasy overdose)
2009 – Slipknot concert, Council Bluffs, Iowa (29 year old man died of
2009 – California Angels game, Anaheim, California (27 year old man
died after being punched)
2010 – NHRA race, Chandler, Arizona (woman died after being struck by
2010 – Pop2010: the Dream at the Cow Palace, Daly City, California –
16,500 attended (23 year old man and 25 year old man died of drug
There is no age limit for music festivals like Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and
South by Southwest. The same is true of concerts, amusement parks, carnivals and local
fairs. In general, there are also no age limits for events at venues like the Greek Theater,
the Hollywood Bowl, the Verizon Amphitheater and the Staples Center. Like other
music events, there traditionally have been no age limits imposed at electronic music
With the exception of events held at nightclubs, the festivals have been open to all
ages. Examples of all-ages electronic music festivals are Electric Zoo Festival, Hard
Summer Music Festival, Coachella, Bonnaroo Music Festival and Warped Tour, as well
as Monster Massive, Together As One, and the Love Festival events held at the Coliseum
or Sports Arena.
In the last few years, a number of festivals have begun to set age limits. For
example, Nocturnal Festival 2010 and Etd. Pop 2009 have set an age limit of 16.
Insomniac Events advertised that EDC 2010 was an event for individuals 16 and over,
unless accompanied by a guardian. However, the age limit of 16 was a guideline that was
not enforced by identification checks at the venue or at the time of ticket purchase.
C. The Electronic Daisy Carnival (EDC)
EDC is an annual electronic music festival. The first EDC was held in 1996 in
Southern California. The festival has been hosted at a number of different facilities
including the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino, Queen Mary
Events Park in Long Beach, Lake Dolores Water Park, Hansen Dam and the Coliseum.
EDC expanded recently to Puerto Rico, Texas and Colorado. EDC has been ongoing for
14 years; and until this year, there were no deaths associated with it.
EDC hosts world class talent on five different stages with over 70 artists and DJs
performing. EDC also has a number of different professional performers, performance
troupes, circus acts, dance crews, dancers, acrobats, aerialists, contortionists and a variety
of other talent to perform on stages and throughout the event alongside carnival rides.
There are food stands, eating areas, art exhibits; and for attendees that are 21 and over, it
has VIP passes with full bar and cabana areas. During the day, EDC functions very much
like a carnival; and at night, it becomes an outdoor night club. This year, EDC went from
2 p.m. to 2 a.m. each day.5
A recent issue of Rolling Stone Magazine included a cover story on the “Summer
Tour Meltdown” and the plethora of cancelled 2010 summer concert tours because of
lack of interest.6 Contrary to the cancelled concert tours, EDC was prominently featured
in a story titled the “The Dance Takeover”, which detailed the rising popularity of
electronic music festivals like EDC.
D. The Promoter Of EDC
We interviewed the promoter of EDC, Pasquale Rotella; his company is
Insomniac Events. He is 35 years old and has promoted electronic music festivals for 17
A map displaying the event layout of EDC 2010 is attached hereto as Exhibit 4.
For additional background regarding electronic music festivals, a copy of the article in Rolling Stone
Magazine is attached hereto as Exhibit 5.
years; he specializes in these events, promotes them around the country and is planning
on going into Europe, and has been doing festivals at the Coliseum and Sports Arena
since the first one took place over the 1997-1998 New Year. Rotella said he does not
promote informal or underground raves. Rather, his events are mainstream music
festivals featuring electronic musical artists and DJs. Many of the artists are booked
through the William Morris Agency; EDC featured, for example, superstars such as
Will.I.Am. of the Black Eyed Peas, Moby and others.
Rotella said AEG promotes the Coachella music festival and that the electronic
music genre, which is included at Coachella, is rapidly increasing in popularity and is
being embraced by mainstream corporate promotion companies such as Live Nation and
AEG. At EDC, he used age 16 not out of health and safety concerns, but rather for
marketing purposes; the core audience for electronic music festivals is mid-20s. He
would prefer to keep the events limited to individuals over 18 and has no problem strictly
The promoter said he did everything the Coliseum requested and has no problem
with its policy of strict compliance with the requirements of LAPD, LAFD and security.
