HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com) — The city of Huntington Beach is trying to stop a massive electronic dance party.
For nine hours on Sept. 14, about 8,000 people will gather for the Wet Electric at Huntington State Beach.
While promoters have a permit for the rave, councilmember Joe Shaw said the city just found out about the event three weeks ago and is filing suit to stop it.
He said the timing couldn’t be worse, as it comes on the heels of the U.S. Open of Surfing riots.
“The planning commission didn’t hear it, the city council didn’t hear about it, our fire department didn’t hear about it, the police didn’t hear about it, no one heard about it. They just decided to do it,” said Shaw.
Local business workers are also worried about the festival.
“It’s gonna be a rave, so what they’re going to do is there’s going to be a lot of alcohol on the beach, first of all. There’s probably gonna be some outside drugs going down there. It’s gonna all probably end up coming downtown. That’s not gonna be a good look for Huntington Beach,” said Andrew Leavelle.
“I think it’s not gonna be good. I think more of the 909’ers are gonna come down here and all of them are gonna start more fights. It might even be worse than downtown Main Street,” said Courtney Laluk.
Wet Electric organizer Steve Thacher called the city’s reaction “overkill.”
“The event has been painted differently than it actually is,” he said. “We have 25 state police officers, we have 90 security guards. This is far more than what’s ever required for an event twice this size. I think the U.S. Open had 24 police officers on duty.”