Electric Daisy Riot on Hollywood Blvd…

Crowd gathers as police line up in riot gear. Photo by: Anh Nguyen

…the title says it all. However, this is a first hand account of what actually happened and not just speculation from the news media and randoms. Randoms such as those who worked on Hollywood Blvd, tourists, and basically lames who like to sensationalize to make them sound more interesting than what reality perceives them to be.

…I heard about Kaskade’s plan to have a block party on Hollywood Blvd on his Facebook page the night before.

I am thinking I do the truck thing before the EDC movie and play from like 6 until they start the show at around 7:30. STILL getting it together now. Trying to pull this rabbit out of the hat. Yes it’s for free it’s in the street…

…He was wanting to have one but nothing was confirmed the night before. However, he followed up a few hours later stating permits were acquired and everything was for a go. I didn’t go to the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) in Vegas this year, and I have been going for years, way before Electric Dance Music (EDM) came out of the subculture into the mainstream as it has been the last two years or so. I have really been wanting to hear dance music live for awhile. So why not check out a free show in the streets on Hollywood Blvd. Not something you do everyday and seemed a worthy experience. Oh hey, I checked out a block party on Hollywood Blvd with Kaskade. How cool is that? This whole party was in celebration of the premiere of the documentary of the 2010 EDC in Los Angeles entitled the “Electric Daisy Carnival Experience.” I wanted to attend the premiere but press and guest list was overbooked. This was the next best thing.

…I arrived at the Hollywood and Highland Complex a little before 6PM with Kay. The entire front of the Mann’s Graumen’s Chinese Theatre was filled with people. Well not exactly the front entrance since it was cleared for those to walk in but the entire sidewalk on each side were bottle-necking. As expected, the majority of the crowd consisted of the youngins. It is the summer and they were the ones likely not to be able to afford the steep EDC tickets prices or be able to make the trek to the desert.

Hundreds gather in front of the Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Photo by: Nick Walsh / Hollywood Reporter

…I ended up waiting within the crowd of people to the left of the entrance of the theatre. It was past 6PM by now and there was no sign of Kaskade anywhere. There were promoters throwing out flyers to Hard Fest, Pacific Festival O.C. and other events, little kids smoking cigarettes and weed, and those same kids taking swigs of alcohol. There were some cute girls there as well, like really cute girls I have a thing for but never go for. Reminds me of Amris, the girl I met at Friar Tucks on last Sunday. She has that Kat Von D style that is just as hot to me as a mixed ethnicity girl who has a fashion sense. That is a whole another story how I “hit” on her.

…after thirty minutes past 7PM I was over waiting where I was waiting. The only good thing was that no one was crowding me and making me feel all uncomfortable bumping into me and what not. I decided to cross to the other side of the street in from of Baja Fresh and Coffee Bean. My boy Carlos was waiting over there. At this time there were maybe one or two squad cars on Hollywood Blvd. Before they came, traffic was still moving while the sidewalk swelled with people into the streets. Obviously, this wasn’t safe for anyone, pedestrians, drivers, tour buses alike. The police came to set some sort of order and to direct traffic.

EDC Go-Go Dancer

One of the EDC dancers who paraded down Hollywood Blvd. Photo courtesy of: Starpulse.com

…I went to the other side of the street. It gave me a better view of everything, at least better than the view I had of the little kids in front of me. The police had some sort of order corralling everyone on the sidewalk, but all hell broke loose when the EDC mime dancers on stilts and umbrellas came dancing down the street. Everyone waited for something to happen for awhile now and they were excited to see anything, something happen. People started coming on to the street and started dancing up on them. The handful of police on the scene knew they had no chance to control the crowd. The crowd seem like a few hundred but news report said it was around two thousand people. The police warned the crowd on their loudspeakers that they would come back and no one really paid them any attention. The police cruisers left and it was officially a party in the streets.

…Kaskade hasn’t made his way to the front of the theatre but I had a feeling he was not even going to show up. Funny thing, I ran into someone I knew since second grade, Hanh, and haven’t seen her since 2002. It’s crazy how I run into people but I run into them everywhere! If I walked up and down Hollywood Blvd and not just stayed in once spot, I would have ran into a few more. I saw some dude I met years ago at Laguna Beach thing who was the owner of a clothing company. I doubt that company is around anymore and not to be mean, but this dude gets bigger and bigger every time I see him.

…nothing was going on. Kids in the street just hanging out, tourist asking what was going on and what a Kaskade was, and news trucks and police helicopters in the air. That one saying comes to mind at this very moment, “it’s a little too quiet…” Granted there was clamoring and a police helicopter circling as though it was in a ‘Nam circling and making swoops towards us. And then it happened…more police came and this time they were dressed in riot gear. They had those helmets with the clear shielding and shotguns.  Yeah, I already saw this happening. Things were so disorganized and it was only a matter of time. No barricades were blocking everyone to stay on the street as they do for movie premieres. I only counted maybe five big guys dressed in suits who were bodyguarding. The police came from the east of the Hollywood and Highland complex. It basically became a standoff. People were throwing flyers, water bottles, and whatever they could. The mob mentality gives people balls they would never have in the first place. I read reports of rocks and bottles were being thrown, where people would assume the worse and say they were glass, but I did not see any of that. I was just relaxing on the sidewalk observing everything and taking everything in. A pale comparison to the days of my youth.