He said he is in business for the long run, wants very much to provide the best practices
possible, and has done over 250 events with attendance of over 2 million. He said his
talent and productions are first class and that EDC is the largest and most successful
festival of this type in the country, attracting people from around the country as well as
many foreign nations.
III. THE ECSTASY EPIDEMIC
A. What Is Ecstasy?
Ecstasy (MDMA)7 was developed in Germany in the early 1900’s for use to
synthesize other pharmaceuticals. During the 1970’s in the United States some
psychiatrists began using MDMA as a psychotherapeutic tool even though the drug had
never undergone formal clinical trials or received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA). In 1985, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency banned the drug,
placing it on the list of Schedule I drugs with no proven therapeutic value.8
MDMA, or Ecstasy, acts as both a stimulant and hallucinogen. It produces an
energizing effect, as well as distortions in time and perception and enhanced enjoyment
from tactile experiences. MDMA is usually taken orally in a tablet or capsule, and its
effects last approximately three to six hours. The average reported dose is one to two
tablets, with each tablet typically containing between 60 and 120 milligrams of MDMA.
It is not uncommon for users to take a second dose of the drug as the effects of the first
dose begin to fade.
MDMA is an acronym for its chemical name 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine.
A 2008 article from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse regarding the
dangers of MDMA is attached hereto as Exhibit 6.
Although MDMA is known universally as Ecstasy, researchers have found that
many Ecstasy tablets contain not only MDMA but a number of other drugs or drug
combinations that can be even more harmful. Adulterants found in MDMA tablets
include methamphetamine, caffeine, the over the counter cough suppressant
dextromethorphan, the diet drug ephedrine and cocaine. Also, as with many other drugs
of abuse, MDMA is rarely used alone. It is common for users to mix MDMA with
alcohol and marijuana.
Ecstasy began to become popular in the United States in the early 1990’s.
Ecstasy has become an element of the electronic dance culture and other psychedelic-
influenced music scenes. Spreading along with electronic dance culture, Ecstasy use
became increasingly widespread among young adults in universities and more recently in
high schools. Its use is rapidly increasing; it is synthetically manufactured, cheap, readily
available and its health risks are not as well understood as other dangerous drugs.
B. The Dangerous Health Effects Of Ecstasy
MDMA can produce confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving and
severe anxiety. These problems can occur soon after taking the drug or, sometimes, even
days or weeks later. MDMA also can have serious effects on neurons in the brain that
use the chemical (or neurotransmitter) serotonin to communicate with other neurons. The
serotonin system plays an important role in regulating mood, aggression, sexual activity,
sleep and sensitivity to pain.
MDMA binds to the serotonin transporter, which is responsible for removing
serotonin from the synapse (or space between adjacent neurons) to terminate the signal
between neurons. MDMA also causes excessive release of serotonin from neurons
containing the neurotransmitter, and it has similar effects on neurons that contain
dopamine and norepinephrine.
MDMA can also interfere with the body’s ability to regulate temperature. On
unpredictable occasions, this can lead to a sharp increase in body temperature
(hyperthermia), which can result in liver, kidney, cardiovascular system failure and
resulting death. MDMA can interfere with metabolism (breakdown within the body);
therefore, potentially harmful levels can be reached by doses within short periods of time.
Other chemically similar drugs, such as MDA (methylenedioxyamphetamine, the
parent drug of MDMA) and PMA (paramethoxyamphetamine, associated with fatalities
in the United States and Australia), are sometimes sold as Ecstasy. These drugs can be
neurotoxic or create additional health risks to the user. Ecstasy may be mixed with other
substances, such as ephedrine (a stimulant); dextromethorphan (DXM, a cough
suppressant); ketamine (an anesthetic used mostly by veterinarians); caffeine; cocaine;
and methamphetamine. And users who combine MDMA with substances such as
marijuana and alcohol put themselves at even higher risk for adverse health effects.
C. The Increasing Prevalence Of Ecstasy Use
Drug overdose rates in the United States have been rising steadily since 1970 and
are higher than ever. The average death rate from overdoses from all types of drugs was
about one person per every 100,000 in 1970; and, as of 2006, was almost nine people per
Ecstasy has seen a particularly sharp increase in usage in the last several years.
Nationally, Ecstasy related emergency room visits have increased 75% from 2004 to
2008 according to a recent study done by the Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) on the
dangers of Ecstasy overdoses.9 In the County of Los Angeles, the number of residents
entering treatment programs who cited Ecstasy as their drug of choice increased 650%
between 2005 and 2009.
