Electronica festival a first for Mountain View | September 2, 2011 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - September 2, 2011

Electronica festival a first for Mountain View

Police prepare for possible problems with drug use

by Nick Veronin

A massive electronic music tour will be making a stop in Mountain View this weekend, bringing with it a slew of producers and DJs who will be spinning a mix of electronic sub-genres, like house, techno, dubstep and IDM.

The IDentity Festival is the first of its kind in the United States, according to the concert's promoters. While reggae, rock, metal and hip-hop touring festivals have been around for years, electronic artists such as Kaskade, Steve Aoki and White Shadow — all of whom will be headlining the festival's three stages at the Shoreline Amphitheatre on Saturday, Sept. 3 — have not had a genre-specific tour of their own.

The tour comes at a time when electronic duos and solo DJs have achieved rock star status in the United States. Artists like Deadmau5, who performs behind a table in an oversized, LED-emblazoned mouse helmet has been selling out massive shows around the world; and Rusko, whose wobbly, laser-punctuated dubstep caught the ear of pop star Britney Spears and who ended up working with the musician on her latest release.

In short, the producers who once remained tucked away in studios and the liner notes of pop albums are now the main attraction.

However, with the good times and non-stop dancing that seem to go hand-in-hand with electronic shows, so comes a concern that the youth attending such concerts might have a bit too much fun.

Liz Wylie, a spokeswoman for the Mountain View police said that her department is going to be keeping an extra watchful eye on the IDentity Festival.

"We've never really had an event like this in town," Wylie said, adding that while all the advertisements surrounding the concert have billed it as an "electronic music festival," as far as the police department is concerned, "for lack of a better term, it's like a rave."

Police are concerned about increased use of ecstasy, a drug that comes in pill form and works both as a stimulant and a mild hallucinogen, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Scott Vermeer, Mountain View's police chief, said that all of the concert's promoters have been very cooperative in addressing his department's concerns and that the MVPD does not want to discourage people from going and having a good time.

"Our concern is with the medical care and health of young people at the concert," he said.

Unlike at concerts of a variety of other genres, where the department is aware that they may have trouble with drinking, marijuana use or violence, depending on who is playing, a large electronic music festival has never come through Shoreline before. As such, the police are taking extra precautions.

No backpacks will be allowed inside. There will be increased medical staff inside the venue, ambulances will be standing by and there will be at least one "amnesty booth," according to Liz Wylie, where anyone who has overindulged in any kind of substance — whether alcohol or some other kind of drug — may go with no fear of arrest.

Wylie said that the department has been in touch with similar venues around the country where the IDentity Festival has played, venues that have similar demographics as Mountain View and the surrounding areas, and said police officials believe that their concerns are valid, and that they are taking adequate precautions.


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