Electric Daisy Carnival promoter Pasquale Rotella won a victory in his ongoing battle against accusations of bribery and conspiracy Friday when a California court threw out a civil suit filed by the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The suit had alleged that Rotella, the CEO of Insomniac, conspired with a former Coliseum official to steal millions of dollars from the venue, paying off the executive, Todd DeStefano, in an effort to keep festival costs low.
While he still faces criminal charges, the Los Angeles Superior Court judge’s finding may bode well for Rotella.
“We have maintained from day one that the Coliseum’s meritless lawsuit was ill-conceived, politically motivated and publicity driven,” Insomniac lawyer Gary Jay Kaufman said in a statement. “We are very pleased that the Court recognized that Insomniac and Mr. Rotella’s business with the Coliseum was lawful and transparent. With this civil suit behind them, Insomniac can now focus on doing what they do best—putting on the world’s greatest electronic dance music festivals.”
The dismissal takes place in a climate of increased public scrutiny of electronic dance music events both in Los Angeles and nationally. The Los Angeles Times earlier this year published an investigation into drug-related deaths at raves, including that of a 15-year-old who perished after taking Ecstasy during EDC at the Coliseum in 2010. (Insomniac hired safety advisors and limited ticket sales to adults 18 and over in the wake of the death.) Just this past weekend, two Ecstasy-related deaths at New York’s Electric Zoo led organizers to cancel Sunday’s performances.
Rotella faces a hearing in the related criminal case on September 18.