The CDC study suggested that targeting patrons at electronic music events with
messages about the dangers of Ecstasy and its potentially fatal effects might help to
prevent overdoses. We recommend below that the Coliseum Commission, in conjunction
with the County of Los Angeles, launch a “war” on Ecstasy by way of enhanced
education on its risks.
IV. THE PLANNING AND PREPARATION FOR EDC 2010
A. The History Of Electronic Festivals At The Coliseum/Sports Arena
Pat Lynch, the General Manager of the Coliseum, has 26 years of experience in
the area of arena and stadium management. Mr. Lynch has served in his role at the
Coliseum for 16 years. He oversees operations regarding large-scale events ranging from
concerts, international soccer games, truck rallies, and sporting events like University of
Southern California football games. The executive staff includes six other professionals
who have in the aggregate nearly 100 years experience in the event planning field.
The recent economic downtown has impacted all aspects of the entertainment
industry, including the concert business. The Coliseum must compete for concerts and
other events in a climate where decreased budgets are driving the selection of venues.
The development of new live music venues, including the Nokia Theater in the LA Live
entertainment complex, is driving down the fees promoters are willing to pay for local
venues. The Coliseum is often forced to bid against venues that have auxiliary sources of
revenue such as lucrative parking, which the Coliseum does not have.
Since 1998, the Coliseum/Sports Arena has hosted 37 electronic music festivals
with over 1 million attendees. The Coliseum has consistently worked with the same two
promoters for these events, Pasquale Rotella of Insomniac Events and Reza Gerami of Go
Ventures. The Coliseum grosses approximately 28% of its revenue from electronic
music festivals such as EDC, Monster Massive, Together As One, and the Love Festival.
A study by CDC on Ecstasy overdose increases in last several years is attached hereto as Exhibit 7.
The electronic music festivals at the Coliseum/Sports Arena generate substantial
revenues for surrounding businesses. In addition to parking revenues, the neighboring
businesses realize increased food, lodging and retail sales attributable to people who
attended the event. Hotels in downtown Los Angeles had full occupancy rates due to
guests attending EDC. The Coliseum employed more than 4,400 people to provide
services in connection with the festival.
The electronic music festivals at the Coliseum/Sports Arena have historically
been successful, and there have been no reported deaths at the festivals.10 The arrests and
medical emergencies appear to have been in line with, or less than, other national events
of this type.
B. Planning And Preparation For EDC 2010
EDC has been held at the Coliseum for the last four years. It began in 2007 as a
one day festival with 29,000 attendees. By 2009, EDC had grown to become a two-day
festival with approximately 120,000 attendees. As the events have grown over the years,
the Coliseum has implemented health and safety procedures under the guidance of police,
fire and safety authorities.
After the success of 2009, 2010 marked the fourteenth anniversary of EDC. The
Coliseum and the promoter, Insomniac Events, expected increased attendance. The
planning for EDC 2010 was the most expansive and thorough it had ever been given the
expected size of the crowd. Planning meetings began in early March 2010, four months
before the event.
Todd DeStefano, Lead Event Manager of the Coliseum, led the planning and
preparation process for EDC in conjunction with LAPD and LAFD. DeStefano has 14
years of experience in the event planning field and has been working at the Coliseum for
12 years. Starting in April 2010, DeStefano held weekly meetings wherein all events at
the Coliseum were discussed, including EDC. The meetings were attended by
individuals representing the County of Los Angeles, LAPD and LAFD.
Beginning in April 2010, DeStefano had six special meetings focused solely on
the preparations for EDC. These meetings included LAFD Battalion Chiefs Mike
Bowman and David Frelinger and LAPD Commander Andrew Smith, and other
representatives of LAFD and LAPD. No decisions were made on health and safety issues
relating to EDC unless DeStefano obtained approval from representatives of both LAPD
As part of the planning process, representatives from LAPD and LAFD made
specific staffing requests regarding law enforcement officers and medical staff, all of
which were implemented by the Coliseum. The following health and safety personnel
were employed on-site for EDC: over 1,000 private security guards, 220 on-duty LAPD
This report does not address the circumstances regarding Sasha Rodriguez, which we understand are
being investigated by LAPD and L.A. County authorities.
officers, 80 off-duty LAPD officers, 110 medical staff and 60 LAFD officers. The
Coliseum also rented 15 ambulances to provide additional emergency services for each
day of the festival. LAPD had undercover officers on-site and aerial support for both
days of the festival. LAFD provided advance notice to nearby hospitals regarding the
potential for emergency transports.
