In 1991, Pasquale Rotella fell in love. Not with a woman, but with a culture. After attending his first rave in the depths of Los Angeles, he never looked back. Entranced by the mantra of peace, love, unity and respect—he set out to share his passion with the world.
In 1993, Rotella founded Insomniac Events, and fueled by his grassroots leadership and tireless ambition, the company grew. From warehouses to concert venues, private land to Motor Speedways, Insomniac has led the charge to legitimize the American EDM experience, spreading love and opportunity throughout the country. However, for those outside of EDM culture, it can be easy to misinterpret Insomniac’s mission.
Last month, The LA Times published an article that held Rotella and the Insomniac team solely responsible for the unfortunate, yet uncommon, death toll at their events. The article warns of dance music’s “ecstasy-fueled” popularity, and while it asserts a valid concern for the safety of dance music fans, its views on the culpability of Insomniac events and the repercussions of EDM’s growth are fundamentally flawed.
Insomniac has never been more focused on safety. They search every attendant upon entry, employ an abundance of medical personnel and—as Kaskade elaborates—welcome the same legal and civil scrutiny as any other musical gathering. So how can they be held accountable for each individual’s choices in a crowd of thousands?
Drugs and music have been intertwined for centuries. Whether it was wine at the symphony, LSD in the 1960s, or cocaine in the nightclub circuit, concertgoers have always chosen to synthetically enhance their experience. But in no way does Insomniac condone drug use. In fact, they’ve constantly spoken out against it through public service campaigns and a strict enforcement policy that advocates the dance music mantra’s latest addition: responsibility.
The euphoria that Insomniac promotes is not drug induced, but rather the result of a sensory convergence—what Tommy Sunshine calls a “traveling joy show”—of music, art and showmanship: a potent combination that draws tens of thousands to their events and generates millions in legal revenue for city economies.
Pasquale Rotella has dedicated his life to advancing dance music and as a result, he is a primary reason that our subculture no longer lurks in unregulated parties at unfit venues. Insomniac has welcomed supervision, opening up new opportunities for EDM and allowing countless other companies to throw successful parties.
For example, without the pioneering work of Rotella and Insomniac, INTO THE AM could not have achieved our success. Not only did Insomniac help to shatter the social stigma against dance music culture with their passion and reliability, but they also co-produce hundreds of events across the country, including our INTO THE AM shows in Orange County.
So in support of the bravery, ambition and honor of Pasquale Rotella, and the entire Insomniac team, we are proud to present: “In Pasquale We Trust,” a limited edition t-shirt & tank top design available exclusively from INTO THE AM Clothing. All net proceeds from these garments will benefit Pasquale Rotella and Insomniac’s charity of choice, to be named at a later date.
In closing, we need more voices like Kaskade and Tommie Sunshine to be heard. We as the Electronic Dance Music community need to rise up and show outsiders that we stand for much more than what is being portrayed in the media. We stand for the love and togetherness of our culture, but most importantly: we stand for the music.
In Peace, Love, Unity & Respect:
The Entire INTO THE AM Family