Police arrested nearly 500 people at two electronic music raves in Southern California last weekend.
The Pomona Police Department announced it had arrested 310 people over the two-day Halloween-themed HARD Day of the Dead festival at the Pomona Fairplex on Saturday and Sunday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Meanwhile, an additional 180 people were reportedly arrested at the two-day Escape: Psycho Circus rave at the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino.
Authorities said most of the arrests at the two raves were for public intoxication, possession of illegal drugs or being under the influence of a controlled substance. Approximately 100 attendees at the Pomona rave were reportedly arrested for carrying fake IDs.
Large-scale electronic music festivals have come under increased scrutiny in recent years over safety concerns. A number of high-profile deaths at multi-day festivals, like the Electronic Daisy Carnival (EDC) and the HARD Summer festival, have prompted last-minute venue changes and new safety protocols at the concerts, with many adding access to free water stations and 21+ age restrictions.
Live Nation, the promotion company behind the Pomona rave, beefed up security at last weekend’s concert after two underage women died of drug overdoses at the HARD Summer festival in August. The promoters capped attendance at 40,000 per day, down from the original 65,000, and placed a 21+ age restriction on the event. Live Nation also paid to have dozens of medical personnel on site in addition to extra police and fire personnel.
At the San Bernardino rave, police had reportedly placed a dozen “amnesty boxes” around the venue, where attendees could deposit illegal drugs or weapons without fear of arrest. Authorities said there were no major incidents at that rave.