There was a final pre-planning meeting conducted on June 24, 2010. The meeting
involved key Coliseum staff and health and safety professionals involved in providing
services for the festival. A walk-through of the facility was conducted with relevant
personnel. In addition, a meeting was conducted approximately one hour before doors
opened each day of the event to ensure that security and law enforcement received
updated and accurate information. Below is a summary of interviews we conducted with
LAPD, LAFD and the private security firm.
We spoke to Commander Andrew Smith of LAPD who was in charge of all of the
events at EDC and supervised the 80 off-duty LAPD officers. Commander Smith
indicated that the planning and preparation were excellent and that there was likely little
more that could have been done to protect the public health and safety. He said that
while people did use drugs, in his view, the majority of attendees were not on drugs.
Commander Smith has worked several of the electric music festivals at the
Coliseum/Sports Arena and said this years’ EDC involved the strongest police presence
to date. Commander Smith also complimented the private security and said they did a
good job and that the security plan was “great.”
We spoke with Battalion Chief Michael Bowman and Captain Philip Ayala of the
LAFD. They both attended the planning meetings which began in early spring 2010.
The meetings addressed location, capacity, expected attendance, exit plans, themes (i.e.,
rides, art installations, etc.), medical plan (local emergency hospitals, pyrotechnical
risks), security plan, historical issues (want to evaluate past events, anticipate potential
problems, put systems in place to mitigate risks); and the traffic plan among other things.
LAFD has been involved in all planning regarding past EDC events - they were
aware of the history and their planning process has evolved as the event has grown. They
said they expected the capacity would exceed 75,000 the first day, and 95,000 the second
day and that they were fully prepared for those crowds.
LAFD discussed exit/evacuation plans in detail. Both Bowman and Ayala had
daily communications with the promoter and the Coliseum staff leading up to the event;
they described the information flow as effective. They said that LAFD inspectors were
also involved in the event planning and that the Coliseum staff was responsive to all
The Coliseum used Contemporary Services Corporation (“CSC”), a national
crowd management security company, to handle security in conjunction with LAPD and
LAFD. CSC has worked with the Coliseum for over 25 years and has been in charge of
security at every electronic music festival held at the Coliseum since the inception in
1998. The branch manager for CSC is Roy Sukimoto who has 40 years experience in his
field and has worked with the Coliseum for over 25 years. Sukimoto was involved in the
planning meetings for EDC and was responsible for the CSC staffing at the festival.
C. Health And Safety At EDC 2010
There were specific health and safety measures taken in connection with EDC. A
complete check of the entire facility was conducted to confirm that all drinking fountains
were functional. To ensure the comfort of guests, the price of water bottles was reduced
from $5 to $3 during the event. At several locations, water misters were set up to assist
in providing a cool atmosphere for guests and to guard against the risk of overheating.
At every entrance, there were multiple layers of security that involved pat downs,
bag searches and other security measures. Guests were required to show identification to
obtain wristbands that would permit the purchase of alcoholic beverages. At each
entrance, and throughout the facility, posters developed in connection with the County’s
Department of Public Health were displayed instructing guests about the danger of drug
use and suggesting ways to get help in the case of a medical emergency.11
There were two separate fully staffed first aid stations. One station was located
near the press box in the Coliseum; the second location was near the staging on the east
side of the Sports Arena. In addition, there were 20, two-person teams of trained
paramedics and emergency medical technicians traversing the event space to provide
emergency medical services. The roaming teams were comprised of LAFD personnel
and private medics. LAFD also had emergency medical personnel on bikes circling the
outside of the Coliseum. At several locations, a map was displayed instructing guests
where to locate the first aid stations.12
There were reported injuries during the two-day festival. A total of 118 people
out of the approximate 185,000 attendees were transferred to the emergency room. There
would have been fewer people transported to the emergency room if there had been
doctors on-site (the decision about not having doctors on-site was made following
consultation with LAFD). Of the 118 people, the reasons for transport were listed as
A copy of the safety notices posted at EDC 2010 is attached hereto as Exhibit 8.
