Anti-Raves Act Of 2011 Introduced in California State Assembly

December 22, 2010 by  
Filed under 2011 Laws, Anti-Raves Act of 2011

Johnny California - Anti-Races Act Of 2011Yes, it had to happen.  A law banning raves. Today, California State Assemblywoman Fiona Ma introduced the “Anti-Raves Act of 2011.”  This proposed legislation comes on the heels of the death of a 15-year old girl at a Los Angeles Coliseum rave earlier this year.  We’re surprised Ms. Ma didn’t name the bill after after the deceased girl,  usually that’s a sure-fire winner to get a law passed.  Will this bill become law?  Who knows.   Constitutional problems abound, to say nothing of common sense.  But let’s take a look at what this law would do.

The bill, AB 74, would add a new section 421 to the California Penal Code which would read, in part, as follows:

“(a) Any person who conducts a public event at night that includes prerecorded music and lasts more than three and one-half hours is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or twice the actual or estimated gross receipts for the event, whichever is greater.”

In the bill’s current form, the only people exempted from this law are people who hold public events on private property and are properly licensed to do so. This means entertainment venues, bars, theaters, and sporting events.

On its face, this bill violates almost every recognized constitutional protection under the First Amendment and also also runs afoul of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Our favorite part of the bill is the bizarre prohibition on “pre-recorded music.” Clearly this is targeted at DJs, “electronic” artists, and of course, hip-hop. Ya know, there was a time when people believed live music lead to things like drug use, promiscuity, and death. For the past 100 years everyone from jazz musicians to heavy metal bands had to put up with accusations that they were “bad for the kids.” It looks like the day has come for DJs and techno-type acts to step up and get their public flogging.

On the other hand, the bill says there’s a violation of the law if the event “includes” prerecorded music.  Does this mean that if a live band uses a synthesizer with sampled tones there’s a problem? What about pre-recorded music on the PA in between bands?  Maybe live music ain’t so safe after all.  One has to wonder, and this goes to the heart of the matter, if there was a giant dance party sponsored by a church that featured nothing but DJs playing Christian music would the police shut it down and recommend that prosecutors file criminal charges?  Good luck with that.

We’re also curious about what happens to people who are hosting  late night cookouts at the park or beach with a portable stereo providing pre-recorded music.  And what about people who hold public events on their own private property but are not licensed to do so.  Religious practice comes to mind, as do things like block parties.  And of course, there’s teenagers who throw huge parties when mom and dad leave town.  Are they facing a misdemeanor conviction and a $10,000 fine?  If they hire a live band to play at the party are they off the hook?  What if the police find an iPod on one of the guests?  Does the event then include pre-recorded music? What if people are screening movies on their property and it goes longer than 3 1/2 hours?  Can they only show silent movies or can they show talkies as long as they strip out the music score and soundtrack?

According to the Neon Tommy blog, Assemblywoman Ma has promised to “work with rave promoters, county officials and first responders to amend the bill as necessary.”  Stay tuned.

UPDATE 12/27/10: Assemblywoman Ma has now said that she is going to “put the measure on hold” according to the SF Chronicle Politics Blog.  Ms. Ma says, in part:  ”I commit to not moving AB 74 until meeting and hearing from all perspectives.”  Heh.

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15 Responses to “Anti-Raves Act Of 2011 Introduced in California State Assembly”
  1. Dan Kier says:

    AB 74 also seems to be in violation of our constitutional rights to assemble and speak. WE have freedom of movement and travel in this country. I don’t think bill is constitutional.


  2. Ross FM says:

    The biggest problem of this bill is that it will actually cause MORE DEATHS! Pushing raves into unpermitted wearhouses in remote areas of cities, or remote outdoor areas where there will be no police, no legitimate licensed security guards, and no medical staff. Drug dealers will feel free to sell more drugs, and if someone overdoses – immediate medical attention will be out of reach. Assemblywoman Fiona Ma – THESE DEATHS WILL BE ON YOU if your horribly-thought-out bill passes.


  3. Jinglz says:

    Make raves 18+ only! It seems that these under age CHILDREN are whos messing it up for us.
    Raves are not at fault, promoters do not hand out drugs; if it were the fact that people die at a rave then why not ban bars for people who die of alcohol poisoning?!


  4. truhp says:

    next step… ban radio. pre recorded music, 24/7. Ma needs to stop trying to be Mother Mao.


