By Mariela Limon |Staff Writer|
Last week the Chronicle reported that the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors passed Live Nation’s request to host up to four electronic dance shows a year, but there is more to this rave story than first appears.
Through a series of reports in news outlets such as the San Bernardino Sun, it is inferred that the rave event was forced out of the National Orange Show Events Center due to drug use concerns and noise levels.
According to the Sun, Police Chief Robert Handy said, “We believe that there are too many adverse effects in the community from the rave events and these concerns are not new to the promoter.”
“In September, several police officers got into a physical altercation with several patrons at the annual event when officers attempted to arrest someone selling ecstasy, known as the rave drug to an undercover officer,” said Handy to the Sun.
These rave events have been plagued with allegations of heavy drug use.
In a recent investigation by the Los Angeles Times it was revealed that a total of 14 people have died since 2006 as a result of drug overdose and car crashes stemming from rave shows; most victims were in their teens and early 20s.
San Bernardino city attorney James Penman thinks economics should never be a justification for raves.
“The city should have zero tolerance for any activity where drugs are an integral part,” said Penman, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Penman has long been an advocate of banning rave events at the National Orange Show Events Center.
Beyond Wonderland, a production by Insomniac Inc., is a dance show that was presented at the National Orange Show Center since 2010. It was announced on Feb. 1 that the show will now be hosted at the San Manuel Amphitheater.
The decision to move Beyond Wonderland to Devore comes on the heels of the San Bernardino’s Board of Supervisors granted approval of Live Nation’s request to host electronic dance shows.
Officials pointed out that noise would not be a problem at the San Manuel Amphitheater due to the distance away from the neighboring communities.
While drug use and age verification may be a problem, the county is said to be ready for the challenge.
It was announced during the Board of Supervisors meeting on Jan. 29 that Live Nation as well as the county would increase security at the venue during the shows and that officers would scan IDs of concert goers in order to keep teens out of the shows.
In an interview with the Los Angles Times, San Bernardino Supervisor Josie Gonzales said, “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.”
The change of venue has not settled with San Bernardino city officials as they say the problems could continue to persist.