Hollywood Riot Planking

Plankers in action on the street in front of police. Photo by: Tommaso Boddi / Wireimage

…a good amount of people were facing off with the police. Every so often you would hear people scream jokingly as they ran the opposite direction when the police pushed the line towards us while telling us to leave. Of course people were still standing there, throwing stuff, and just chillin. I was just enjoying the view and the excitement. I am a little too old to get arrested for being in a riot with a bunch of teenagers. People started planking in front of the cops which was hilarious. I am not going to lie, I didn’t even know what they were doing at first. I thought it was some sort of protest but it took me awhile to realize they were planking.

…after a few more push backs from the police, it got really serious really quick. They started marching down the street and pushed everyone towards Orange Ave. I was about five feet away from the police and they were telling everyone to leave. I walked up north on Orange and a others went south. That is when I heard it, bean bag rounds going off. But before I heard that, I heard glass shatter. Welps, I can only guess police cars were getting messed with. From the pictures I saw and what I heard on the news, people were jumping on police cruisers, breaking windows, and setting them on fire. It would have been pretty funny if someone shuffled on it, but that’s just my humor. I did get a rush of adrenaline hastily walking the opposite direction of the bean bag rounds. But things got boring afterwards, at least for me. I didn’t see any one get hit or any cruisers damaged. Honestly, I was starving and planned to hit up Umami Burger. I headed out of there and went on my merry away. There were two police helicopters in the sky and lots of police rushing to the scene. I guess things could have been worse, it could have been like the May Day incident where cops were hitting everything, including journalists and reporters. I did see a lot of photographers and they all seemed safe. I kind of wish I had my camera but I really just wanted to enjoy the music and not be one of those lames who take their camera gear everywhere and then consider themselves professionals.

Police cruisers in the riot

Everyday she's shuffling? Photo by: Imeh Akpanudosen / Getty Images

…I wanted to see what the news out would report/spin this. Most of them try to blame it on Kaskade for inviting everyone out, and he should have expected this to happen, the amount of people, not the riot. Is this a negative from social media, blah blah blah, he sent out 90,00 invites in a matter of seconds, blah blah blah. I mean he did tweet “#flashmob” which only assumes he knew something would have had happened but not to the extent it did. In my opinion, Kaskade in a sense did fuck up. I know he had the permit to have the semi truck but did he have the permits to roll up to the theatre on it? I can only assume he did because the city  council would have asked what he was doing and his intentions. Therefore, the way he fucked up, poor planning, last minute planning, and not enough organizing. I mean the street wasn’t blocked off, there wasn’t much of a security presence besides the police. Again, the news outlets reported it was a publicity stunt. He had good intentions. It was to celebrate the premiere of the EDC movie. I doubt he wanted cause a riot but more of a block party atmosphere. Plus, in light of everything, Regal and AMC has refused to show the documentary. Some publicity stunt to where you got publicity but can’t even really benefit from it. So was it really a stunt?

Sorry for the radio silence but after Wednesday’s events I did not know what to say. My intent was to do something fun and give back to the fans while supporting the premiere of the movie. It is unfortunate that a few individuals had to ruin it for everyone. These people were not with us. It’s time for the Electronic Dance Music community to ban together and show the world just how positive this movement is.

This guy was at it before it even turned to dusk. One of the three arrested. Photo by: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

…I take this statement Kaskade made with a grain of salt, especially where he said, “a few individuals had to ruin it…” If he considers a few hundred people as a few then its true a few people ruined it. But so many of them were throwing things and inflaming the police. If most of them were respectful, they would have just left and not stand there face to face with the police and started planking. That is where I find a problem with his statement. Granted, I am not the biggest fan of authority but there is two sides to everything. This did put a bad light on Electronic Dance Music and to be honest, I’m glad it did. People these days like to be herd like little sheep and flock from one identity to another. They don’t really stand for anything and will follow with blissful ignorance. Yes, the EDM movement is about love, joy, and good music but until someone regulate the drug use, the underage admissions, and sex that is involved at raves, it will always appeal to the bad elements. Kaskade also posted the photo of the guy in the middle of the street with a peace sign. This guy was at it way before this photo was taken. Yes, it is an awesome photo and could represent the EDM movement of peace but he was doing this up the street which I can only assume he wasn’t listening to the police to leave the area.


About Anh Nguyen

Anh Nguyen is a Los Angeles based freelance photographer. Over the past six years, he has covered various concerts, movie premieres, red carpets, parties, and events. A southern California native, Anh attended UCLA and holds a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and a minor in Accounting. In addition to photography, he is currently pursuing his license as a CPA and hopes to go law school. Adding to his many interests, Anh also loves to cook and has worked as a line cook for Food Network's celebrity chef Scott Conant's restaurant, Scarpetta, in Beverly Hills.