  5. Dj cheshire says:

    Banning parties will not help Americas drug problem. Drug education is needed as well as prevention measures. 90% of the kids these days have their drugs before the even know what event they are going to. The government can ban as many events as they want but people will still home, in the streets and where ever they can. Attack the drugs and the people who abuse them. Don’t attack dance events and the people who throw them.


  6. Justin L says:

    What a fucking hypocrite. Her NYE’s fundraiser, which promises “dancing” “shouting” “partying” and a “DJ” (i.e. “prerecorded music) violates every statue of her own anti-rave act.


  7. Vlad says:

    “Attack the drugs & the people that use them.” What, no. Don’t attack anything, instead regulate it. Just as Raves are now, regulate drugs so that it’s harder for kids to get. Leave Non-violent drug users alone. Leave the Rave Scene alone.


  8. Mr. Awesome says:

    Wow. What’s freedom, again? lol, because of the few who can’t handle their shit, for lack of a better term( and don’t get me wrong, i feel sorry for the young girl), but we shouldn’t have to suffer morons like this Ma character. Unbelievable.


  9. Mr. Politic says:

    This is extremely biased. One guy chocked to death by food so we should just ban food because it kills people!! ( Not really, but it’s as senseless as the bill). I guess we should ban cars then because people die from those too. Seriously THINK before you write a shit bill like this. :WallbashIntoConcrete:


  10. Amelia says:

    I think it is a good idea to stop raves. It’s not the same thing as banning bars and food and driving. The drugs used at raves are extremely dangerous, much more dangerous then alcohol. The bill just needs to be written better. And even if people did start having warehouse raves they would probably be much much smaller then raves like EDC and Monster Massive. Raves promote the use of drugs and people will find a way to get those drugs in even if there were more cops. This girl is not the first person to die at a rave and I believe this bill will help.


  11. well educated on substances says:

    ^^^^bull shit did you know 76,000 people each year die from alcohol and many people die from tobacco car accidents and other “risky” activities. America has been doing this for years will you give up your freedom for saftey? I sure as hell won’t. Everyone has the decision to go to these events and partake in drug use or not. Saying that alcohol is worse then club drugs is complete bull shit. Get your facts straight before u try a debate. Just because u have been told ecstacy is bad doesnt meen its true. Alcohol and tobacco are just as bad or worse. A dancing event with lights and electonic music should never become illegal because of the people at the events. The War on drugs is longest war americas fought with the least amount of progress. Its time to realize that you cant stop drug abuse, regulation is all you can do to reduce underage drug abuse and deaths. Just because 1 girl oded at event doesnt meen shit how many people have oded outside the event? 1 is nothing 400,000 people die from obesity should we regulate how much food a person should eat? Freedom or Security you decide


  12. Macky says:

    all i can say is we dont seem 2 have this kinda problem in England. i dont know how things work in america but nobody is allowed 2 go into a rave in a nightclub under the age of 18 (drinking age here) we have rare fatalities from overdoses of drugs and everything seems fine although the government tried making clubs keep their sound levels really low which didnt work. all u gota do is get the person (who’s trying to stop ur raves) told numerous times from numerous people and they will have no choice. how somebody can ban dj’s playing in clubs is fucking retarded in my eyes! i wish u all well and lets just hope the rave does carry on all around the world coz if it gets stopped in america then in a few years it will happen here and other countries too!


  13. Macky says:

    and in reply to amelia, ur stupid and probably never been to a rave before. if u dont take drugs then all u gota do is say no simple. there are dodgy people in raves but they do NOT promote drugs use at all. it’s all down to personal choice. So alelia, go sit in your little cave with no music in silence with the very few friends you have while the rest of us ravers have the best nights in our short lived lives!


  14. herp says:

    well educated on substances lol more like let’s state the fuckin obvious.


  15. we have the right too assemble as we please. the only thing that should take place at these events if your worried soo much is have medical attention there & more security searches too minimize the drug population. if the act passes the rave scene will go back too an underground level where more crimes, more drugs, & more deaths will occur. keeping it mainstream will actually be safer, because they confiscate the drugs where as an illegal underground rave(often thrown in deserts or warehouese) all they check for is armed weapons but drugs are welcome. oh well this country does take away all the things that are fun for us! RAVE TOO THE GRAVE! -PRJC! follow me on twitter. @prjclean


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