Controversial EDM festival Electric Daisy not returning to Joliet in 2014

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Producers of a three-day electronic festival held in Joliet said they will not return to the area next year, but promise a new festival will take place in the Chicago area in 2015.

The festival, Electric Daisy Carnival, took place May 24-26 at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet. According to media reports, 30 concertgoers were sent to the hospital, five in critical condition. Local police confiscated about 100 Ecstasy pills. The festival also received numerous complains about noise lasting between 5 p.m. and 4 a.m. The festival featured five stages of dance music and about 65,000 people attended.

On Wednesday, producer Pasquale Rotella tweeted to his followers that it was “not looking good” for Chicago area festival next year.

Jennifer Forkish, a spokesperson with festival production company Insomniac Events, confirmed Wednesday that “at this point, it’s unlikely” the festival will take place in 2014.

“We still haven’t found the perfect venue that works on the right dates, and when we produce festivals our top priority is always the fan experience. We’re not willing to compromise that,” she said, adding that Insomniac, based in Los Angeles, is “definitely planning” on bringing Electric Daisy back to Chicago in 2015.

Last spring, Joliet Mayor Tom Giarrante told reporters that it was likely that the festival required a heightened police and fire presence due to the arrests. “And if that doesn’t work, maybe we need to stop having them,” he told the Chicago Tribune.

Forkish said Wednesday that Joliet “was a great partner.” When asked if Insomniac planned to move Electric Daisy elsewhere in the Chicago area, including the city itself, she said “all options are still on the table regarding a venue both in Joliet and elsewhere.”

Overdose deaths and near-deaths at electronic dance music (EDM) festivals are becoming more common, according to news reports. On Wednesday, prosecutors in San Bernadino County in California announced they plan to investigate the death of a 22-year-old man who died of complications related to an Ecstasy and methamphetamine overdose at an EDM concert at the San Manuel Amphitheater produced by Insomniac Events.

In 2012, the family of a teenager who died in 2010 of a drug overdose at an Electric Daisy Carnival at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, received a nearly $200,000 settlement after suing the stadium, Insomniac, and others. The Wall Street Journal reports that Insomniac did not admit wrongdoing according to terms in the settlement.

In September, Rotella complained to Billboard that it is unfair EDM festivals attract negative attention related to drugs.

“It is ridiculous, the [media] focuses [on when] a celebrity hurts themselves, someone gets hurt at dance music event, it involves drugs. It’s happening every day. No one talks about the Bonnaroo Festival. I don’t know why that is,” he said.

Insomniac produces EDM festivals in Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, Orlando, and elsewhere. This summer, concert promotion giant Live Nation entered a $50 million partnership with Insomniac, which gives them a 50 percent stake in the company, according to the Wall Street Journal.


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