With barely a week until Saturday's Wet Electric party descends on Huntington Beach, city officials are busy making headlines for their 11th hour attempt to stop the party with a lawsuit against the promoters and groups associated with the event. Considering the destructive douchebaggery of the July riots that tore through Main Street after the U.S. Open of Surfing, in some ways its hard to blame them. After all, the potential of two black eyes in a row involving spoiled HB brats and loud music isn't exactly a good look for the city.
However, with such a small amount of time before the event and a decent argument from PMG over the council's power to affect what goes on state property (i.e. the beach), the chances of Wet Electric going off without a hitch are pretty good.
And so, we light a nearby Virgin de Guadalupe candle and pray we don't wake up to another edition of Rackygate…
On Sep.14, scores of ticket holders are expected to show up to Huntington Beach State Park to see EDM giants Paul Oakenfold, Erick Morillo and more DJing what seems to be an adult-sized kiddie pool party on steroids. The event, slated to go from 12 p.m.-9 p.m., is boasting almost two dozen well-known deejays, cabanas, giant water slides, ziplines day beds and bars. Last week, the City Council authorized the city attorney to file the suit.
“It doesn't surprise me,” PMG President Steve Thacher told the L.A. Times regarding the lawsuit, noting the city's filing was news to him as of late last week. “They've been pretty irrational up until this point, so I wouldn't expect anything else to change.”
In addition to Premiere Media Group, Wet Electric is also promoted by the state of California (?!) and the nonprofit Giving It Back To Kids–which is receiving proceeds from the event. Wet Electric also has a date scheduled in Tempe, Ariz. on October 5. Last year's installment in Irvine was held in the confines of Wild Rivers water park in Irvine where reports of crime were minimal. Although we doubt there were many stop signs to beat up or shop windows to break.
In August, City Atty. Jennifer McGrath sent Thacher a letter requesting that the promoter cancel the event because the company's permit did not abide by the city's zoning and subdivision ordinance regarding temporary use and land use control. However, it turns out that was kind of a bungle, according to state officials.
“Her letter is completely incorrect,” Kevin Pearsall, a peace officer with the California State Parks told the Times. The officer has also been involved with planning the event. “We're using state resources and not using the city resources, and we have assured them that we will not.”
Pearsall also says the event has the state and the promoters have the proper permits and safety precautions in place to handle all the bros, bikini babes and untz untz action and that the pending lawsuit is overkill. To that we say, just keep 'em away from the poor, defenseless news racks and we'll be fine.