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Friday, October 14, 2011

Fiona Ma's Quest to Ban Raves Ends with Discovery That You Can't Ban a Type of Music

Posted By on Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Fiona Ma: Still not a rave fan
  • Fiona Ma: Still not a rave fan

Last year, we told you that S.F. Assemblywoman Fiona Ma was on a quest to ban raves in the wake of the death of a 15-year-old girl at Electric Daisy Carnival in L.A.

Turns out Ma failed -- at least to ban raves outright. "We found out later on that constitutionally, you cannot ban a type of music," she explains in a new Reason-produced video on the subject.

But Ma's efforts did result in the passage this week of the Concert and Music Festival Safety Act, a new law that requires public agencies to assess any health and safety threats of large gatherings -- not just raves -- held on public property.

The new law seems sensible enough. But what's interesting is Ma's road to it. In the video below, she explains the evolution of her aims, from seeking to ban raves outright, to attending an actual rave in March ("Not my type of music, but I can see how people have fun there"), and her view that signifiers like LED gloves, pacifiers, and stuffed animals should be banned at raves.

Reason reports that the new law bans those things; however, we don't see that anywhere in the text of the approved law. Ma seems to be saying that local agencies conducting the threat assessment could ban those things at a particular event if they wished.

Check out the video below, which provides a good overview of the whole debate -- and even shows off some of our SF Weekly colleague Joe Eskenazi's reporting:


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