LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — One of top DJs on the planet is speaking out against critics of electronic music festivals.
Kaskade, a popular DJ in the electronic dance music scene, says raves are being unfairly singled out by the media and critics.
When he’s not performing for a massive crowd at a sold-out club or festival around the globe, Kaskade is in Santa Monica at his recording studio.
Kaskade, whose real name is Ryan Raddon, is not only passionate about his art, he’s also a fierce defender of it, and right now he feels that EDM is under attack.
“Summer of deaths … come on,” he said in reference to a headline from a story in the LA Times.
The story was reporting that the popular Halloween rave would not be held at the LA County Fairgrounds this year after several deaths at a previous year were linked to club drugs like Ecstasy.
“Do we have it at these events, yes.” the DJ told KCAL9’s Tom Wait.
“We have a problem, but many other events do, too, so don’t single us out as the only ones that have a problem,” he added.
Over the summer, three young people died after attending a rave in San Bernardino. Last summer, two deaths were linked to drug overdoses at the LA County Fairgrounds.
Because of what happened, LA County supervisors voted new strict booking rules into effect — right now, county officials have no plans to allow any more raves at fairgrounds or parks.
Kaskade says the deaths are tragic but urges people to look at the big picture.
“It’s a terrible stat, and it’s very sad, but when you compare it to something else like drunk driving … wow,” he said.
John Tsilimparis, a family therapist and addiction expert, says this is a public health issue.
“I don’t have children, but if I had a child and he or she was a teenager and I had some control over his or her behavior, I probably wouldn’t let them go,” Tsilimapris said.
Kaskade himself is a father of three, married and sober.
“Certainly, people at these events are abusing substances, I get that. I understand that. That’s why I’m trying to be a voice of reason. Look, hey, I can attend these events and [still] enjoy myself,” Kaskade said.