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New California Law To Ensure Safety At Raves

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The Cow Palace in Daly City. (Dante Alighieri)

The Cow Palace in Daly City. (Dante Alighieri)

DALY CITY (CBS SF) — Organizers of raves or other large events held on state property such as the Cow Palace will have to ensure that safety guidelines are met before hosting the event, according to legislation signed Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Assembly Bill 74, authored by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, was formulated in response to deaths in 2010 at large raves at the Daly City venue as well as at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The legislation by Ma, whose district also includes Daly City, requires the governing board of a state fairground to perform a threat assessment prior to hosting an event with an expected attendance of 10,000 or more people.

If the board concludes that there is a strong possibility of loss of life or harm to an event’s participants, its organizers must develop an event action plan that will address law enforcement on site, as well as adequate medical personnel and availability of water.

The legislation also requires the plan to determine whether age restrictions should be put in place for the event, and the potential need for educational pamphlets to help alleviate any risk the event might pose.

The legislation is the product of months of collaboration between city and police officials, medical responders, event organizers and others, according to Ma’s office.

In May 2010, two people died, several were hospitalized and more than 70 others were arrested on drug-related charges following the “etd.POP 2010” festival at the Cow Palace.

Last October, more than a dozen people were taken from CBS Radio station Live 105’s “Subsonic Spookfest” at the Cow Palace to hospitals with alcohol- and drug-related illnesses.

In June 2010, a 15-year-old girl also died at a rave at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The Cow Palace’s board of directors voted last November to place a moratorium on raves at the venue.

Ma, who attended a rave in March to see the event firsthand, said, “Casualties can be prevented and I’ve seen what works.”

She said her legislation “is intended to prevent the loss of life and make safety a top priority.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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