A copy of the display map is attached hereto as Exhibit 9.
- 35 people – Altered13
- 23 people – Overdose
- 13 people – Seizure
- 12 people – Alcohol
- 6 people – Unconscious
- 29 people – combination of various injuries including allergic
reactions, abdominal pain, chest pain, dehydration, diabetic, eye
injury, facial injury, nausea, other physical trauma, and others
D. The Field Incident
There is disturbing footage of patrons crushing security and climbing fences
during the late afternoon of the second day of the festival. Because space is limited on
the Coliseum field, every ticket had a notice that field access was not guaranteed. The
number of individuals on the field is monitored continually during the event, and access
to the field is limited to a single tunnel on the floor of the Coliseum. When the field
approaches capacity limits, the tunnel is closed; and no further individuals are permitted
access to the field.
To minimize the risk of people rushing the field, the bottom walkways into the
stadium seats were closed to incoming foot traffic. Instead, people were directed to upper
level entrances in order to access the stadium seating. There were security guards at both
the bottom walkways and the upper level entrances instructing people that there was no
field access from those points. At every upper level entrance to the Coliseum, there was
a sign stating that there was no field access.
On the first day of the festival, there were no reported injuries in connection with
people rushing the field. During the second day of the festival, several individuals scaled
two separate fences between the stadium seating and the field, and disregarded the
instructions of several layers of security guards, in order to get on the field. The field had
not yet reached capacity at the time of the incident. Instead of proceeding to the entrance
that led to the field, the individuals decided to rush the field.
During the disturbance, which appears to have occurred during a period of
approximately 15 minutes, several people are believed to have been injured by the
stampeding crowd. In response to the incident, the number of security guards in that area
of the stadium was increased, and uniformed LAPD officers joined the security guards to
keep the crowd under control.
The Coliseum is reviewing plans to avoid this type of incident at future events.
There are proposals regarding increasing the uniformed police presence at all field access
points, as well as placing additional security guards before and between fences separating
Altered is a term used by medical personnel to describe someone that is under the influence of either
alcohol or drugs.
the stadium seating from the field. The Coliseum is also reviewing whether improved
fencing options may be available.
On July 6, 2010, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors announced the
creation of a multi-agency task force to address the growing threat to public health posed
by the use of drugs like Ecstasy at electronic music concerts.14 The task force will be
composed of representatives from hospitals, law enforcement agencies, local cities,
community health providers and the concert promotion industry.
It is our recommendation that a representative from the Coliseum staff and a
member of the Coliseum Commission serve on the County’s task force. This will
provide an opportunity for the Coliseum to work with the task force to mount a campaign
to educate youth about the dangers of Ecstasy in particular.
We also have developed a series of specific recommendations for the Coliseum
Commission’s consideration, as follows:
Enforce a strict age limit of 18 by checking IDs at the door; and install
automated age-checking equipment.
Increase the effectiveness and visibility of warnings about illegal drug use
at the facility, electronically and through signage.
Develop a public service announcement regarding the dangers of drugs –
and especially Ecstasy – that is viewed by every ticket purchaser and is
displayed on the event promoter’s website.
Deploy additional roaming medical teams throughout the facility.
Add an additional first aid station inside the Coliseum or the Sports Arena
depending on the lay-out of the specific event.
Use roaming vendors to make water bottles and sports drinks more
Require security personnel to undergo training programs regarding the
detection of drug use in patrons and safety procedures for overdose cases.
Have a team of trained emergency room doctors on-site.
Prohibit attendance at the Coliseum/Sports Arena by anyone found with
drugs; and call the police to make arrests of violators.
A copy of an article regarding the County’s new task force is attached hereto as Exhibit 10.
Electronic display/signage of an emergency services text number; and
easily visible location indicators for reference and response.
Electronic display/signage regarding locations of medical services on site.
Our analysis of these issues is preliminary and will continue to develop as new
information is obtained from the agencies involved with providing services at EDC.
Based on our initial analysis, we believe the Coliseum does and can continue to employ
the nation’s best practices regarding health and safety in connection with electronic music
festivals. By working closely with the County’s task force, the Commission can enhance
the environment for individuals to enjoy the experience of attending electronic music
festivals at the Coliseum and Sports Arena.